By Noah Kaufman
Updated March 13, 2014
Credit: / Alamy

He may always be Jesse Pinkman to us, but Aaron Paul stars as a street racer in Need for Speed, which opens tomorrow. It’s based on the popular video game, and while we'll remain hopeful, it isn’t getting the best press so far. We thought this would be a good time to look back at some other ill-advised video-game adaptations.

Street Fighter

Is it possible to make a story based on a button smasher with no discernable dialogue (no, hadouken is not a word) last for 102 minutes? Apparently it is. And for the record, Hollywood producers, if you’re going to pick someone to play an American military hero, you should consider someone who doesn’t have a Belgian accent. Sorry, JCVD.

Mortal Kombat

If you liked Jean-Claude Van Damme as an all-American soldier, you will love Christopher Lambert as a vaguely Chinese demigod. And here’s a statistic that will blow your mind: This movie made more than $122 million.

Super Mario Brothers

Super Mario Brothers is perhaps the pinnacle of bad video-game movies. The entire premise of this movie rests on the idea that there is an alternative universe full of dinosaurs that hate plumbers. But don’t worry, if you buy into that, there are still 87 other things that will thoroughly confuse you.


Doom was one of the most revolutionary video games of all time—and one of the most uncomfortable movies of all time. It wasn’t bad dialogue or sketchy plot (although it certainly had those). It was the choice to force the audience to watch so much of it from that first-person perspective. I know that’s what the game looked like, but come on, the budget was $60 million, they could have afforded a couple of extra camera angles.

Double Dragon

I actually didn’t know there was a Double Dragon movie until just recently, but one does in fact exist and it is boasting a zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes. This is the least negative description I could find: “In all, the film is, in the words of my 11-year-old son, ‘really lame.’”