Spoiler Alert! Last of Us Spoiler Alert!
You have been warned.
hours ago it was announced that 'The Last of Us' movie rights have been
acquired by Sony. This is terrible. Or awesome. I guess it depends on
your point of view. Regardless of what you may think, facts have proven
that a majority of videogame movie cross overs are terrible.
they leave behind most of the universe it spawned from in order to make
it more appealing to general audiences. This sucks for people like us
who live, breath and sleep videogames, but it does make sense for these
projects. The studios want to make money, and more people go do movies
than play videogames, especially when you narrow it down to one
particular franchise like "The Last of Us", which is not only a rather
new IP, but a Sony exclusive. I know this, and I still hate it. But it's
with this knowledge that I say that 'The Last of Us' movie needs to be
different than the game. Not only to appeal to audiences that have not
even heard of the game, but to retain the magic of the game for the
players who cherish it.
"The Last of Us' is a special game.
Minutes after I finished it I knew it hit the pantheon that is my top
five favorite games. I knew that it would resonate with me forever. This
is very obviously not the case for everyone, but from a majority of the
community would agree with me: this game is amazing. Part of that magic
came from the fact that the game does everything wrong, but in the best
way possible. Not many movies, or stories really, end with your
character as the bad guy. And Joel is a bad guy. He decides his selfish
needs and desire for affection with one individual was more important
than the existence of mankind. That's bad.
However, it is this
special ending that resonates with everyone (well, almost everyone).
Like I said above, not many stories end without a somewhat happy ending.
The aliens are defeated. The sorcerer is destroyed. Peace returns to
the land. The guy gets the girl. Relationships are repaired and the hero
goes home for a much needed break. All of this is typical, and 'The
Last of Us' throws it all out for an ending that is powerful and full of
emotion. Joel rescues his little girl Ellie, but all at the cost of the
lives of the people at the hospital and the lives of everyone that the
cure from Ellie could have created. And I LOVE it.
This is why I
believe the ending needs to be different from the game. The relationship
with Ellie and Joel needs to be there. It's what made the game. We need
to see Joel shun her at first, push her away with some biting dialog
when he feels vulnerable and become scared to death when he doesn't know
where she is. Ellie needs to be spunky, willing to take care of
herself, but wanting this grizzled man who's escorting her across the
country just to open up.
Of course there should also be action
sequences with sneaking around Clickers and throwing Molotavs at
Bloaters needs to be in there as well, but it will not be the same
without that relationship. I want to see Joel grow from the energy and
optimism from Ellie. I want to see him suffer from both physical injury
and emotional distress from not knowing where she is. But at the end of
the story, when she's on that operating table, something different needs
The shock of Joel's decision is what made the game for
me. Everything about it felt so wrong, but felt so right at the same
time. I felt dirty and weak and emotional all at once, and I loved it.
It was that definitive moment when I knew I was with these characters
all the way. But to recreate that moment, Sony will have to go the other
direction. I need that surprise. I need to see him selfless destroy the
world, but in a completely different way. What if he gave up his world
to save his brother and his establishment, having to sacrifice them to
save Ellie? Or made his way through the hospital to save Ellie just like
in the game only to find out she volunteered for it and knew she was
going to die? Or maybe something I can't think about, but retains the
destruction that Joel creates with one of his most tender moments.
of what happens, Sony needs to make this movie work. This franchise has
been welcomed across the globes by fans and critics, and could be the
first real videogame movie to make it's way into the common moviegoers
hearts. This game has all the right pieces to appeal to non-gamers. I
show it to everyone who will spare 15 minutes to watch the opening and I
have yet to have a spectator tell me 'eh, it was okay' or 'this is not
for me'. Every person I show the opening sequence to is stunned with
silence for as they stare at Joel weep with his little girl in his arms,
and it's such a tragic but beautiful moment we can all relate to in one
way or another. SO I'm rooting for you Sony, but please, from a die
hard fan, don't fuck this up.
As always, feel free to leave some
comments down below. This is a great topic to talk about, and I'd love
to get some other opinions. Happy Post-Turkey Day!