Like most people, I have a complicated relationship with the board game Monopoly.  I start out playing every game excited at the prospect of becoming a real estate tycoon, making stacks of multicolored cash and watching my friends go bankrupt.  But, as any Monoplist knows, it takes a significant portion of your day to make it to the top of the faux-business world.  Competition is tough; that dog and the little top hat won’t lay down without a fight. I have to think to myself as the game approaches its fifth hour, “Do I have what it takes to see this thing through to the end?”

And that’s when the montage begins. Just me buying up all sorts of real estate and passing “Go” like fifteen times, all while Rihanna sings the chorus of “Run This Town.”  Then maybe I pick up a “Go Directly to Jail” card when ANOTHER montage starts, except this time I’m collecting money from my properties while I’m in jail as “Hustlin’” by Rick Ross play in the background.

This is the kind of drama that the upcoming Monopoly movie needs.

That’s right. There is going to be a movie based on the board game Monopoly.  The project currently in development by Ridley Scott (Alien, American Gangster) is going to be yet another addition to the genre of movies based on the properties of toy companies. We can now add it to a list that includes Transformers, G.I. Joe, Stretch Armstrong, Candyland, and Battleship.  

This might be the strangest current Hollywood trend.  I understand Transformers and G.I. Joe; they at least had cartoons with stories to draw upon, but board games?  This is taking product placement too far.  Here is an excerpt from MTVnews in which Ridley Scott describes his interaction with Hasbro: 

"Do I have to show the game, with people running around on a board, with the large houses and funny top hats and that sort of thing?" But when Scott asked that question of Brian Goldner — CEO of Hasbro, the company that puts out the classic board game — he was told that the company only wanted him to use the game as a jumping-off point. "They said no. We just want a movie," Scott explained. "And that makes it a lot easier.

So basically, these movies are created as an excuse to use the titles as advertisements for kiddy products.  Maybe next we can get a Sidewalk Chalk movie, or a Super Soaker trilogy! Personally, product placement in movies contributes to the slow death of my soul and the thought of movies being advertisements in themselves is almost too much to bear.

Let’s hope the actual content of the films is more exciting than a board game.  I wouldn’t count on it, though.

 What about you? Are you as upset and confused about this trend as I am?


4/27/2010 09:04:22 am

As long as Ridley Scott encapsulates the rage you feel when Grandma beats you at this game into an epic fight scene I think I may watch it.


What they should do though is hire someone like Seth MacFarlane to get after this thing. Monopoly is filled with various inanimate objects that could be characters; a staple of any MacFarlane show.



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