I hope Magnus is being straight-up in professing joy about Paul W.S. Anderson, but whether or not, there’s an angle worth noting here. Before Aliens Vs. Predator was a film (but after it was a comic and a fan-joke) it was a video game. And Paul Anderson’s Resident Evil is one of the only two video game movies to be as entertaining as the video game that spawned them.

This is, in fairness, partly due to the the fact that the original game made a brilliant virtue of necessity by treating the PlayStation loading times as a source of constant! terror! as every transition between two different prerendered scenes became a slowly opening door. Cheap scares, but cheap scares that still work as well as they did in Roger Corman’s The Pit and The Pendulum. Survival Horror games of this sort should translate fairly directly into horror films, due to their commitment to scare.

Other video games essentially have a goal of triumph of some kind, which is entirely untranslatable to the screen: it isn’t you up there, it’s some actor. The traditional example here is “Raiding tombs fun, watching Angelina Jolie raid tombs no fun”, but this lets that trainwreck of a film off far too lightly.

This also only half explains the genius of Paul Anderson. Fighting games are an obvious exception to the above rule: we don’t have to feel involvement with the fighters in order to enjoy people beating the crap out of each other. But the right balance between laying out the labyrinthine plots and sending them up is hard to get. Double Dragon and Street Fighter both screwed up differently in 1994, and then a year later Mortal Kombat hit exactly the right note, thanks to the direction of, er, Paul W.S. Anderson. So, it’s clearly vital that he directs all video game adaptations ever. Someone should tell the producers of next years’ Alone In The Dark, Resident Evil: Apocalpyse, Crazy Taxi, Deus Ex and 2005’s Spy Hunter and Bloodrayne.