Hollywood Looks for Wins with Game-Based Films

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of CriticalBlast.com or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Del.icio.us icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Game Based Movies

Adapt or die. It’s a maxim that means something different in Hollywood, where movies are adapted from television shows, books, comics, and even older movies.

But adapting a game to a film is an entirely different beast. A book or a television show has an accepted path. It can be shifted or seen from a different angle, but the audience knows what it’s getting going in. A game, by its very nature, is fluid, changing, never the same thing twice. So, when Hollywood goes to adapting a game into a film, they have both a blessing and a curse – a blessing, because they have such a wide array of choices, and a curse, because those choices can so easily lead writers away from producing something that carries the feel of the game.

But that doesn’t mean Hollywood doesn’t keep trying. From videogames to board games to games of chance, the studios keep taking their chances, with varying degrees of success and failure. Here’s a look at just a few of the films in our near future that are game-centric.


While JUMANJI technically wasn’t a board game until after the 1995 Robin Williams hit comedy, the film still hinged on all the familiar concepts of the family board games – trap spaces, special moving rules, and the sudden alterations of fortune that can come at the draw of a card. In the 2017 remake currently playing, JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, the game has been given an upgrade from board to video, sucking in four teenagers to become the digital avatars they chose (played by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan). The rules of the game may have changed, but the goal remains the same: survive Jumanji and get back to the real world!


For a game to be worth watching, it has to have a thrill element. For Molly Bloom, skiing down mountains wasn’t thrilling enough, so she decided to run a poker game – a high-stakes, underground poker game for famous high rollers with deep pockets! When it comes to high tension and thrills, it’s amazing how much Hollywood can draw from a simple game with 52 cards. But for all its glitz and glamour, the allure of poker is that it’s universal. Nearly everyone these days is within easy driving distance to a casino, and video poker can even be played for stakes at restaurants or through online sites.


One of the more complex types of games in terms of versatility of play are the role playing games, ranging from Dungeons and Dragons to murder mystery parties. GAME NIGHT is a comedy that falls into the latter category, finding Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams trying to solve a mystery that they think is just a game – but which has unknown to them become very, very real!


Perhaps one of the most anticipated films among gamers and sci-fi readers, READY PLAYER ONE dives into the world of virtual reality games, and combines them all with the classic scavenger hunt. When a Steve Jobs-esque tycoon dies, he releases a message to all those who have been playing in the virtual world he created – find his hidden Easter egg, and collect his fortune!

As 2018 continues to unroll, more and more game-based films will be unveiled, including another stab at TOMB RAIDER, RAMPAGE, and the final chapter of RESIDENT EVIL.