Video game movies suck.
Maybe that’s a sweeping generalization, but it’s hardly an unkind one. We’ve suffered through one awful movie adaptation of a video game after another, and they’ve left us depressed, scarred and mortified. Following in the steps of The Top 10 Most Embarrassing Video Game Cartoons of All Time, GameOn: Big Red Potion’s Joe and Sinan take you through the specific moments from these movies that recur in their nightmares, the scenes that epitomize the stream of filth that has gushed from Hollywood in the name of gaming, and the fourteen most embarrassing video game movie clips of all time. Be warned: you may need a bucket.
14: Super Mario Bros: Mario’s Icy Ride
Sinan: For the record, that’s King Koopa on the loud speaker…talking to what is meant to be Goombas…about pizza. And that’s Bob Hoskins as Mario getting a bunch of stereotypical Brooklyn girls to ride his icy slide. Almost sounds good on paper…
Joe: Those accents…
Sinan: Isn’t that how you all talk in America, Joe?
Joe: Hi Hollywood – did you know that not all of us New Yorkers talk like we’ve been punched in the voice box? Also, why wasn’t Dennis Hopper given something for his performance here? “Where’s my pizza?” Classic. I have to admit that I hold a special place in my heart for Super Mario Bros: The Movie.
Sinan: You ought to be careful then. That’s the kind of thing that causes heart disease.
13: Tomb Raider: Boss Fight
Sinan: Tomb Raider is actually one of the most appropriate video game IPs to be adapted into a movie. On a basic level you’ve got the whole female Indiana Jones thing, but they also have Angelina Jolie for crying out loud. Despite all this, they managed to make not one but two disastrous movies, with this clip being an excellent demonstration of how–regardless of the size of your budget–you can produce absolute shit if you really try your hardest.
Joe: I understand the need for a suspension of disbelief in movies–especially in movies based on video games–but for crying out loud; is this the best you could come up with, Hollywood? Hmm, good thing this giant wooden log just happens to be inches away from Lara…what would she have done otherwise?
Sinan: What I love about is that it’s there for absolutely ages, just swinging away, swing, swing. Hmm, I wonder if it’s relevant to what’s about to happen?
Joe: I like the ending too, where Lara jumps from the temple and ends up a solid 200 feet from it. I knew she was agile, but…
Sinan: Yeah, it’s a shame what would naturally occur didn’t happen.
Joe: Now that I would pay to see.
12: Dead or Alive: Bayman’s Balls
Joe: Dead or Alive somehow manages to make hot women in minimal clothing completely unwatchable.
Sinan: That’s a box quote if ever I saw one.
Joe: Over the course of 90 minutes, you get to see bikini volleyball, a dozen fights, a dude’s junk and skin aplenty. Yet the headache produced by your brain rejecting the images forced upon it simply defeats the purpose.
Sinan: A shame, since what you described sounded like a perfect representation of Dead of Alive, up until that final sentence.
Joe: When Bayman is your flick’s highlight, there’s a problem.
Sinan: Ha ha, quite. You’ve got to love his off reaction to each abuse he receives in this clip, especially the shoe to the balls – what’s going on there?
Joe: Having to pay for the DoA movie would cause a similar reaction.
Sinan: Heh, and probably more pain.
11: Mortal Kombat Annihilation: Concerned Glances
Joe: For my teenage self, the Mortal Kombat series was a phenomenon. The games were fantastic, the first movie was solid, and I along with many other fans eagerly anticipated the second chapter of the cinematic mythology. The reactions in this clip sum up the sequel nicely.
Sinan: Haha, nice.
Joe: Annihilation presents nonsensical battles, cyborgs appearing without explanation, Jax’s robo-arms that look like Power Rangers props, and an air tunnel can “take you anyplace in the world using the energy from the Earth’s core” – no shit. Then there’s this moment, where the director felt that the audience needed to know exactly how each character felt about Sindel’s whimsical ballerina routine.
Sinan: “Ok, actors! Make sure you look concerned! No, not enough. No… that’s not enough either! Not enough!”
Joe: “We need more shots of Sonya! Goddammit people, she is clearly concerned!”
Sinan: But why are they concerned? Are they worried that Sindel is having a dizzy spell and may throw up? Or maybe they’re all late for a dinner party and just want to slip out quietly?
Joe: No clue. I guess grabbing Sindel during her merry-go-round would rip a hole in the portal between Earth and Outrealm. We all know how bad that would be.
Sinan: Yup, that’s usually a bitch to clean up.
10: Tomb Raider: Bad Accents
Sinan: When I re-watched this, my eyes popped out when I saw James Bond himself flirting with the Lady Croft. It sounds good on paper, except in this case we have Daniel Craig’s awful American accent going word to word, garble to gobbledygook against Angelina Jolie’s appalling English accent. Even now, I’m not sure who wins, who loses, or how to define either.
Joe: We all lose, Sinan, we all lose. I like that the Bond producers saw this and A Kid in King Arthur’s Court and thought ‘Yep, this dude is the future of Bond’
Sinan: Oh, if only that was really their basis. Hmm, on reflection, I think Craig’s accent is worse, its pitch and emphasis is really all over the place. As for Jolie, I’m just not listening anyway. I’m watching it hoping that the camera pans down for a shot of the big, fake bewbs, and not because I’m a horny teeanger, but because they’re just so funny.
Joe: See, I don’t think that they stuffed them enough. Also, every scene should just be her running in slow motion – so the work can be fully appreciated.
Sinan: Maybe we should include the gratuitous shower scene.
Joe: Since it’s the only worthwhile scene in either flick, I think we owed it to the people who’ve been suffering through these train-wreck clips. Enjoy, folks!
9: Double Dragon: Your Friendly Neighborhood Abobo
Joe: Hey Double Dragon fans! Did you recognize the wacky, rotund character in the clip? “Shit, no!” you say? That is because they turned Abobo into Pizza The Hut!
Sinan: So, what the fudge is Abobo anyway?
Joe: Half punk, half… bobo?
Sinan: Of course he is.
Joe: I like that the movie ends on such a light-hearted note. After their mangled remains were pulled from the river that Abobo recklessly drove them into, who was laughing? Answer: Me
Sinan: Have they made an Abobo plushie yet?
Joe: Only in my dreams.
8: Street Fighter: The Final Fight
Sinan: So, after an hour of minimal fighting in a film called Street Fighter, everything culminates in the epic finale, where Ryu and Ken square off against Sagat and Vega and Guile battles with the mighty Bison. Unfortunately, what ensues is a sequence of air-punching, air-kicking, overreaction, underreacton, and to top it all off: some mediocre levitation from the big M. For me, Ken’s unconvincing uppercut is my favorite, although Vega’s gymnastics-class forward roll is immense. Of course, the best thing about Street Fighter is Jean Claude Van Damme, so I’m glad this scene features a bit of his incredibly American Guile.
Joe: When the best thing about a film is the work of JCVD, you know you’re in for a treat. I love the fact that one swift kick not only destroys M. Bison’s supposed godhood, but also ends up in a huge explosion for no apparent reason. Am I missing something here? Maybe those TVs were powered by gasoline…
Sinan: It’s a Van Damme kick: logic is irrelevant. But how come it wasn’t a flash kick?
Joe: Um, I think that was supposed to be a Flash Kick. We can’t really complain, as the fact that we’re belittling the better of the two Street Fighter flicks probably means no-one should attempt to adapt this series in any way ever again.
Sinan: True that, sir – true that.
7: Mortal Kombat Annihilation: Animality
Joe: So, for the climactic moments of the rollercoaster ride that is Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, someone decided that we didn’t need a tremendous fistfight that evoked the best aspects of the superlative video game series. Instead, they gave us Altered Beast. What follows is some of the worst CGI ever to seep out of a PC.
Sinan: The money totally went to waste. Yes, the times were the times, but bad CGI is still bad CGI. The fight was really wimpy anyway. It ended with two idiots falling off a wall, and nearly breaking their backs.
Joe: I wish the movie had ended with Ed Boon coming out on to the stage saying “Look guys, I’m sorry. They pulled up to my house with a dump truck full of money and naked women”. Actually, fuck the fatalities and animalities, this movie should’ve ended babality-style. Turn Shao-Kahn into an infant, then transform into the dragon and do his thing. It writes itself.
Sinan: This is why I say people should listen to you more. In a few years time, we’ll be lauding you for having created the best Mortal Kombat movie ever.
Joe: New idea: Female Goro. Seven boobs.
Sinan: Again, you went too far.
Joe: No such thing when it comes to boobs, my friend.
6: Double Dragon: Eat Some Fist, Butthead!
Joe: Ok so this clips begins as Billy and Bimm… I mean Jimmy Lee lose a fighting tournament and start a ruckus. Of course, that’s not why this clip made the list.
Sinan: Hey, Joe – EAT SOME FIST, BUTTHEAD! Oh man, if I was a douche, that would be my catchphrase.
Joe: Note to self… make that my new catchphrase. Anyhow, did you notice that shot at the end with the crowd stampeding towards the camera?
Sinan: Aha… you’re talking about the kid, aren’t you?
Joe: Here’s how it went down: The over-eager karate dude with the camera decided that this scene was going to be his long-awaited big break, so he gave it his all. Of course, that he pulverized a young, innocent lad who was so excited to be in a big Hollywood movie was simply a minor oversight on his way to super-stardom.
Sinan: Hollywood is dog-eat-dog, right? Or in this case dog-eat-puppy.
Joe: We can only hope. Hmm, I wonder if the extras behind them noticed that the floor got awful bumpy…
Sinan: And red…
5: Street Fighter: Bisonopolis
Sinan: Honestly, I’m not sure if this should be on the list or not. It’s either the worst or best thing ever, and right now I’m conflicted. I could watch it over and over, but I don’t know why.
Joe: See, it’s the little details for me. That they carefully planned out where the food court should go clearly shows the effort put into the writing. Also, more real-life buildings should be shaped like logos. The next time I’m on a plane, I want to see 3 city blocks in the shape of a McDonalds M.
Sinan: Do you think he’s getting a hard-on below camera, or am I misreading his look? He just seems so excited by his own nefarious plan.
Joe: Well, you can’t see Zangief in that shot.
Sinan: Eww… Joe, you went too far.
Joe: Sorry, you’re right – it could’ve been Dee-Jay.
4: Mortal Kombat: Johnny Cage vs Lil Goro
Joe: This clip answers the eternal question: Does Goro have four nads? We have all thought it at least once…
Sinan: I feel satisfied now. But hey, punching a guy down there at the start of a fight… not cool, Cage. Not cool.
Joe: I think a kick would’ve sufficed. I’d probably have to amputate my hand after something like that.
Sinan: Good point. So, what I love about this clip is all the preceding grunting. It’s incredible. Probably the purest grunting I’ve ever heard.
Joe: Yet not nearly as pure as the grunts from the theater goers after they realized they’d been gypped out of a real fight between Goro and Cage.
Sinan: What about the surprised grunt, though? “REUGH! …REUGH! …REUGH?”
Joe: Heh, Goro’s four arms of justice can do anything except protect his junk.
3: Super Mario Bros: Mario & Big Bertha
Sinan: So, this clip once again features the real-life representation of heroic icon and potential role-model Mario Mario, played by the distinguished Bob Hoskins. In this clip, in order to retrieve a crystal hanging by a necklace, Bob ‘I’ll Never Be A Sir’ Hoskins engages in disturbingly sexual dancing with a rotund woman covered in spikes before plunging his cheeky face into her deep cleavage. Maybe this is why he’ll never a sir.
Joe: I will admit that it was a step down for Hoskins. From Jessica Rabbit to Bertha?
Sinan: Really, who saw this scene and thought ‘Bingo!’. Who conceived this movie and thought success? I mean, really – the suits, the dress, that punch…
Joe: I think it was the same person that looked at Luigi’s design and said, “I know, John Leguizamo would be perfect!” On the bright side, Mario grabbing a mouth full of obesity has to go down as his lowest low; I can’t think of a single way that they could sink him to lower depths… unless they bring back the Water Pack.
2: Double Dragon: Special Delivery
Joe: So, in Double Dragon, there’s this fight that has the twins running away from a large crowd. Then this scene happens.
Sinan: Clearly this is just a postman aware of the impending electronic age who’s stepping up his game accordingly. Also, high-fiving over a dead postman – nice!
Joe: Developers, please make a video game adaptation of the Double Dragon movie for the Wii, with Wii Motion Plus mailman steering. I would gladly pay $50 to control a plummeting mailman with the sole task of landing on a Dragon. Infinite lives, dozens of clever catchphrases, and the best mailman physics Havok can throw together. Hell, it would be deeper than most Wii games.
Sinan: Man, you have it in for Nintendo today.
Joe: I’ve played Ready 2 Rumble Revolution. These eyes and hands have seen horrors that you can never imagine.
Sinan: Another glowing box quote, courtesy of Joe DeLia.
1: Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life: Lara Punches A Shark
Sinan: In this clip, Lara Croft punches a shark and then rides it. Honestly, that basic description is almost all that needs to be said. The only reason I’m not making a “jump the shark” joke is because it would imply that some part of either of the Tomb Raider movies was good.
Joe: This is definitely the worst clip… I remember seeing this in theaters and being left speechless by it. My reaction was something like, “Wow… that just happened. I really, truly did see that happen.”
Sinan: Just wait until Square-Enix makes the Tomb Raider CGI movie, in which Lara and the shark engage in a pretty but shallow, fast-paced battle on top of a mountain in space. Space Mountain, if you will.
Joe: If you throw in a T-Rex wielding a gun-sword, I’m sold.
Sinan: Sounds like I need to leave this party and go make a pitch.
If you enjoyed this list, you can find more (slightly more serious) discussion from Joe and Sinan on TheGameReviews podcast GameOn: Big Red Potion.