Books have been adapted into some of the finest films we’ve ever seen, and so, why is it so difficult for video-games to bring about the same? You can bet your ass that the creativity is there, as well as the structure, there is definitely enough available to create a worthwhile screenplay depending on what it is that you are adapting. In the end, it matters what the director or the company involved wants to accomplish. I hope this is something that will be demonstrated in the eventual adaptations for Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, Twisted Metal, and The Last of Us, but those are all far away and there isn’t really any reason to become bent out of shape or worry about any of them. Why are there so many bad video-game movie adaptations? A lot of that has to do with how they tackle it. If you are attempting to make a film about something that already has a well-respected following, you have to be able to embrace the finer parts about it while at the same time enabling it to embrace the cinematic aspects that the movie-industry beckons.
Also, a skilled director will be the difference between something worthwhile and something that is most-obviously meant as a cash-in. Ladies and gentleman, have you met Uwe Boll?
If you haven’t, some others have, in-fact, some have even referred to him as a modern-day Ed Wood. That is, in other words, calling him one of the worst directors ever. Say what you will, Boll’s existence is actually a stroke of genius. By manipulating German laws about filmmaking, Boll has successfully made tons of high-budget films that have been enormous box-office failures. He bought the movie rights to various different video-games, notably Far Cry, Postal, House of the Dead, and Alone in the Dark. He bought the rights quick before everybody realizes how bad he is or by buying them before the video-game is even released, which is what he did with FarCry. I decided to review this film, not because I wanted to bash it but because I reviewed the first video-game and found it for two bucks, so why not?
BloodRayne is a 2005 German fantasy action horror film set in 18th century Romania, directed by Academy Award nominee Uwe Boll, the film stars Kristanna Loken, Michael Madsen, Billy Zane, Meat Loaf, Michelle Rodriguez, and legitimate Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley. Like established, the film is based on the video game of the same name from Majesco. A few known names in this flick, Michelle Rodriguez might not have the most critically acclaimed filmography but she has become one of the most famous female action stars, whereas Ben Kingsley is beloved.
The film’s budget was around $25 million and was only able to draw about $4 million at the box-office. A box-office failure indeed but it was critically disclaimed as well. Loosely based on the video-game series of the same name, it tells the tale of a character named Rayne, a Dhampir and the daughter of the Vampire King Kagan. She was conceived after her mother was raped and also witnessed Kagan killing her mother later on. King Kagan has gathered an army of thralls in an effort to annihilate the human race, meanwhile, Rayne is after him seeking revenge.
Let’s look at the scenery first … the setting depicts the time-period well enough,or at least, I think it looks fine enough to keep it from looking completely horrid. I will say that some of the characters look bad. Ben Kingsley looks hilarious to me, and some of the wigs look especially fake. That is a little bit difficult to forgive considering that the film had enough of a budget where things like that should have been taken care of. As far as the acting is concerned, there is a lot of capable actors in this film. While I can’t really pinpoint one actor as being the one that ruined it for the rest, I can say that none of them ever felt too inspired throughout it all. The scenes with Meatloaf admittedly come across as the stupidest aspects of the film. Ben Kingsley actually said before that the only reason he did this film is because he wanted an excuse to dress up like a vampire. He did do that, albeit poorly. Kingsley eventually did do a role in a much better video-game adaptation for Prince of Persia by the way…
The directing and cinematography doesn’t really do any favors for the actors either. I remember a couple of times where I could only faintly hear what the actors were saying, or I felt like I wasn’t seeing what I was meant to be seeing. The dialogue is absolutely atrocious, I remember toward the beginning of the film there was a scene where Rayne is given a necklace with some ‘sentimental’ value and it just comes off cheesy as hell. Scoring for this one is also kind-of ridiculous. I never really mention score all that much, some films have it so well that they are worth the mention but other-wise they are done averagely and don’t leave enough of an impression on me to talk about in a review. This film, however, I distinctively remember stopping and thinking, this music really adds absolutely nothing to the scene, in-fact, this music actually makes it worse.
BloodRayne makes certain to include an ample amount of nudity to work with, all of which doesn’t come off very organic or nature, Uwe Boll actually hired prostitutes for a scene with Meatloaf in an effort to save production costs. There’s a sex-scene with Rayne as well, which is neither here nor there. I can’t really say anything about them somehow ‘demeaning’ the character since the makers of the second BloodRayne video-game actually took out a spread in PlayBoy for the character but I will say that the scene seemed awkward and unnecessary. The scene didn’t establish much of an underlying romantic storyline, in-fact, after that scene, the whole thing is sort-of dropped without any notice at all whatsoever. The action-scenes suck as well. There aren’t a whole lot of them, but for an action-movie, every one of the scenes felt slowed down or too improvised to appreciate.
I feel like one of the most expected criticisms to offer about a video-game movie is whether or not the characters and the story take enough from the source material. Rayne’s character absolutely nothing like how she is in the video-game and of course, most of these themes are completely allover but I suppose that there’s some certain elements that can be seen throughout it. The film doesn’t really develop any of the characters though, by the end of it, I don’t believe I really learned anything at all about the characters. Rayne’s a vampire-human … thing, but who are all of these fellas. They establish titles, like what this character does, but they never actually tell us who the character is, and that’s the type of development that needs to be seen for a film like this to work.
By the end of it all, BloodRayne seems adamantly intent on accomplishing absolutely nothing. The film doesn’t have the action-scenes to make itself an action-movie, the acting isn’t inspired and the storytelling is even worse, there are about a million-and-one parts that didn’t need to be in there, and the movie simply comes off as terrible. What’s funny is that it was better than what I expected, which is one of the worst movies of all-time, this film is bad and lazily slopped together but it doesn’t at all meet those standards. BloodRayne is just a bad movie and there is nothing really to take from it besides that.