Resident Evil Director Hits Out At Poor, Uninformed Video Game Movies

Resident Evil Director Hits Out At Poor, Uninformed Video Game Movies

Paul WS Anderson is the director of the Resident Evil movies which, in my own personal opinion, have gone from bad to worse. Now, he’s taking all other video game movies to taks – particularly the directors themselves who, he claims, “don’t know the video games they are based on from a hole in the head.”

While it’s tempting to call this a pot/kettle/black situation, regardless of what you may think of Paul WS Anderson as a Director, he is at the very least of fan of the games upon which his movies are based.

“Despite what a lot of haters on the internet might say,” he said, talking to MCV, “I love the Resident Evil games. And these movies are made with a huge knowledge and real passion for the games.

“A lot of video game movies are made by directors who don’t know the video games they are based on from a hole in the head. They don’t do justice to the games, they don’t immerse themselves in the games, they don’t understand what people liked from the games. And that is the wrong approach and clearly those movies don’t work.”

He picked out the Tomb Raider movies for specific criticism.

“You can fool people once, you know,” he said. “I was excited to see the Tomb Raider movie the first time it came out. I saw it, it wasn’t very good, I wasn’t very excited to go and see the second film.”

Hopefully we’re almost at the stage where video game movies can move in a similar direction to movies based on comic books – where talented directors, who grew up reading and loving comics, got the chance to deliver their own vision of a franchise they had a true passion for.

I always maintain that it’s a huge shame we never got to see Neill Blomkamp’s Halo movie. That had all the potential to be the first truly awesome video game movie.

That said, I have no doubt we’ll see a top video game adaptation in the next five years.

Resident Evil film boss slams bad game movie directors [MCV]


  • Sure, Anderson knows the games. The problem is that he uses them as a framework for what amounts to Mary Sue fanfics.

    It’s not the same problem he’s accusing his colleagues of encountering, but it’s still a helluva problem.

  • I would love to be able to agree with him… but I think his own movies are as guilty of this as anything else. I wasn’t a big Resident Evil fan but from what I played I think the first movie was pretty good in terms of horror and suspense. It was nice to see them include characters from the games in the movies but it certainly felt like they quickly degenerated into senseless action movies.

    Tomb Raider on the other hand I think isn’t a bad example of a video game movie. It might have strayed a bit from what the games were about, but honestly I don’t want to watch a movie about 10 minutes platforming segments or puzzle solving. It took what was there and made a fairly entertaining movie out of it.

    I don’t disagree with the guy, but I do think he is making bad examples.

    • quickly degenerated into senseless action movies.

      Try playing RE5. Not a bad game but in no way the survival horror of RE’s bygone days.

  • lol, I really don’t think he knows the RE series as well as he thinks…

    Overall though, they have gone downhill over time, but they are good for a dumb action flick, nothing more.

    • Agree with this eh. If I think of them as a separate entity from the games it’s alright. They’re kinda cool in their own right (and to be honest RE is pretty frakkin’ cheeze in the first place anyway) though.

      And the latest one. Well it was terrible. But I KNEW it’d be terrible so I went along with the mindset of “This is gonna be so stupid, they only did this because they could do 3D” and I was thoroughly entertained. Sure a good chunk of that was laughing heartily at the ridiculous amounts of bullet-time but hey, sometimes you go to see a movie to switch off rather than to have your brain exercised 😛

  • It’s hard to come down on Anderson too much when even the games themselves have lost their way. At least in my own admittedly unimportant opinion.

          • DoA < Street Fighter AND Mortal Kombat for movie adaptations.

            All the terrible corny dialogue, moronic plot, razzie acting + bewbs!

            I mean, really, Street Fighter might have had Raul Julia pretending he was a circus ring leader, but DoA had Eric Roberts granted super martial arts powers by a pair of sunglasses that downloaded fighting ability over the internet.

            Come on, could it get any more awesome/worse than that?

      • I agree, as a movie itself it was a good movie. As a movie based on Silent Hill it was quite well done. The only thing I didn’t like is the ending, I would have preferred a more happy one.

        • But this is Silent Hill, there is no place for “happy.” There is only despair, loss……and death. Out of those, loss is the “happier” one

    • It was not a bad movie. We’re not talking about Citizen Kane here but for a horror film based on a video game, it did a good enough job.

    • While I felt it was a reasonably close adaption of the first game, I wasn’t a fan of the film… I found it boring, quite frankly. The slow pacing of a survival horror which certainly works in games such as Silent Hill, didn’t work in that film, at least for me. However, I will see SH2 simply for the fact that they did try to stay true to the game in the first one, and the second one might be a great adaption.

      If I had to guess, I would say that Paul Anderson probably felt the same way… that the slow pacing and suspense of survival horror games don’t work as hour and a half long film adaptions. Honestly, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Resident Evil game series, I just never got into it. But I do like the movies for what they are: mindless, rediculous action films… that have Milla in them.

      I really hope that the Mass Effect adaption is the first “top video game adaption” that Mark predicts, but I ask the question: how do you turn a 20+hr game into a 1.5hr film without losing what made the game great? My opinion is that Mass Effect as a game is already cinematic enough… all the film will be doing will be re-telling the story, replaying the visuals, while taking away one of the major points of the game: the ability to choose. So I have to ask: really, what is the point?

      • To Mass Effect, you have a fair point. The game is very cinematic, it sort of feels like if you want a Mass Effect movie you should just play the game. However I always embrace the idea of franchises I like moving to different mediums. Even if it was the exact same thing, seeing it as a movie would still be pretty cool. Of course there is going to have to be a fair amount of cutting, but even if I don’t necessarily like some of the choices they make it will be interesting to see what they make of it. A bit like LOTR, they could never put all of that in a movie, so watching it was a bit of a surprise to see what would be in and what wouldn’t.

        As for Silent Hill I thought the pacing was alright. It had a lot of mystery and discovery to it as the main character explored the ruined town. I felt like the back story was slowly being revealed piece by piece. I can see it would be slow for some, but if you go back and watch something like Alien I also find it to be quite slow, but still entertaining.

        • you’re right that just because a movie is paced slow, it doesn’t mean its going to be a bad movie, and Alien was a perfect example. To be honest, I’m not sure that the pacing was what I disliked about Silent Hill… I can’t tell you exactly what it is, all I know is that I don’t like it, which as I said is a huge shame, because there really is a lot to like about it in regards to the video game… using a lot of the same music, for example, The scene near the beginning where she is walking through silent hill initially looking for her daughter, and then being set upon by the dogs, which is of course a direct recreation of The first bit of gameplay in SH1…

          …Maybe The reason I don’t like it is because I keep telling myself I SHOULD like it haha.

  • Wasn’t he also behind the first Mortal Kombat movie? That was probably one of the better adaptations to have gone from game to film.

    • The Pokemon First Movie soundtrack was the first CD I ever bought and I still know pretty much all the words to all the songs. HAHA

      • Oh. My. Science… That soundtrack, argh! Although I have to admit, it did have at least one “catchy” (or brain damaging) songs on it. The pop version of “catch ’em’ all” I think it was, anyway, thanks for reminding me… I mean us.

  • His movies were absolutly terrible, I went and saw the second one at the movies a few years back and just walked out half way. The movies made no sense had no direction the characters didn’t know what the hell was going on either, and yes they did just go from bad to worse. The entire franchise is a big massive ball of fail……

    fail…..just fail.

  • I didn’t find the first Resident Evil movie to be that bad really. I have it on DVD and still watch it from time to time. The rest of them though? Yeah I try to forget they exist.

    I agree with Nemesis too, the first Mortal Kombat movie was actually pretty decent because it more or less stuck to the MK story (and was also directed by Anderson). Again though I try to forget the second movie was made. Second movie? What second movie?

    Prince of Persia was one of the best video game to movie adaptions I’ve seen…was a really good example of combing the story of the game with a slightly different vision.

    Doom also wasn’t half bad, apart from the fact they screwed up the origins of the monsters (genetically altered humans? Instead of actual demons that were unleashed due to opening up a portal to hell?)

    The first Tomb Raider movie was okay I thought. I don’t remember seeing the second one though…maybe I saw part of it on TV once.

    After that…I don’t know, I haven’t really seen any other game to movie adaptions so can’t really comment on them (apart from Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter, both of which I wish I could erase from my brain).

  • I watched the first RE movie and was that disgusted with what I saw, I never watched another one.

    The entire time I was watching the movie, it felt like I was watching a real life raping and there was nothing I could do about it.

  • The movies cherry pick elements from the game that are the most visually thrilling but they do a superb job of missing the point of the games, the tension and creeping terror of Resi games is absolutely absent to be replaced by a bunch of wire work.

    I was actually surprised to find I quite enjoyed the most recent one, the trick to really enjoying a Resident Evil movie? switch the Audio track to Spanish so you have no idea what they’re saying. I’m not joking, it makes the whole thing way more entertaining.

  • To me the first 2 RE movies were good they at least has some elements from the games that were good.

    I think his problem after that is that the first 2 sorta hit all the relevant points in the first 3 games.

    then after that the games tend to just go and do there own things.

    Which isn’t really that good for a movie franchise.

    I still think the problem though stems from number 3. They Couldn’t get Jill valentines actress back. So even though you had this altogether ending in number 2.

    Number 3 is just like meh there all split up doing random things.

    And then after that logic seemed to go out the window. Like the army of Alice’s could have been used better. But couldn’t because it’s a movie once again. So it was kinda a stupid twist put in at the end of the 3rd movie

    They are action movies now. But ironically this is a trend replicated in the Games and considering RE5 could be finished in the same time as a feature length film rather ironic

  • I like the RE movies, despite the fact they have incredibly little to do with the games. I just watch them expecting some B-grade zombie smashing action, and they’re good for that.
    Although i would really love either Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez to do a adaptation of No More Heroes……

  • You seriously want me to accept that after what you did with the Resident Evil (and Alien Vs Predator)?


  • Pot, meet kettle, he’s black. Anderson can’t say he knows how to make a video game movie because he took the RE universe and threw it out the window with his interpretation of it. Stay true to the source material completely including the story and then I’ll believe he’s a good director

    • You realise the story to the RE games is complete drivvle, right? If he stuck closely to the story of the games as you claim the movies probably would have turned out even worse.

    • You mean those games where the protagonist/s change in each title?Yeah that’d work out really well for a series of films.

      Plus, we’re talking about RE here, as in the games that have really weak stories that come across as rather cheesy.

  • RE4 was tolerable. Every RE game before that was pure tripe because they played like arse. Have not played RE5.

    IMHO there are few, if any, games that can translate directly into a motion picture. Even established media like novels, musicals and plays require some interpretation to make them suitable for the cinema. Also there’s only so much a director can do.

    A game gives you a premise and a universe – these should be used as the basis of a good movie set in thost circumstances rather than trying to recapture the exact feel of the specific game.

  • The problem with Anderson is that his films are what would happen if a fanfic writer got together enough money to make his fanfic into a movie.

  • Mortal Kombat was his best movie, except for the rubber Goro, yes cheezy but good cheezy, best videogame adaptation in my opinion – way better than that recent Mortal Kombat online series, god that was bad, started out cool though but when I saw Scorpion with that shitty $2 mask it lost me… the Resident Evil: Degeneration Anime was great though way truer to the Resident Evil universe than the live action movies. If Milla Jovavich wasnt in them I wouldnt watch them at all…

  • They might not be like the games but I still really enjoy the RE movies. I like 1st and 4th the most. So I’ll be seeing the 5th 🙂

    Plus, Milla is the best.

  • Watch the cast commentary for the first RE film. They discuss how they were going for a whole alice in wonderland thing, Alice, red queen, character who kept mentioning the time like the rabbit, but it sort of fell apart.
    They’re quite funny and it makes you appreciate certain elements, like they hired dancers instead of actors to play the zombies so they could get a consistent style of movement rather than a bunch of extras half assing it.

  • “A lot of video game movies are made by directors who don’t know the video games they are based on from a hole in the head. They don’t do justice to the games, they don’t immerse themselves in the games, they don’t understand what people liked from the games. And that is the wrong approach and clearly those movies don’t work.”


  • The first Resident Evil was great as a film. Not really so much as a film based on the game, but it was still a cool movie that didn’t do anything to totally screw up the continuity of the game series.

    The rest are pretty terrible, with the exception that at least 3 seemed to have some kind of plot and consistent visual direction.

  • The problem with the way the Resident Evil movie franchise has progressed isn’t that Mr. Anderson hasn’t played or didn’t ‘get’ the games… it’s that he’s the kind of guy who thinks Resident Evil 5 is a great resident evil game…

    He’s not the kind of guy who goes back and plays the original and RE2 on an old playstation (like I have/do)

    So the entire vibe/identity of the movies is in dissonance with the expectations of most of the fans of the original games… much like Resident Evil 5 was 😛

    well that and all the ‘Mary-Sue’ing that goes on with the Alice character… but come on guys… if you were married to *her* you can’t say you wouldn’t.

  • He loves the RE games? He has never even played them, he just watched a recorded play through, and like he has any room to talk about bad direction after that cheap mess he calls Afterlife. Anderson has destroyed the RE movie series and gets my vote for hypocrite of the year.

  • “you can fool people once, you know”

    Practice what you preach bub…

    all your other RE and MK movies apart from the first were horrible.

  • Doom was the worst video game movie ever.

    I liked all Resident Evil movies and i did enjoy the Tomb Raiders, Silent Hill as well.

    also, uwe boll sucks at making his game movie adaptions to.

  • Okay, i used to love Anderson, but he pissed me off when he brought up Tomb Raider. As soon as i read that, i lost respect for him. he shouldn’t look at other movie adaption, and think his is all the way up there. I mean i love the resident evil movies, but I am a MUCH MUCH MCH MUCH MUCH bigger fan of Tomb Raider. So he can go fuck himself.

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