HBO Max has released its adaptation of ‘The Last of Us’ and the glowing praise has been almost immediate. Our Espinof colleagues talk about a debut that aims to give birth to one of the best series of 2023, at 3Djuegos they talk about the pride they feel in the medium that inspired it and at Vida Extra they want to adapt it But let’s describe it as a master class. We talked a few days ago about what we thought: A very faithful adaptation that found its success when it distanced itself most from the original And opened the way for surprises.
Because it is also being said about this series that how is it possible that in general terms when innovation (in Tweet thread by George Loser, for example), to more clearly state everything that could take it away from a post-apocalyptic series to use. Aesthetically and on a tempo level, it’s reminiscent of recent and tired offerings like ‘The Walking Dead,’ and that could be a hindrance: ‘The Last of Us’ is conservative, but for now it’s Also creating a predictive series.
And yes, it is clear that here The presence of Neil Druckmann, co-producer and co-writer, but also the game’s director, is also being promoted. Original. Not surprisingly, HBO Max is flaunting its name in order to maintain rigid fidelity to the series source, but that, too, could be a problem.
A problem because Druckmann as a writer (and above all, as a certified name in the all-powerful production department) ensures that the series will be scrupulously faithful to the original, and this can lead to a certain creative blindness. Is. One that deals with decision-making that distances itself from the source.
movie game problems
‘The Last of Us’ (the video game) has many, many great qualities (and the sequel multiplies many of them from the perspective we’ve already discussed here). but they all come thanks to its interactive position from the field of playable or manipulation of the point of view, For example, the famous ending of the first part (which we will not reveal here, just in case) is a typical example: it impresses, excites and marks the player, precisely because we are players, not spectators. . But if that ending belongs to a movie, it’s something we’ve seen a thousand times.
Another example that Noel Ceballos highlighted in his review of the first episode: the flashback in which we see the apocalypse at multiple points from inside a car. This is the first major influence of the plot in video games, a set piece Memorable action and high drama may be all the players can do but move the camera. When the series repeats it as it is, it becomes clear that, first, by losing interactivity it also loses some strength; and second, that Druckmann was heavily inspired by the improved sequence from Children of Men, released seven years prior to the game.
That is to say: the series goes so far as to subvert video game memory, it devalues it. And this is an extreme limit to which a good optimization should not go. Of course, they’re isolated cases in a single episode, but the fact that ‘The Last of Us’ reminds so many viewers of ‘The Walking Dead’ and other classic apocalyptic fiction The value of ‘The Last of Us’ was in the conversational part: the plot was, in part, a brilliant embellishment, Adaptation has to find its own expressive way.
We are only at the beginning of the road: there are many hours left in this apocalypse (an hour and a half for this pilot, another problem we leave for another day) and we have room to find our own paths, above all the actors, And thanks especially to Bella Ramsey, real point and aside from this episode. We already have plenty of other options for clone adaptations: ‘The Last of Us’ deserves more.