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Keegan-Michael Key Thinks Film And TV Are Bucking The Trend Of Bad Video Game Adaptations - Exclusive

Video game adaptations haven't always been great. Loath though we are to put these memories back in your head, consider "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" with Angelina Jolie, "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," "Assassin's Creed," "Bloodrayne," and "Street Fighter" with Jean-Claude Van Damme. You know what? Maybe don't think about them anymore. We will fight to the death in defense of the first "Mortal Kombat" movie, but we wouldn't ever call it "good." If you've managed to avoid the 1993 "Super Mario Bros." starring John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins, it's best to keep it that way. 

However, as time goes on, studios seem to be doing better in terms of taking an immersive experience that can last for 400 hours and turning it into a shorter-form piece of entertainment. "The Last of Us" has critics over the moon. Titles like "Detective Pikachu," "The Witcher," and "Sonic the Hedgehog" have made many fans happy. So what's changed?

In an exclusive interview with "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" star Keegan-Michael Key, who plays Toad, he spoke about why things have changed, and it involves respecting the feel of the game. 

'This movie is so streamlined and so on point with what the game is'

We asked Keegan-Michael Key why this film and other projects have bucked the bad video game adaptation trend of the past. He said, "Something that's been happening is that people have been staying truer to the game, as opposed to trying to widen it out too much and add too much new stuff. This movie is so streamlined and so on point with what the game is."

Key continued, "In the beginning of the movie, I love when Mario decides to help Princess Peach, and he's going through the training sequence — awesome. You recognize all of the things, and it makes you think about when you've been playing the game and you're trying to learn a new move or trying to learn a new timing. It has that feel to it, and the whole movie has that feel to it. I feel like it is a perfect example of the game coming to life."

In the scene he mentions, Mario runs an obstacle course over and over until he gets it right to prove he's worthy of the mission. It's as close to playing the game as you can get. You can almost feel yourself trying not to throw the controller through the TV and the joy of success once it works. 

The idea that filmmakers respect not only the game itself but also the feelings it inspires in people is what's so important with these adaptations. They're not just an IP that people recognize. We often spend a big chunk of our lives playing these games. We care. It's lovely when the filmmakers do as well.

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is in theaters now.