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Get clued up on the bigscreen adaptation of Mon­u­ment Val­ley

Empire (Australasia) - - Pre.View - JOHN NU­GENT

Ah, Mon­u­ment Val­ley! I know this one! Lo­cated on the Ari­zona-utah bor­der, this ma­jes­tic clus­ter of vast sand­stone buttes

Let me stop you there. This is not a film about the ge­o­graph­i­cal Mon­u­ment Val­ley made fa­mous by John Ford’s var­i­ous Westerns. The film we’re talk­ing about is an adaptation of a video game.

A video game about Westerns?

No. The re­sem­blance ends at the name. Re­leased in 2014, Mon­u­ment Val­ley is a gor­geously de­signed puz­zle game for smart­phones, in­flu­enced by ev­ery­thing from Ja­panese wood­blocks to M.C. Escher. Play­ing as the white-hat­ted Princess Ida, you tra­verse mul­ti­ple pas­tel-hued mon­u­ments (hence the name) in a physics-de­fy­ing world.

Is there any ob­vi­ous cin­e­matic nar­ra­tive in an iphone puz­zle game? I still re­mem­ber An­gry Birds: The Movie.

We all do. But with Mon­u­ment Val­ley log­ging 160 mil­lion down­loads, Para­mount clearly smells a lu­cra­tive in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty to turn into a po­ten­tial fran­chise.

Can it crack the video game movie curse?

It re­mains to be seen. But it al­ready has Os­car pedi­gree be­hind it: Pa­trick Os­borne, who won an Acad­emy Award for his an­i­mated short Feast, has been tapped to di­rect this, blend­ing CGI and live ac­tion. Maybe this is the mon­u­men­tal suc­cess we’ve been wait­ing for.

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