If I could go back in time and tell early ‘90s me that the Sega video game I loved was going to be adapted into one of the top 3 movies of the year 2020—and that, sorry, there still aren’t flying cars by then—Little Erika wouldn’t have believed Present-Day Me on either count.
But it’s true. Sonic the Hedgehog has raked in more than $142.7 million since opening last month and stands behind only Bad Boys for Life and 1917 on the list, making it the most successful family-friendly movie of the year to date.
It got me thinking about other movies that are based on video games (both real and imagined). Here are 9 that immediately came to mind.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level – While the original Jumanji from 1995 was about a fictional (and magical) board game, the rebooted franchise follows teenagers who find themselves transported into a digital version of the game … and into the adult avatar-bodies of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan! The Next Level, which just hit the Box and On Demand, finds the foursome returning to the game — only to discover the rules have drastically changed.
Rampage – Johnson makes the list again as the star of this adaptation of a beloved — but admittedly kind of random — late ‘80s video game. His character teams up with a genetic engineer (Naomie Harris) to try and rein in a gigantic mutant wolf, gorilla and crocodile while also bringing down the evil CEO responsible for the chaos.
Ready Player One – This Steven Spielberg thriller is based on a book (which I loved), but its dystopian-future-set plot revolves around a virtual reality game in which players — including our protagonist, teenager Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) — are competing to find a hidden Easter Egg that will give them the keys to the entire VR realm. There are countless nods to real video games from decades past, and you can’t help but wonder if one day we all might be walking around in a world like Wade’s.
The Angry Birds Movie and The Angry Birds Movie 2 – Yep, they made not one, but two animated movies based on this popular Rovio app. And while I can’t lie and say I would actually recommend the first one, the sequel was truly hilarious (for both kids and adults) and I enjoyed it immensely. That was due in no small part to great voicework by Jason Sudeikis, Rachel Bloom, Leslie Jones, Josh Gad and sooooo many more A-list celebs.
Tomb Raider (2018), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life – And finally we come to the butt-kicking archaeologist heroine of yet another popular video game that originated in the ‘90s (they just don’t make ‘em like they used to!). Angelina Jolie originally played the title role in the first two adaptations, and then Alicia Vikander stepped in for the reboot. With all three you’re going to get Indiana-Jones-like adventure and villains … and a whole lot of, you know, tombs.
What’s your favorite video-game-centric movie?