Five Movies to Get You in the Mood for (More) GTA IV!
by Ken Evans
April 29, 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV is finally here! Today officially marks the release of one of the most highly anticipated video games of the year. Where are you on this historic occasion? Are you at work counting the hours until you are released to race home and spend the next 12 hours glued to the tube, basking in the glow of GTA IV? Perhaps you are one of the millions of employees who used a precious vacation day so that you could be there at midnight to buy it, take it home and play non-stop for the next 24+ hours? Or are you one of the unfortunate ones who can't afford it yet and are going to have to hear from your friends about all of the enormous amounts of fun they're having? No matter who you are, we here at FS.net want to give you a little gift to help you survive this landmark in video game history.
We understand what everyone is going through and want to offer a few movie suggestions to lend a helping hand. If you are one of those who isn't going to be able to pick up a copy of GTA IV for awhile, then use these suggestions to hold you over until you can buy it. For you guys who haven't slept and are feeding off of pizza leftovers from last night, take a break and watch one of these movies. They are guaranteed to energize you and sustain your appetite for more GTA IV.
The very first movie that comes to mind when I think of GTA is Crank. This was a movie that screamed crazy and took me for a ride. For those that haven't seen it, Crank is about Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), a hitman who has been poisoned so that he will die unless he can keep his adrenaline level up. Instead of focusing on trying to cure himself, he spends his last moments trying to chase down and kill the man who poisoned him, all the while using any means necessary to keep his adrenaline level through the roof.
Just like GTA, we have an anti-hero who does enough crime, carjackings, drugs and killings to be nominated the spokesperson for the GTA series. What I mainly think of though is the craziness of Crank and how that relates to GTA. Everyone who has played knows that when you kill enough civilians the cops start coming out of the woodwork. It gets to the point where it is basically impossible to go anywhere as there is now SWAT, regular cops, tanks, and helicopters all following your every move. If I could describe GTA and Crank in one word it would be insanity!
Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
If the main character Niko from the new GTA IV is anything like the character from GTA III, then we know he looks out for only himself. We also know that he doesn't have a boss and uses people to ultimately get what he wants. I can't help but think of Smith (Clive Owen) from Shoot 'Em Up. Sure he might have a weak spot for the baby and girl, but he also doesn't take crap from anyone.
Smith wields a gun like it's an extension of his hand. He is able to break the laws of physics and reason as he jumps, dives, and soars through the air killing people with pinpoint accuracy. When it comes to driving, he is no slouch either. Do you know anyone else who could drive headfirst into a van thereby launching himself through his own windshield into the van, then pull out guns and shoot the driver and passenger? Maybe that's a special move that we hope is unlockable in GTA IV?
Falling Down (1993)
I always liked to break off from the main story line in GTA and start my own story. You can decide to be the psycho maniac running over and mowing down everyone in sight. Or you can be the law abiding citizen who obeys stop lights and gives pedestrians the right of way. I always wanted to reenact Falling Down and take on the character of William 'D-Fense' Foster (Michael Douglas). He is fed up with life, soda prices, fast food breakfast and people with no respect for others. He decides to take matters into his own hands while on the way to see his daughter for her birthday.
Talk about a movie that Rockstar Games should make into a game! I would buy it in a heartbeat. Falling Down is one of my favorite films. The ultimate anti-hero vigilante who is just tired of being taken for granted. Even through all of the violence, you can't help but feel for him a bit. He is having the worst day of his life and everyone better stay out of his way. Although a bit slow at times, those parts pay off to build a deeper understanding of the two main characters. Plus he carries a bat at first only to upgrade to an Uzi later. I'm pretty sure Rockstar watched this dozens of times before making GTA IV.
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Who doesn't remember this one? Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie at their finest! They boost cars, run from cops, and try to deliver the goods to some crazed crime boss. Sound like a game you've played before? We get to see all types of vehicles used and an obvious escape ramp that launches a mustang into the air for much longer then is realistically possible. I'm starting to think that when they were coming up with ideas for GTA, they started with taking bits and pieces from these movies. Looks like it worked out.
I don't care that this one is obvious or that everyone has already seen it. When I first saw it, I loved it and watched it a couple more times over again. It contains the basis for everything that is GTA, carjacking and racing. Perhaps it's time to revisit this one since most of us haven't seen it in years. Pop it in your player and turn up the volume to 11! If you've already started to get bored of GTA IV (is that even possible?) then Gone in 60 Seconds will definitely bring you back to your senses.
Grand Theft Auto (1977)
In preparation for writing this, I actually ran out to my favorite used DVD store and bought Grand Theft Auto (yes, the movie). I had always wanted to see it because of the game and to see Ron Howard in his directorial debut. I mean, how can we talk about movies to watch regarding GTA and not actually use the one movie with the same name as the game? Unfortunately, this is not one to rush out and see, although it does contain lots of carjacking and listening to the radio during chases.
This is supposed to be much more of a comedy then anything else. There are a lot of car crashes and chase scenes, but hardly anything to make your heart race. However, being a fan of the game, I'm not sure that I could stop another fan from seeing it now knowing that it exists. So check it out if you can find it, maybe watch it with a group of friends that could have fun with it. Although, if you are dying to see a 70's Rolls Royce drive through the Mojave Desert while being chased, then this is one you can't miss!
I hope this list helps everyone out and keeps you in the mood for more gaming. Take a break and watch one of these to keep the energy up. Or in the case of Grand Theft Auto, have a laugh while still staying within the themes of GTA. Plus I'm certain it would be a good idea to hit up Iron Man this weekeend, too. If you have any other movie suggestions let us know, we would love to hear them. Also keep us up to date on your GTA IV satisfaction. I for one won't be getting it yet but want to hear how you all like it.