[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Double Dragon: The Movie

January 12th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

Double Dragon Movie Ad - 1994Scott Wolf fans rejoice!

In the early ’90s, I recall being excited when I heard that a Double Dragon movie was in the works. But after that, the film kinda fell off the radar until I ran across it in a video rental store. I never did rent it, but I’m guessing it was pretty terrible. Am I right?

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, November 1994 ]

Discussion topic of the week: What’s the best video game movie movie based on a video game of all time?

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41 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Double Dragon: The Movie”

  1. Jarson Says:

    Well, without specifying which came first (movie or game) I would have to say Tron.

  2. Jim Ulrich Says:

    Benj, words cannot describe the crappiness that is Double Dragon: The Movie. It had the T-1000 with a bleached blonde goatee.

  3. Skywyze Says:

    Yes, “Tron” rocked. After the obvious though, I would recommend “Hitman”.

  4. Kitsunexus Says:

    Video game movies are usually better as anime, but as for live-action? Well if you want just a good movie, Super Mario Brothers is the best, because it’s awesome if you pretend it has nothing to do with the Mario games. However, if you want a good movie that’s also faithful to the source, the first Mortal Kombat movie is my pick.

  5. medarch Says:

    TRON is easily the best. Doom had a chance to be good, but they blew it.

  6. Brian Says:

    TRON isn’t a “video game movie” in the same way as the others mentioned. Like WarGames, TRON involves games in the subject of the film, but neither movie is based on a game or games.

    It’s just not a fair comparison. 🙂

  7. Benj Edwards Says:

    Yes, let me refine what I meant: I was asking about movies based on existing video game properties. In that case, Tron doesn’t count, but it sure is a cool movie.

  8. t3hfr3ak Says:

    Silent Hill… no ADVENT CHILDREN!

  9. JackSoar Says:

    My vote goes to either Advent Children or Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. As far as live action films go…I really can’t think of anything that deserves a superlative.

  10. Kitsunexus Says:


    No wait, I didn’t forget about it. It’s a terrible movie, the only good part is the Black Mages soundtrack and the Sephiroth fight. The rest is terribly acted (in both languages) “character development” with the most ridiculous plotline ever. It makes me mad to see people complaining about MGS4’s crazy plot but to praise AC for the same thing. Not to mention that the dub adds a certain Christian subtext that IS NOT AT ALL THERE IN THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE VERSION.

    If you just watch the Sephiroth fight, that is the best VG movie ever, maybe even best CGI movie ever. But with all the other scenes, well…blech.

  11. UCFMRE Says:

    I would have to say that Silent Hill and Mortal Kombat were two of my favorite video game-based movies.

  12. Twoflower Says:

    Silent Hill is very underrated. They didn’t really adhere to the canon, but they did emulate the FEEL of the games very well from the atmosphere to the themes to the style of the ending.

    Mortal Kombat similarly played loose with the game’s “story” but had exactly the right feel, some really well done character interplay, and was cheesy in the best possible ways.

    Advent Children, however, was a discombobulated mess of fan service and incomprehensible writing. It exists only to scratch an itch for FF7 fans to see the story continue, even though it doesn’t carry the story in a direction anyone was expecting (or desired to see). It’s good eye candy and I’m looking forward to the blu-ray version, but I can’t call it a good movie.

  13. Silencewordsaway Says:

    I thought “Double Dragon” was an awesomely bad movie and actually really hilarious. If you are into watching hilariously bad movies, then this one is totally worth it (if i remember correctly). Forget about the game when watching it (just like the Super Mario Brothers movie, which i also thought was bad enough to enjoy). It is super 90’s and worth at least getting inebriated with some friends and watching, if someone happens to come across it. Dystopian futurism only this all-star cast can bring you. Scott Wolf, Mark Dacascos, Alyssa Milano, and Robert Patrick to name a few.

    As far as the best goes, I would say the Resident Evil trilogy was good… The third one not so much… heh. But i haven’t seen Advent Children or Silent Hill or Mortal Combat et al.

  14. Adam Says:

    Oh God, Double Dragon was terrible beyond words.

  15. Layne Says:

    I’ve always rated movies based on my preconceptions. Example: Dark Knight was hyped as being awesome, so by the time I actually watched it, I was a little disappointed — good, but not as good as was hyped.

    With that in mind, I don’t normally expect much from live-action movies based on games. In that respect, they are usually better than I expect (well, the occassional one that “meets” my expectations). So, since I can’t really name a best or worst, I just figured I’d start naming as many as I could think of (some are “free” based on the discussions).

    Double Dragon
    Mortal Kombat (mutliple movies)
    Street Fighter
    Silent Hill
    Super Mario
    Resident Evil
    Advent Children
    Wing Commander
    Dead or Alive
    (all I could remember)

    Well….I could just post this link instead: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_based_on_video_games

  16. Layne Says:

    I think the Tomb Raider movies were pretty good for what they were worth. They haven’t gotten much discussion so far.

  17. Layne Says:

    Oh, and one more thing. Do a search for the College Humor (site is NSFW) short videos that were done about the Street Fighter characters “where are they now”. I think it was 9 video’s about 15 minutes each. It was pretty funny.

  18. Kitsunexus Says:

    It’s not “where are they now” it’s Street Fighter The Later Years, and that series kicks SO much butt!

  19. JackSoar Says:

    I’m a little bit surprised at the Advent Children criticism. Sure, it relies on familiarity with the original game to fully appreciate, but just consider the style and technology utilized. I’d love to see more usage of that type of CGI in Western movies, rather than the barrage of cartoonish animal films we get. If you played through FFVII (despite the poor English translation), the plot is fairly easy to comprehend, and even if the direction they went in was not expected, I think it does further the story. I felt Cloud’s story was given closure, and his character was well-developed in that respect.

    But more to the point, the film was made not by film makers, but game makers. They knew how to tell a video game’s story in a cinematic way, so they used that experience, which is different from what actual film makers would have done. I think that is a plus in this case. And compared to the truly abysmal Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, it is nothing short of brilliant. But de gustibus non est disputandum, I guess.

  20. Kitsunexus Says:

    Warning, the above was posted by a FANBOI.

  21. idisjunction Says:

    Warning: The above was posted by a moron who adds no value to a discussion.

  22. t3hfr3ak Says:

    ok ok calm down. Kitsune, you can’t just say it was posted by a fan boy because for one, he is correct. you need to have played the game through to fully appreciate the Advent Children movie and to understand everything regarding the REUNION and to even understand who the hell Rufus, Reno, Rude, Tseng and Elaina were. I mean people watching the movie without any knowledge of the game probably just thought they were morons. on that note, anyone who has seen the movie without ever playing the game probably would never understand ANYTHING in the movie. especially the Aeris and Zack scenes. And I also do believe Cloud was given closure in this movie. ok enough trolling here lol. play nice

  23. Kitsunexus (posing as idisjunction) Says:

    No t3hfr3ak I was just joking in my previous post. Advent Children is terrible. You should apologize to Kitsune. Are you even part of the staff?

  24. Kitsunexus Says:

    No, idis, he’s not, but it sure seems like he wants to be, doesn’t it! :3

  25. Kitsunexus (posing as t3hfr3ak) Says:

    OK, Kitsune. I am sorry. I need to learn when you are joking or serious, sometimes it is hard to tell lol!

  26. Kitsunexus Says:

    And as I have just figured out, Redwolf now figuring out, and idis and freak will maybe figure out unless the above is deleted, THERE IS A MAJOR ANONYMITY FLAW IN THE COMMENT SYSTEM! :3

  27. Benj Edwards Says:

    I don’t see any flaws, but any more off-topic comments will be deleted.

    Does anybody else have thoughts on the best video game movies?

  28. Kitsunexus Says:

    Hey benj, the flaw is that after t3hfreak’s post telling me to calm down, that was all me switching my name between idis, fr3ak and myself. :3

  29. jabo2099 Says:

    How about Cloak and Dagger? I loved that movie as a kid. I think the game came first, it was featured in the movie, and I remember seeing it in the arcade.

    I use to have that board game too. Lots of fun.

  30. t3hfr3ak Says:

    lol RW… look at the comment i apparently made before this, not me. and I still say either Silent Hill or Advent Children

  31. rms Says:

    Three words: Super Mario Brothers.

    Come on…Dennis Hopper as King Koopa? Oh man…how can you go wrong?

  32. JayP Says:

    The inverse to the question: Uwe Boll. Pick a good one from -his- body of work.

  33. Benj Edwards Says:

    It seems like everybody used to hate the Super Mario Bros movie, but it now seems to have grown in cult status over time for its sheer weirdness. Maybe I should watch it again — I haven’t seen it since the mid-1990s.

  34. kitsune by proxy Says:

    And the fonts look like they could have been Print Shop Pro standards. >_

  35. Geoff V. Says:

    Could you think of a better possible adaptation than Duke Nukem? Imagine the violence, the language, the pipe bombs, the strippers…

    Nevermind, they would just screw it up like Doom.

    “Come get some”

  36. XCALBR8 Says:

    “Cloak and Dagger” is by far the best movie. As far as fictitious videogame related short films go I’d have to elect “The Bishop of Battle”. This was a short film feature on the 80’s classic horror flick “Nightmares”.

  37. Marachon Says:

    My vote is for Mortal Kombat. That movie was Boss-Aussum.

  38. Scops Says:

    To get an idea of how bad Double Dragon was, consider this line,”Hey, it’s the Lee brothers, Ug- and Home-!” It’s unfortunate, Mark Dacascos is a great martial artist, he’s just been in some BAD movies.

    Regarding the best movie, none of them are any good when you hold them up to decent mainstream films, but if you’re just looking for entertainment value, Mortal Kombat and Tomb Raider are at the top of the live-action pile.

  39. Arimack Says:

    I have to say that the original Resident Evil Movie is my alltime favorite video game movie. I think the next two Resident Evil Movies sucked but the first one was awesome.

  40. James Says:

    The Mario movie. It’s so terrible but a brilliant “realistic” vision of the Mushroom Kingdom. Too predictable to stand on its own but kinda fun to watch.
    The same could be said for Advent Children. It doesn’t really do anything and just circles around in its own mythos for much too long and is nothing more than fan service. But AC was just dull and uninteresting even as a long time FFVII fan I could barely sit through it. But they also butchered Crisis Core so ho hum.

    The (first) Mortal Kombat film wasn’t bad either.

  41. Cody Says:

    I remember watching DD a few times, it wasn’t that bad, but nothing like the game.

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