The God of War games are neat. Violent. Huge monsters. Old school fantasy tropes. A neat antihero. They’re fun. Except when you have to play Parappa the Rapper to best a foe by tapping button combinations but that’s neither here nor there…
It’s a cool series. It feeds into the resurgence of appreciation for old school hack and slash and though the box office returns of the recent Wrath of the Titans were weak there’s plenty to enjoy in the genre. Beowulf‘s terrific. The “Titans” films are fine. Conan sucked a huge shedded leperdick. God of War bodes to be the kind of feature that, though completely on rails, we could use more of in our summer palate. Tough guys fighting monsters. Easy sell.
Here’s where the mix gets muddy. In speaking to IGN, the writing team of Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton compared their approach to rewriting the video game adaptation to Christopher Nolan’s approach to Batman. Which is a good sound byte. But not realistic. And though they recently did a tweak on Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim their track record is full of very VERY low impact flicks. God of War‘s Kratos is not Batman. He’s an archetype with body art. They speak of humanizing the character, which is fine in small doses but anyone who’s played the game know the character as an ass kicker of the highest order with very little lateral movement as a fully-rounded character. He grits his teeth and cuts things sixty times in the face.
He’s not Batman. He’s not even Paste Pot Pete. And that’s fine. A good pulpy hardass fighting gigantic horned jerks is fine if the filmmaker can make it electric.
One last little sound byte that made me chuckle, in regards to writer David Self’s first draft which the writing duo is rewriting:
“The only problem with that is it was written before Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, 300 and Immortals, and those movies borrowed quite a bit from the God of War stories. It was just a little bit outdated, so we wanted to differentiate it from those other movies.”
God of War is not something people borrow from. Everything that courses through the game is either pulled from mythology, existing pulp, or the formulas that have been keystones forever. Let’s not act like it’s some piece of art. It’s a Playstation exclusive, not Joseph Campbell’s juicy extract.
With that said, I’m hoping these guys can deliver. I’d love to see a God of War flick. Let’s just not get bogged down in faux backstory.
There’s no director yet so this shit ain’t happening anytime soon.