Hollywood tried to adapt many video games into film and failed miserably. I mean look at the movies in the 90s like Super Mario and Double Dragon, it is horrible and it made me cringe while vomit rushes through my throat in horror. Then you got DOA, Tekken, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat movies, all are complete garbage. The one that really hit me was the film adaptation of Final Fantasy. What the hell was that crap? There is no hope in video game movies. None captured the true essence that made all of these video games so enjoyable. Up until I saw Ace Attorney.
If you don’t know, “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” is a hit video game by Capcom in the early 2000 that spanned various sequels and spin-off. It is a Court room drama game, and it is played more like a visual novel. It is about a rookie defense attorney, Phoenix Wright, who has various court cases that leads into a bigger conspiracy mystery with a lot of twist and turns. It is a fun game if you like courtroom action and mystery. Just go play it and you’ll find an appreciation with the live action film “Ace Attorney.”
The Ace Attorney film has to be one of the best video game films ever. It succeeds in capturing the overall mood, look, theme and the plot of the “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” game while making it a full feature film. I played the video game years ago and totally forgot how the story goes, but with this film, all the memories came rushing back because it is just like the video game. There were changes with the story of course, they had to fit all the cases in a 135 minutes film, but they focused on the main plot, which made the video game a hit back then, and made this film exciting and engaging.
The visuals is what made this movie an awesome video game adaptation, it looks just like the video game hands down. And it doesn’t take itself seriously either. Yes, at first, it may look silly, with the wigs and outfits, but they are trying to match the look of the video game, which they did perfectly. I mean going from the anime look to a real human look might be tough, but they did it, and they did it really well. Plus, the acting made it believable too. The actors did their part to make their characters as believable as possible and mirrored the video game counterparts. It was just perfect all around.
To me it is the perfect video game movie. I enjoyed it til the end and it made me want to play the game and its sequels again. But to others who didn’t play the videogame, they might be turned off with the odd characters and silly visuals. But that’s how it is since the game is pretty much very silly yet serious at time. That’s the art of it. Check it out if you’ve enjoyed the game, I know you’ll get a kick out of it. If not, play the game or watch it with an open mind, it’s an awesome movie.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the movie was directed by the cult fan favorite Takashi Miike, who directed various Japanese gory horror and action movies. It was odd at first that a man of his caliber, who excels in visuals, mood and themes would do a video game movie, but heck, he did it with flying colors. You rule Miike!