Paul William Scott Anderson (born 4 March 1965) is an English director and producer.
He has largely stayed in the realm of being a journeyman director, basically someone called in to make a movie under the direction of the suits. While that might earn some derision as someone who "makes someone else's movie," he has taken those movies that could easily become merely a paycheck and turned them into something rather watchable and surprisingly entertaining that usually does well in box office. He refers to himself as a "populist filmmaker", meaning that he doesn't particularly care what professional critics think of his work as long as his films entertain the audience.
He has carved out a niche in the business of being hard-working and staying within budget. His first major breakthrough was directing Mortal Kombat: The Movie movie, which managed to get some major critics supporting it, appeal to a mainstream audience and make its money back. Today the movie is regarded as a bit of a Cult Classic. He has since been involved with several other video-game inspired movies, all with a similar degree of respect (or lack thereof), mainly the Resident Evil Film Series. In other words, he could be called the "rich man's Uwe Boll."
- DOA: Dead or Alive (contrary to popular belief, Anderson produced it, yet did not direct it)
- Mortal Kombat: The Movie
- Event Horizon
- Resident Evil (2002) note
- AVP: Alien vs. Predator
- Death Race
- The Three Musketeers (2011)
- Monster Hunter (2020)
Anderson's work provide examples of:
- Action Genre: Most of the films he directed are usually some variation of action (often mixed with Fantasy, Science Fiction and/or Horror).
- Jitter Cam: Like Michael Bay, Anderson is (in)famous for his use of this trope, which, combined with fast cutting, makes it hard to tell what is going on in some scenes.
- Sequel Hook: Of his directorial efforts, all but Pompeii (obviously) have some variation on Bolivian Army Ending, The End... Or Is It?, or And the Adventure Continues. Fortunately for him, almost all have been followed up on at some point, for better or worse. Despite this tendency in his work, he rarely directs the sequels himself (even with Resident Evil where he later returned to direct some of the sequels, he skipped out on directing the second and third films).
- Video Game Movies: He directed the Mortal Kombat: The Movie live action film, Monster Hunter, and 4 Resident Evil films. He was also a producer of DOA: Dead or Alive, a loose adaptation of the Dead or Alive games.