It is hard to believe that the Resident Evil film series has been alive for well over a decade now. Starting way back in the early 200o’s, when we were first introduced to Alice and a whole crew of others that we have been following this entire time. What started as a film adaptation of a beloved video game franchise that saw its beginning on the original PlayStation, the films have over time found their own identity within the Resident Evil world.
Trashed by many fans and critics alike for reasons such as “not being faithful to the games”or for being nothing more than mindless action the film series always finds away to continue, and I’m thankful for that. In this modern era dominated by superhero films, and Mad Max getting props for featuring a strong female lead I can’t help but think about how the Resident Evil films have been doing that for years.
It’s hard to believe that I grew up along with the Resident Evil films (being in junior high when the first was released in 2002) and that next year will be the final chapter or so it seems. I thought now is as good a time as any to go through the hit or miss series and rank them in terms of fun and quality (yes I said quality).
5. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Without a doubt the weakest in the entire series was 2010’s Afterlife which seemed to put the focus more on the 3D gimmick, and super slow motion action sequences over story or anything else. Yes that’s right I’m complaining about the plot in a Resident Evil film but despite a few cool moments here and there Afterlife was for the most part soulless. Though the plot has never been great here, the other films have managed to make us at least care for and get behind its characters but that’s not the case with this one.
4. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
There is really only one reason I have 2004’s Apocalypse at number four and it is because when it comes down to the action sequences – this is the weak link of the bunch. The story picks up almost directly after the original and it is the first time we see the real bad ass Alice doing what she does best and well… kicking some ass. Because of the horrible directing and action scenes it can be tough to go back to, however unlike Afterlife this one actually has some plot which is nice.
3. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
The most recent in the series was able to basically fix all the problems I had with Afterlife and offer up pure fan service. In fact this movie is so much a giant bowl full of fan service that it doesn’t really make sense at all. We get the return of the fan favorite Michelle Rodriguez despite the fact she had been killed off. Everyone’s favorite protagonist from the video games Leon Kennedy shows up along with other fan favorites Ada Wong and Barry Burton, and though none of it makes any real sense it is awesome. With most of the gimmicks removed Retribution felt as though it was scheduled to be the final chapter but as we now know that isn’t the case.
2. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Without a doubt the one in the series that I have re watched the most is Extinction, which is perhaps the one in the series that fits in the least. The first took us to an underground lab, the second to the streets of Raccoon City and the third to the post apocalyptic deserts. It’s because of this that Extinction feels like some sort of zombie fueled Mad Max film, and something that we have really never seen before. I would argue that when it comes to fight scenes and costume design none of the other movies have come close to matching the grittiness and creativity of this over the top desert zombie extravaganza.
1. Resident Evil (2002)
Here’s the thing about the first Resident Evil, it is not a bad movie at all. In fact in some ways it’s a great horror film with plenty of solid jump scares, intriguing plot and a pretty killer soundtrack. Sure by today’s standards the effects don’t hold up and though not as intentional as the other films the cheese is still present but a solid foundation helped drive it. Many fans were not happy with it because it strayed too far from what the games were at the time but it worked and felt unique and introduced the world to one of films greatest heroines Alice.