I am an advocate for promoting selective video game stories into movies with the serious tenor that they deserve. Considering that the road has been paved by Uwe Boll’s land mines, it is not surprising that the Resident Evil movie saga is about as good as it seems to get for appeasing the fans of videogame-to-movie adaptations. It is going to take the prowess of an established visionary who understands the customer base targeted to jump start video games into movie glory. Such a person has been sought out with Avi Arad, best known for producing hit films such as Iron Man (2008) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). Arad showed Hollywood that comic themed movies can be phenomenally successful when grit coats over the cheese. He is wielding that philosophy to the video gaming franchise and his first projects were revealed as of late. Among the list of titles that Arad is producing, is Hideo Kojima’s masterpiece, Metal Gear Solid (1998).
Metal Gear Solid is a Konami produced game that was exclusively for Sony’s Playstation gaming console. The story revolves around a soldier name Snake who should not be mistaken with Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken, the obvious inspirational mold. A terrorist organization has procured a nuclear disposal facility. With the newly acquired capabilities, the terrorists have threatened an atomic assault on the United States if the US government does not relinquish the preserved remains of a biologically advanced super soldier name Big Boss. Snake is tasked to deploy to the facility, kick ass, rescue hostages, and smoke a cig from the flames of that which he lays to rest. Standard action goodness on the surface but as the tale progresses, it unravels a plot laden with more holes than Octomom’s condoms.
Hideo Kojima (the creative mind behind the Metal Gear Solid series) once wanted to work with movies but fate dealt him to become a video game designer. It is a good career for a person who has demonstrated an aptitude for providing quality interactive products, when you can actually play them. Kojima’s passion for movies is evident in his games, very frustratingly so. As technology permitted gradually expanding space for full motion video (FMV), Kojima must had taken this as an invitation to fill that space up with more arbitrary animation with each new installment of his beloved Metal Gear Solid series. To me, it felt like I was already watching a damn movie that sometimes would break the monotony by including a few minutes of actual game play. As a result, there is an established template for a story that leaves little to the imagination for how it can be scripted for the big screen. That is, until you realize that Kojima is out of his fucking mind and that the Metal Gear Solid story spirals into a convoluted mess. Chock full of so many ending twists that it would make M. Night Shyamalan blush, as Snake’s character transitions from covert superstar to a clown who is the center stage of a confusing circus. Will this madness carry over to the movie rendition of Metal Gear Solid? It is difficult to say. Arad’s movies have been impressively faithful to their source material. If Metal Gear Solid receives that same treatment, then let the perplexity commence! Otherwise, some crafty editing is needed to carve a solid story out of a block of silly putty.
As with any reimagining of a series, it is difficult to ascertain what the final results will provide. There could be something quite imaginative in the process that delivers a pleasant surprise. I can’t fathom Metal Gear Solid being the viable choice for redefining video games as having a significant adult fan base. The title is just ingrained with too much silly shit. I am curious to see which elements are borrowed or excluded when the movie is released, lest we sit through an 8 minute sequence of a kid frying a fucking egg [as seen in Metal Gear Solid 4]. God of War should have been championed for the big screen but that is just wishful thinking. Despite my grievances, I sincerely hope that the Metal Gear Solid movie wins over audiences in a big way. There are many talented writers who have provided their services to adapting video game screenplays. Stories that at times have trumped most of Hollywood’s best summer blockbusters. These stories deserve to be told to audiences who don’t play games or own the consoles that the media is featured on. Metal Gear Solid just may be the silver lining to that opportunity, if handled correctly. Then again, even if the movie bombs, not like it will stop Avi Arad. The abomination that is Ghost Rider (2007) didn’t stop Arad from producing the sequel of Satan, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011). Proving that the only thing more astonishing than a flaming skeleton biker, is that Nicholas Cage is still allowed to star in movies.