Adapting a video game to TV show or movie is difficult, with some of the best video game stories getting lost in translation. Prince of Persia, Uncharted, Mario Bros., Assassins Creed and of course, the original Mortal Kombat movies, all failed to make the proper jump after so much hype.
A bland world, cheesy graphics, too many story changes – all of these have hindered the ability to perform well for both audience and critics.
Rarely do fans get an adaptation that is able to scratch above 50 per cent on movie critic websites.
For years, many have tried to earn the respect of fans and critics only to have failed – until now.
The Last Of Us opens with a bang, just like the game.
The first episode is an emotional rollercoaster that ends with a heavy gut-punch that leaves the viewer thirsting for more.
The second episode continues to add to the intensity, from start to finish. Introducing the ‘clickers’ and bringing the video game horror to life.
When the third episode dropped last Sunday, it introduced two of the game’s side-characters and expands on the ‘human tragedy’ that gets glossed over in post-apocalyptic movies and shows.
While there have been some slight story changes when compared to the original 2014 game release, they don’t take away from the impact of the universe presented in the show. If anything, the changes made are able to give more backstory to the characters and the world itself.
The story in the HBO drama series, so far, gives a more “realistic” look at what the world would have become. It’s easy to gloss over the harsh realities of a world while playing a video game, but when you see it unfold in front of you without any controls, the experience changes.
A specific shot at the end of the first episode is almost pulled perfectly from the game; the ruined city being reclaimed by nature, with a large building fallen across the street balanced on another building, is a horrifyingly beautiful shot.
In the second episode, the ‘Clickers’ are introduced and without giving too much away, they are much more terrifying than in the game. Seeing these disfigured humans brought to life is an amazing point of detail.
The third episode introduces Bill and Frank. In the game, tragedy is still a part of their story – but the TV show has earned its reputation of giving more depth to its characters. This episode is no exception.
Then there is the casting choice.
Pedro Pascal plays Joel Miller, a main protagonist in the show, and brings the character to life with his own personal charm. While his overall appearance doesn’t have the fully dishevelled, bearded look, you can still see the weight of this world hanging over him.
Let’s face it, Pedro Pascal makes every role he touches memorable. From Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones to Din Djarin in The Mandalorian. His role as Joel Miller is no exception.
Bella Ramsey, the second protagonist, is also able to bring her video game counterpart to life. To be completely honest, she knocks it out of the park.
She perfectly embodies a 14-year-old in a post-apocalyptic world. Like Pascal, Ramsey is able to show the emotion and vocabulary of a 14-year-old living in this world with such talent.
The show is a perfect 10/10 and is worthy of all the love and praise it has been getting in the two episodes that have been released so far.
New episodes are released every Sunday on HBO.