Director John Hillcoat’s (The Proposition) short film based off the video game Red Dead Redemption aired on Fox a few weeks ago. You can now watch it online. What you need to know about the film is that all of the footage is taken from scenes in the game. Nothing new was created. It’s more like a compilation that takes you through the first act of the story. However, I think the brevity shortchanges the expansive world of the game and how much there is to see and do. It also illustrates a point I like to make whenever I get the chance: movies based on video games will always be worse than their source material because it’s more fun to play a game than to passively watch it. Watching Hillcoat’s short film, I wanted to pick up my controller and play the game even though I’d already beaten it. I think that speaks to the success of Red Dead Redemption and perhaps to some extent, the success of the marketing, which is really what Hillcoat’s film is.
Ultimately, even though Hillcoat’s name is attached to this film, I’m not exactly sure what he directed other than a few establishing shots and music choices. But check out the video after the jump and decide for yourself.