Perhaps it’s prophetic that with “Pixels” storming into theatres this weekend, like a horde of hungry Pac Men all-too-eager to devour what’s in our wallet, a new supercut highlighting the best and worst of video-game-to-movie adaptations has now landed online. Adam Sandler’s latest celebration of perpetually arrested development is not itself based on any pre-existing property, or even one game in particular: his movie is a sort of “Ghostbusters” riff, whereby a gang of ne’er-do-wells (Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad… Peter Dinklage?) are summoned to protect New York City from the nefarious likes of Donkey Kong and Q*bert. Yet, the attempt to successfully translate the sensation of an immersive, first person video game to the silver screen is an entirely different process altogether. This new video cut, titled “Ready Player One,” looks at some of the best and worst of the bunch, leaving us to wonder where exactly this very specific genre could go from here.
The films on display here run the gamut, from the lamentable, (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” the “Resident Evil” flicks) the really guilty pleasures (“Mortal Kombat,” sorry internet) and the admittedly slim “this-could-have-been-better” file (“Max Payne,” a painfully bad movie that could have been a bullet ballet in the vein of vintage John Woo, and also the rare example of the game definitely being better than the movie). The one thing almost all these movies have in common is a typically badass hero(ine) who must, at one point during the proceedings, run down a hallway brandishing twin guns, preferably while being chased by some freakish alien beast of unknown galactic origin. Thankfully, the video highlights some choice scenes from Edgar Wright’s dazzling, underrated “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,” a film that draws a great deal from gamer lore and also uses the prototypical video game narrative as a metaphor for the emotional and romantic games of adolescence. Set to a gamer-friendly, pulse-pounding electro beat, it’s a neat watch if you’re into this sort of thing, and it’s short and sweet at just under two minutes.
Check out the short clip below. “Pixels” is in theaters now.