Thursday, September 13, 2012

Resident Evil: From Past To Present

For the past ten years we've seen the character Alice, play by Milla Jovovich, from the Resident Evil series, go from a relatively unknown heroin to a bad ass zombie killing machine.  Its been a great ride, even if the story isn't the best ever told, but its still a great way to pass the time if you have nothing better to do.

When I watched the first film I wasn't thrilled with how the movie turned out.  I was looking for the same scares and storyline that I've become accustomed to seeing in the games.  Resident Evil instead gave us a different story with more thrills, action, and maybe a few nods to the game it was adapted from.  I loved how the game was a mystery, slowly progressing into an action packed finale that made you feel as though you accomplished something.  The movies missed on what the first few games achieved, missing out on what could have been a much different and scarier franchise.

Even with all the negativity I've just written, I still enjoy watching the films.  I loved how the central character of Alice has progressed throughout the franchise and the action the films deliver.  The games have even evolved into what the movies are all about, a shot em' up action extravaganza.  I hear Resident Evil 6 is going to be more like the first few games, unlike four and five by the way. 

In Resident Evil: Apocalypse they take what we see in the second and third games and mix them together to make what the films' are primarily about, a zombie filled Raccoon City on the verge of collapse and total annihilation.  The city has closed its borders as everyone whose still human tries to survive and escape.  Alice is now a lethal killing machine created by the Umbrella Corporation, no longer considering herself as human, and still trying to escape the horrors that started in the first film.  A few characters from the game show up to help Alice along her journey, one being one of the most popular in the series, Jill Valentine, played by Sienna Guillory.

Its has great action, even taking a few scenes from the games to help it along the way.  In the end a few survivors make it out of the city, with Alice finding out she has a new power in which she uses her mind too destroy any hostels around her.  We realize that another film is in the near future and Alice is still seeking to destroy the corporation that started this whole mess.

 Resident Evil: Extinction, the third film in the series, takes us into a world which is now a barren wasteland.  Alice seems to be more comfortable in what she's become, as she makes her way across America, towards an unknown destination.  Another character from the game is introduced, Claire Redfield, played by Ali Carter.  Umbrella is primarily controlling its world underground; still trying to create the ultimate weapon, which seems a little redundant since the worlds population is primarily the undead.

Alice is soon thrown into another small group of people, a few from the last film, as they try to survive.  The group is trying to reach a signal that offers safety in Alaska.  As the film comes to an end, a few people from the group make it to a chopper, flying to safety, and Alice is now in control of an army of her clones that were discovered by her after she kills the main villain in the film.  Again the film is left open ended as she promises Wesker, the main antagonist in the video game series, that she's coming for him and Umbrella. 

Resident Evil: Afterlife, the first in the Resident Evil series to be filmed in 3D, begins with a bang as Alice keeps her promise and goes on an all out assault on Umbrella's main facility in Asia.  Wesker vaccinates Alice, making her human once again in their first fight in the film.  Six months later she finds herself on the way to Alaska to meet up with the group of people from the last film, only finding Claire under mind-control.  Alice flies to California with Claire, now fairly back to normal, as they both meet up with another group of people who are held up within a prison.  Chris Redfield, played by Wentworth Miller, is another popular character in the game franchise who shows up in the film to help Alice along her adventure through zombie land and also reunites with his sister he lost so long ago..  In the end, just like the others, only a few are left standing and Alice goes up against the main villain in the story.  The story is, yet again left open ended as an army of Umbrella solders fly towards Alice and about two-thousand survivors she's helped escape from the clutches of the corporation.  Jill Valentine leads the army, clearly under the same mind-control that Claire was under at the beginning of the film.

Alright, now that we're all caught with what has happened so far in the series, I'm curious if the fifth film will follow the same formula.  You can clearly see that each story is primarily about survival, with Alice fighting alongside a new group of people so she can reach her goal of destroying Umbrella.  I'm wondering, by watching the trailer to the new film, why several characters who have died in past films are back in Resident Evil: Retribution; I'm guessing through a mixture of flashbacks and cloning, which is plausible within the Resident Evil universe.  Its also filmed in 3D, which doesn't necessarily make it a better film, but it does mean the picture is clearer and more crisp.  I also predict that it will be left open ended yet again to keep us on the edge of our seats for another look into the world that is Resident Evil.  Paul W. S. Anderson is back for his third outing as director in the series and writer for the fifth time.

Anderson has taken the films down a different road than what I first imagined way back in 2002, but I've enjoyed the path he's taken.  I'm curious as to where the series will go from here and what will happen to a franchise that seems to grow in popularity with every passing film.

Whats your favorite Resident Evil movie and do you think the franchise is worth the buck to see or should it die out and fade away?

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