In the lead-up to the theatrical release of ‘Rampage,’ there’s been a lot of talk about the so-called “video game curse.” That is to say, the fact that movies based on video games have an unfortunate tendency to (in charitable terms) suck. Why is that? Well, it varies from movie to movie of course. Sometimes they deviate too much from the source material to capture the game’s je ne sais quoi (think the ‘Resident Evil’ films). Other times they’re directed by Uwe Boll.
But there are plenty of video game movies that come and go without generating this much talk of the “video game curse.” In fact, one of them arrived in theaters just a few weeks ago – that being the Alicia Vikander-led ‘Tomb Raider’. So what sets ‘Rampage’ apart? More than likely, that would be the film’s star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And speaking to Total Film, Johnson seems fully aware of why his involvement invites all this talk of curses:
“I lived the video game curse because I made ‘Doom’. And ‘Doom’ was a movie based off a very popular video game and was incredibly unsuccessful. So I lived the curse, and I experienced it.”
But Johnson was quick to note that his experience with the video game curse means he has some idea of how to combat it. First and foremost, he insists that you need to make sure that everything is, in his words, “buttoned up” with regard to the script, the realization of the creatures, and so on. Of course, you could say the same about any movie, but let’s not pretend that studios have always given game adaptations the time, resources, and care they need to succeed. Just as important, though, is the film’s tone. Johnson explains that his experience with ‘Doom’ meant that it was a priority for him to “[make] sure that there was a winking charm and humor in ‘Rampage’ that, for me personally, was not in ‘Doom’.”
Will this approach be enough to thwart the curse? We’ll find out when ‘Rampage’ hits theaters later this week.
Directed by Brad Peyton and loosely based on the classic arcade game of the same name, ‘Rampage’ stars Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Ackerman, Joe Manganiello, Jake Lacey, Marley Shelton, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The film is set for release on April 13, 2018.