The Borderlands Movie is going to be terrible... and here's why

Reason 1: "The Characters"

It’s been a few years now, can we admit that the characters in the original Borderlands are shiit. When the first Borderlands came out, it’s clear that our four player characters were not intended to be fleshed out people but rather quip spewing machines that were taking advantage of the incredibly cheap ammo monopoly on the planet. They were simple, and they worked in their own way, but you would not consider them characters unless you would also bestow the same title upon parking ticket machines with frowny faces drawn on them.
That all changed in borderlands 2; despite having four entirely new main characters we couldn’t possibly just forget about their predecessors, so now they’re back with all new personalities. I say personality with inverted commas about 6 times bigger than the actual word here. Let’s go over each character’s



Roland is boring. He’s spectacularly boring. He’s fantastically boring. He’s as plain as the dirty eggshell colour swatch at Homebase, code B5207. He’s the one next to beige and slightly more popular than the Tuscan Sunset. Roland is a nice guy and as we all know, nice guys finish last, this was apparently true because Roland was the first of the four to get killed. Roland’s death was the same guttural impact as the trauma of realising that there’s a chip in your dirty eggshell paint on the living room wall.

Lilith reminds me of Spiderman 3 a little, she either shows that gearbox are brilliantly aware of Lilith’s character, or are insulting our intelligence more than the average Michael Bay film. Lilith is either supposed to be a dorky, hipster chick who’s trying too hard, or gearbox actually thinks that the phrase “Holy Badass” is anything other than offensively stupid.

Mordecai is an alcoholic Mexican stereotype, just guess what his preferred drink is… you guessed right, It’s lead based paint, because he apparently forgets the gender of his own bird.

Brick is a man named Brick, do I really have to say more?

So here are our four leads, one of them is reminiscent of emo Peter, another is a dead bro walking and the other two are as simplistic as video game characters get, it’s not looking great for the leads of our film if they sound like something out of 40s comic book.

I’m not saying there aren’t ways to make these characters interesting, maybe make Roland more relatable, give him and Lilith a bit of chemistry rather than… nothing at all. Make Lilith more of a comic relief, or maybe even a sad character, trying to be appreciated for more than her body and her powers but being completely and utterly inept at it. Mordecai can have a traumatic experience about a particularly embarrassing dinner party with the vicar or some crap, give him some context for his drinking problem. Brick can say ■■■■ and smile like the funny tree man from Protectors of the Planets or whatever that movie was called.
Some changes might add a bit of depth to these stereotypes and they’d help out the movie a lot. Here’s the crux of the matter though; Borderlands was not meant to have strong characters. Borderlands is a comedy game, and although I find that more laughable than any of the actual jokes, it’s obvious that gearbox did not want serious characters around this brand of humour. Let’s think of a few ways the Borderlands series tries to be funny:

  • Weird, zany NPCs
  • People exploding
  • A company who names all of their guns out of euphemisms for dicks
  • Insane enemies who spout weird, inane crap
  • pop culture references
  • Completely evolutionary nonviable wildlife
  • Wacky sound effects
  • And drunk, Mexican stereotypes

You think an actual fleshed out character would look anything but entirely tonally awkward put against this environment? You see the problem isn’t with these characters, it’s with the game that produced them. The fact is that these characters are designed like this because anything else would be entirely contradictory to the tone of the game; these characters work in a game, they will not work in a movie. A game has gameplay, which in most circumstances can excuse a shittily written story. A movie has to draw you in through characters and atmosphere while a game will have you invested for the simple reason that you are playing as the main character. You’re particularly rooting for a character to survive if you also happen to be controlling that character and their death also results in yours.
I could go on for hours, analysing all the characters in the game, but you get the point, Borderlands characters are ■■■■■■ and are designed that way for a reason.

So far, to make a good movie, we’d have to add depth to the characters and try to do it in a way that doesn’t contradict their surroundings overall tone.

Reason 2 "16 Bazillion Guns"

We’re all aware of the sheer variety of weapons that exists in Borderlands, consisting of 7 or 8 different manufacturers that each have about 4 different types of gun (pistols, launchers, SMGs etc…). The main variety comes here with the vast possible variants of weapon parts and accessories, each of which changing the gun slightly. You could call the sheer variety of different weapons a major selling feature of the series; unfortunately this translates about as well to a film as Chinese instruction manuals translate to English.

Consider this.

Have you ever been watching an action movie and thought that this mind numbing gunfight would be severely improved by the hero opening up his inventory and fiddling with his bloody weapon setup, making sure he’s wearing the best headband for bonus intimidation and switching his shoes for the +2 boots of bollock kicking?
The simple fact is that RPGs don’t want to be made into films; they just aren’t built that way. RPGs rely on the player having choice while films are an inherently non-interactive form of media, this sounds as fun as going round one of your dick friends’ house to play video games only to have them play the whole time and you get to “help” i.e. watch him piss about with his new dog tag sockets that give the best bonus to cheesy one liners.
This means that they’re going to have to reduce one of the most iconic boasts of the games into a hamfisted wink to the audience, if they include it at all.
Now I’m one of the believers that you can make a good movie out of anything, but the question we have to raise is whether a good movie can be made out of Borderlands while still keeping true to the name of the game. That question can be answered in a single word:

Jesus Christ son of God no

So we’d have to change the genre of the game and eschew it’s most unique selling point.

Reason 3: "Cell Shaded"

Borderlands is cell shaded, now I don’t know entirely what that means because I’m a stupid ■■■■ who writes off movies before they’ve even come out…
But that’s beside the point.
The point is the Borderlands games look like… Borderlands, it’s a pretty iconic art style that usually tends to make pretty scenery.
Unfortunately this is going to be a live action movie.
If you think it isn’t then you’re horribly naive.
“This ain’t no dumb kids Pixar movie, this is an R rated action blockbuster, we don’t make no ■■■■■■■ stupid kids movies out of cartoons here, we make proper movies for adults. Nobody wants to watch stupid dumb kids animated movies, no one above the age of 8 anyway. We don’t make no stupid ■■■■ kid movies, this isn’t ■■■■■■■ Frozen or any of that ■■■■■■■ crap, we make movies for real people. Adults are the ones with the money here.”
Obviously no one actually said that, but it’s what they were all thinking.

So it’s going to be live action.
Just look at the scenery in borderlands; it’s entirely alien and only looks good because it’s well done and deliberately separated from reality. I can just imagine all of this now, the animals are going to either be fake looking CGI or they’re going to be stilted, awkward looking animatronics. The environments are going to consist of deserts and possibly tundra sections, which they’re either going to shoot in real environments , which would cost a lot of money and would require some effort, or they’re just going to put up the greenscreen and add it all in post production. I know which my money’s on…
So it’s going to look nothing like Borderlands, maybe I can live with that (just for the fact that I can be sure I don’t have to look at Shade’s terrifying smile any more)

Reason 4: "Mad Mox: Dangerous Highway"

I hear a lot of people saying “If they go the whole Mad Max route, it could be good”
It makes me think, wasn’t Fury Road a great movie? Apparently the people at Lionsgate think so, because they obviously want to emulate a bit of Mad Max’s resounding success. That’s when they run into a problem:
“Won’t a movie that looks like Mad Max coming out a few years after Fury Road look like a ripoff cashgrab?”
To which the marketing department replied:
“Not if we say it’s based off an already existing series that’s been around for a few years. We can choose one with an already pretty large fanbase so we can get more people to see it. Maybe a video game, I hear video games are popular with the youngsters right now, a game with a lot of pop culture references so we can maybe cash in on the scary movie demographic .”
The two executives ask their 14 year old brothers what’s hip and happening in video games right now
The movie instantly gets put into development.

It’s all well and good saying the movie could be good if they make it like Fury Road, but that completely ignores why Fury Road was good at all. Mad Max and Borderlands have completely different tones. The original Mad Max involves a scene where a baby and it’s mother get brutally run down by motorbikes, the same scene in Borderlands would be accompanied by a comical squashing sound and have a quip from the villain about how the mother’s skull popped. They’re two completely different things, stop equating them like it makes sense because Mad Max looks a bit like Borderlands and Mad Max was actually good.
Ever notice how in Fury Road, the main characters never actually comment on how all of the villains looked like inbred monsters? Do you really think anything with the lack of restraint of the Borderlands series wouldn’t say some sort of stupid ■■■■■■■ one liner about how “White Darth Vader needs to go to the dentist”
You’d have to entirely change the tone of Borderlands to take the Mad Max route, at that point it stops being Borderlands. I keep repeating this point, but it raises a question: If you need to change virtually everything about a series to make an adaptation of it, why are you bothering in the first place?
Oh right
It’s money isn’t it…
■■■■■■■ people…


It might not be based on the game itself, but rather take place within the Borderlands universe itself

Are we really asking for a movie based on the “universe” of Borderlands? The fact of the matter is that taking the universe of a property is not the same as making an adaptation of it, if they wanted to do that they’d call it “A movie in the universe of Borderlands” When you have to remove everything but the basic framework of the game you claim to be adapting then maybe you should just forget the adaptation and come up with some new ideas.
Who even cares about the Borderlands universe? You don’t play borderlands to look at some detailed, immersive world; you play Borderlands to shoot things in the face with increasingly powerful guns…
Outside of that, the universe is a secondary idea, an excuse for big, weird monsters and bigger, weirder psychos. The vaults are a Macguffin, the monsters they contain are final level bosses, and everything up to that point exists to be shot at.

Yeah…which I’m thinking will pretty much be the plot if they do make it it’s own seperate story in the universe.

There’ll be some such vault with some such monster that the some such vault hunter(s) will have to get to and kill, bam. movie.

I’m just going to go by standard video game movie logic and assume it will be ■■■■ and bring down the borderlands name more than gearbox already have themselves but eh…there’s always that potential with this series.

Don’t really know where you’re coming from with this.

Borderlands never really was a masterpiece, and retreading their game without really fixing any of the problems in the Pre-Sequel wasn’t the best move for the players

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Borderlands 2 was as close to a masterpiece as we’ll get IMO, and they fixed some of the problems in TPS.

But I get what you’re saying.

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Yes, you do.

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As usual with a ‘challenging and possibly even confrontational’ thread, let’s make sure this stays polite, folks. Thankyou.


Okay… I’ll give a slightly more critical explanation of Brick, what makes him tick and his dreams. Everything he hopes for wishes for on forlorn stars each randomly generated, Pandoran night. His darkest secrets and his most triumphant moments. His highest highs and his lowest lows.

Brick punches stuff… twice if necessary

Well I had something posted, it was posted on the wrong forum and it might get me banned so I’ll withdraw. All I have to say is I respectfully disagree with your OP. That good enough for you, Psy?

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I’m fine with someone calling me an idiot if that’s what they want to say, you think you could let dearksiea post what he wanted to say to me Psy?

It is best not to. Lets leave it at that.

There are always (friendly) PMs.

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If someone can’t get their point across politely, it’s probably not a very good point to make, is it? Having said that, I’ve read the mystery post and it really wouldn’t result in a ban.

Reminding people to stay polite shouldn’t be seen as censorship. Just advice to encourage positive discussion.

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While I am here, I feel I must defend my man.

Ive mentioned this before, but whos to say the movie will take place during BL2 (and shortly before it)
Because this is when Mordecai started drinking (shortly before BL2) and ended drinking (shortly after BL2)

So unless this movie follows the BL2 events, I dont think Mordecai will be the drunk as he quickly became known for following BL2s release.

He wssnt created in BL1 with the intention of being the drunk. The BL2 writer made him that way years later. Then reversed it in a later DLC.

Besides, whos to say these characters will even be in the movie? Personally, i hope it follows new characters.

I may be grasping at nothing here though. I just hope that if he is in the movie, they dont pin him with that alcoholic persona BL2 gave him.


I, for one, hope it’s not going to be like “Fury Road”.
Because, while it was somehow entertaining, it was also everything but a “Mad Max” movie.


This entire thread, and even the instances where you said; “If he wants to call me an idiot, let him.” Seem to be a rather obvious attempt at a little bit of confrontation. Even more evident by Psych and Kitty having to wrangle this in in the most polite manner they possibly could’ve.

I know that you’re trying to be particularly tongue in cheek and incendiary, but it is coming off a bit like some one who saw a Yahtzee Croshaw video for the first time and decided that they too have mastered the art of fast paced and witty critique and are just now deciding to prove it.

I’d just like to say that you’re judging a comedy as you would a drama. You’re judging what is done for the sake of entertainment in a game, and expanding it to some form of canon.

You know that A Midsummer Night’s Dream is valued differently than Hamlet in regards to character development, yes? Have you played Tales and actually seen the level of variation, depth, and even character differentiation that is present in the good fictional skeletal structure that Borderlands is?

Your considerations are in no way something that a highly trained technical and writing staff (such as those running the BL franchise) have not seen coming from a mile away. I’d wager they considered it far before you decided that the best way to express your frustration with things that probably won’t happen is to ‘flesh them out’ in a profanity riddled piece.

Relax. We get the point. You’ve explained your opinion on it. Thank You for it, and we appreciate the input, genuinely. But 90% of the readers lost when you were bashing BL as concept and thought to say;

Hah. Zing. Ohhh boy.


I can understand where you are coming from. Games being transformed into movies has a past history of not ending well. Can’t think of any off the top of my head; probably because they were all easily forgettable. For it to succeed, or to at least not destroy the franchise, it would have to take place in the borderlands universe and stay away from the games and its characters. Probably should stay away from Pandora’s story all together.

It has close to 0% chance of doing that.

Mario 64 (loved by some to the point of obsession) came after the Mario film.

Second Silent Hill film was meant to “ruin the franchise” and many people seriously considered rioting when the next SH game was cancelled (for obviously different reasons).

I could name so many instances of that.

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I honestly think this movie has a much bigger chance of sucking than of being any good. It’s just an incredibly difficult property to adapt and I’m still not sure what was the studio reasoning behind the decision to try and make it now. Still, I remain cautiously optimistic about it, cause I can see the potential here for a really cool film. Honestly, I’m not even entirely sure the movie is actually going to happen. Just look at all of the video game movies that were announced as in development, stayed that way for years and still haven’t seen the light of day, like the Bioshock movie. I’ll believe it only when I see the first set picture.

That said, I disagree completely with everything else the OP keeps ranting on about, particularly his opinion on the characters and the story. It’s also worth noting that it seems he actually signed up to the forums just to start this ridiculously confrontational thread and post that massive wall of dismissive text. That’s very weird (not to say suspiciously trollish) for someone who really seems to HATE Borderlands and Gearbox with a passion.