Let me make this clear . . . I am not referring director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, Hard Eight). I also want to be certain you are aware that I am not holding a grudge with director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic). Neither of those two directors should be in the same sentence as Paul W.S. Anderson. Bring up his name in any film discussion and it is sure to create some sort of confusion. IMDB indicates Anderson added the “W.S.” to his name because he was tired of having to explain the significance of the raining frogs in Magnolia. I guess he prefers to explain why he makes garbage pictures. To avoid confusion, I will refer to him as W.S. for the remainder of this rant. A recent viewing of the 2011 bomb The Three Musketeers made me realize the man needed to be stopped. W.S. is a below average director who makes below average films . . . and I am angry about it.
The geneses of his success can be associated with Mortal Kombat. The $70 million dollar gross of Mortal Kombat in 1995 was a testament to the popularity of the videogame. Laura Evenson of the San Francisco Chronicle: “The movie has everything a teenage boy could want… Everything, that is, but an interesting plot, decent dialogue and compelling acting.” I am guilty of anxiously sitting in the theater 17 years ago on opening weekend. Today, I fully realize it was B material that anyone could have rolled into a success. Unfortunately, the numbers have always triumphed over quality in Hollywood . . . always. Two years later, W.S. delivered another B-movie in the form of Event Horizon. The forgettable sci-fi picture grossed $26 million dollars and sits in Genericville somewhere wedged between Supernova and Red Planet. When a spaceship opens up into a portal into hell you can bet the movie is itself is right behind it.
W.S. followed Event Horizon with Solider starring Kurt Russell. To date the film is on the list of the top 20 bombs of all time. W.S. managed to kill Kurt Russell’s career as a leading man in the process . . . enough said.
The events leading up to and after the release of Solider would suggest W.S. was doomed. Unfortunately, we are to blame for his resurrection. The Resident Evil franchise is responsible for every opportunity W.S. gets from now until he dies. The first picture grossed $102 million dollars worldwide on a $33 million dollar budget (the film grossed $40 million in the U.S.). Clearly, the film benefited from the popular videogame since the picture was on par with Straight to DVD Sci-Fi. W.S. produced the second and third installments that grossed $129 million dollars and $147 million dollars respectively worldwide. It was apparent W.S. had found his cash cow. Did you just ask yourself, “Why didn’t he direct the second and third installments?” Well . . . W.S. was busy ruining two franchises in one film. Alien vs. Predator was a disaster to say the least. Why would Fox would hand him the reins of these two Sci-Fi greats? Four years later, Death Race tanked in the U.S. with $36 million dollars. It’s no surprise W.S. elected to return to direct the fourth Resident Evil eight years later. And suddenly we had a major problem . . .
Resident Evil: Afterlife grossed $60 million dollars in the U.S. and an ADDITIONAL $236 million dollars worldwide. Apparently, the foreign film market has exploded beyond any sort of rational thinking. The film is horrible, the 3D is terrible and the plot is brutal. Ending the film with an unresolved ending is garbage. It reminds me of the end of every Nightmare of Elm Street and Friday the 13th film. Perhaps W.S. should end each film with a statement that simply reads “Thank-you for spending $10 per person for my below average videogame adaptation. I purposely left the ending unresolved so I can make these forever.”
W.S. has never had a film cross the $100 million dollar mark in the United States. His films average about 25% on the tomatometer. The Three Musketeers was another attempt to pass garbage off as a big-budget 3D special-effects bonanza that had Milla Jovovich (his real life wife) doing Resident Evil-like stunts. The film was a disaster in the U.S. after making $20 million dollars. A majority of people likely do not realize the gross is not far off from his domestic box-office average (Jovovich blamed the under-performance of the film on the movie studios marketing campaign). Did anything I say here make you believe W.S. is a quality director? We need to pull together and stop lining his pockets. The Resident Evil movies are garbage. W.S. deserves to be in the Straight-to-DVD section with Uwe Boll . . . Yes . . . Uwe Boll.
By the way . . . Resident Evil: Retribution is scheduled to hit theaters on September 14, 2012.
Ugh . . .
Paul W.S. Anderson’s Underwhelming Box-Office Scorecard
Source : CMP Original