Between cinema and video games: five films to recover

Movies inspired by the world of video games often have a bad reputation. The pre-exit hype is very high and expectations are rarely met. However, there are five video game movies that we bet will amaze you.

1) Free Guy – Hero for game

Streaming on Disney+, Free Guy – Hero for game is a film that really has something to say about the world of video games.

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a non-player character of Free City, a city or a video game, depending on your point of view, where the most normal thing that can happen is for someone to hijack a helicopter. Guy spends each day the same as the previous one and is fully satisfied with his routine life. One day he comes into possession of a player character’s glasses, puts them on and a world opens up for him. So he decides to become the hero of the game and fight to save the video game against the creators who want to shut it down forever.

Free Guy – Hero for game use powerful humor to create a metaphor between virtual world and real world in which the taking of awareness and position is able to trigger great changes.

2) Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Don’t you know Pokémon? Or are you great experts? This film satisfies everyone, contains several quotes and a good number of references, but is able to excite even those who have a marginal knowledge of the famous Japanese video game.

In the town of Ryme City, Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) works in the insurance business. He once dreamed of becoming a Pokémon trainer, but due to a difficult family situation, he lost his grit. Father of him, Harry Goodman, brilliant private investigator, is mysteriously disappeared. Tim decides to investigate and finds himself having a curious helper, his father’s pokémon, or Detective Pikachu. The two following the clues soon discover a dangerous conspiracy.

The Pokémon are beautifully animated, looking almost real, with expressive eyes and fur that you can see every single hair.

In video games Pokémon are all the same, in the film instead every “poket-monster” demonstrates unique features. Harry’s Pikachu himself isn’t just another Pikachu, but his story and character make him special.

3) Ready Player One

The film, based on the bestseller of the same name by Ernest Cline, is set in 2045. The world is about to collapse, people live in dilapidated shacks stacked on top of each other, everywhere there is misery. Humanity takes refuge in OASIS, a virtual reality created by James Halliday (Mark Rylance). Before dying, the eccentric programmer declares that his legacy, i.e. control of the game, will go to whoever manages to find thehidden easter egg in the video game and to win all the challenges. Wade (Tye Sheridan) has always been a great admirer of Halliday and decides to enter the race.

The film does not condemn the human need to escape reality, pollution, poverty and crisis. Indeed, the director Steven Spielberg communicates a human understanding for those who escape from a world devoid of hope.

Ready Player One is a film born to entertain, but to very topical. On the one hand, today there is more and more talk of the metaverse, it is possible to have a virtual reality viewer at home and companies are investing more and more in these technologies. On the other hand unfortunately our planet is at risk due to pollution, poverty is increasing and we are experiencing an energy crisis. So, are we still that far from a VR world like the one depicted in the film?

4) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a hilarious comedy based on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), 23, grew up playing 8-bit video games and plays bass in an indie-rock band. When he meets Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a rebellious and beautiful New Yorker, Scott falls in love with her. The only “little” obstacle to their relationship is his seven ex: Scott will have to defeat them to win the girl’s heart.

The battles between Scott and each of Ramona’s exes are made with one style halfway between comics and videogames. The choreographies of these scenes are unreal and not very serious. For example, when, during one of the duels, Scott is kicked hard in the chest, he flies through the air, away from the camera, getting smaller and smaller, before crashing to the ground.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World it is definitely a quirky movie which does not align with conventional narrative structures, rather follows a series of game levels where the watchword is comedy.

5) Jumanji – Welcome to the jungle

Inspired by the 1995 film directed by Joe Johnston, Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle tells the story of four high school students who, during detention, find a console cartridge and decide to play with it. When the videogame is started it sucks them inside. Each of them takes on the appearance of the character he had chosen. The nerd has become a muscular and tall archaeologist (Dwayne Johnson), the nonconformist girl is in the role of a ruthless and sensual killer (Karen Gillan), the prom queen turned middle-aged cartographer (Jack Black) and the athlete is a nice zoologist (Kevin Hart). To be able to get out of the video game, the protagonists will have to pass all the levels without losing all their lives and bring an enchanted jewel back to the top of a mountain.

The contrast between the characters in the video game and the characters of the players who are within them immediately makes you smile. This bizarre situation also leads us to reflect on how the appearance we have can influence our attitude, making us little or overly confident and how in the end the personality both what it makes us ourselves.

The film is funny and ironic. It re-proposes the 90s film in a more modern key without losing its identity and remaining faithful to it in spirit.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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