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22 Oct 2021

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Seven Movies Whose Storyline Is Set In the World of a Video Game
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Seven Movies Whose Storyline Is Set In the World of a Video Game

The unexpected hit of the summer season was the action-comedy “Free Guy” with Ryan Reynolds, who played an NPC from a video game – a spectacular and uncomplicated blockbuster, which, because of the pandemic, has not been in our cinemas for a long time. It especially appealed to people who played a lot at the best online casino NZ and video games during this lockdown. On this occasion, we decided to recall other movies about the adventures of people in the world of computer games, which you can watch at home right now.

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)

In the third installment of the “Children of Spies” family-spy franchise, young special agent Juni Cortez finally does what a normal teenager should do: in addition to working at his own detective agency, he spends most of his free time playing video games.

But the innocent arcade Game Over, for which the guy has been saving up for a long time, in fact, turns out to be the brainchild of the mysterious Cybergenius – an obvious threat to peace and tranquility of civilization. One of the first victims of the villain is a sister Carmen Junie, who fell into virtual reality and is doomed to stay there forever. Unless, of course, no one goes after her in the game and passes it to the coveted fifth level.

Experiencing immersion in a fantastic virtual world director Robert Rodriguez tried to make the most spectacular – to help, among other things, came and popular at the time of 3D technology, the presence of which any self-respecting movie had to declare right in the title. Another thing is that the game itself does not feel like the brainchild of game designers with its clear mechanics and laws, but rather just another location for the adventures of young spies.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) 

If in the original film and the book “Jumanji” the characters found themselves in the world of board games, in the modernized parts of the franchise with Dwayne Scala Johnson the characters are sent to a much more relevant, but still full of dangers virtual reality. In it, the most ordinary high school students become archaeologists, cartographers, and special forces fighters on a great mission to save the world from the curse.

Heroes have to get used to the rules of the game: keep in mind the number of remaining lives, learn the strengths and weaknesses of their characters (down to the fear of mosquito bites) and apply them in time. Each stage of the adventure is a new level of play, a new location in a specific setting, and the story, in the good old tradition, teens learn from the obliging NPCs.

The movie, like any good arcade game, perfectly entertains the viewer, at the right moments turning into a spectacular attraction with wild animals, helicopters, battles, and exciting running through rugged terrain. And when you need a break, the personal charm of the blockbuster’s excellent cast of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan comes to the fore.

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

In most of the pictures on our list, the heroes get into games willy-nilly and usually strive to get out of the virtual world into the native and familiar real world as soon as possible. Ralph from the cartoon of the same name has no such opportunity because he is a playable character and dreams of a completely different: to become finally not a villain, and all the favorite positive hero.

To achieve recognition, the giant needs a gold medal, which can be obtained for the passage of any other 2D game characters of his native slot machine. So Ralph finds himself first in the shooter Hero’s Duty and then in the racing simulator Sugar Rush, learning by experience all the features of these game genres, unusual for a character accustomed to the simple role of an inconsiderate pest methodically destroying a house under construction.

By the way, after the success of the movie the Disney company has released a browser version of Sugar Rush, available to all comers. Now gamers can experience the adventures of Ralph and his girlfriend Vanilope and recreate the dream of any novice racer – to drive a race car with wind on the track of cookies, candy, and other sweets.

Ready Player One (2018)

In the Crisis States of 2045, people have to escape the unpleasant reality of the video game OASIS, which features both Overwatch characters and Mechagodzilla, but no hint of the pre-apocalyptic everyday life of the real world. For Wade Watts, this is more than escapism: he plans to pass the legendary “Anorak Quest”, which guarantees $500 billion and complete control over the entire game universe. All you need to do is explore OASIS, finding the “Easter eggs” and clues left by the game’s creator – in short, a kind of “Fort Boyard” on maximal settings.

Of course, Watts is far from alone in pursuit of potential power. Thousands of “Easterling” hunters from around the world are chasing the mysterious keys – among them are evil corporate uncles obsessed with taking OASIS in their fists.

And while the characters are moving the film’s uncomplicated plot to its logical denouement, the viewer can enjoy a real geek carnival at its finest: references to iconic pop culture works – from Adventure for the Atari 2600 and Pac-Man to Hello Kitty and the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies – appear on screen more often than in Frame 25.

Arcade (1993)

As dangerous as the adventures of movie characters in video games are, they often look so fascinating and spectacular that the viewer just wants to imagine himself in the shoes of the picture’s characters. But there are exceptions, such as the sci-fi horror film Arcade, whose plot no sane person would want to get into.

This find from 1993 begins like any other immersive virtual reality movie: there’s a group of teenagers fascinated by video games, there’s a cherished arcade machine with a revolutionary VR novelty that’s sure to draw gamers into its world. Except that the heroes don’t find themselves in the thick of incredible adventures, but straight into the prison of a villain – a formerly unfortunate boy murdered by his birth mother, whose cells the developers used to create their game.

In an attempt to save their friends, the protagonists find themselves in a teenage horror version of the classic “Tron” – with rather poor graphics and far from a flawless plot edge, but full of the angular charm of that very B-Movie from the nineties.

The Gamer (2009)

There are those who, with enviable regularity, link any violent tragedy in the world to the negative impact of video games. They say gamers shoot virtual bots first and then take them to the streets. The thriller “Gamer” expands on the radical idea, with people literally playing other unfortunate people, pitting their “characters” against each other in an arena in a bloody first-person shooter. Strictly speaking, the concept of Project Assassins is much closer to a crazy reality show. From video games here, only the possibility of influencing events in the most sophisticated ways thanks to a clever nanodevice.

The hypothetical remorse of bloodthirsty gamers should be mitigated by the fact that the participants of the battles in the arena are not ordinary everyday people, but convicted, even if not always justly, like Gerard Butler’s character, criminals, for whom this reality show is the only chance to get freedom by winning in 30 fights. However, this does not negate the fact that the world of the film is literally permeated by violence, living with it and reveling in it – we want to believe that our Earth is still far away from this.

Pixels (2015)

Man, as a rule, has no place in video games at all. And characters from virtual reality are better off never being on Earth: the laws in our worlds are too different.

The cheerful attraction “Pixels” is a perfect illustration of this. The aliens who intercept an Earth probe with video game footage take everything personally and consider it a declaration of war, sending back to Earth their army of robots who look and feel like the same characters from the arcades of the eighties. Donkey Kong throwing exploding barrels, Pac-Man chasing cars in an eternal attempt to eat something – no modern city is simply not ready for this.

But for the blockbuster heroes played by Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage and Kevin James, the old geeks of the last century, this bacchanal seems almost like Christmas. And their skills and professorships in vintage console arcade games become the only way to stop the mock pixel apocalypse. Watching this is a pleasure for anyone who also managed to catch these classic video games and also spent their carefree youth on them.

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