Some film-series are better than others, and the Resident Evil films are not among the best. The films about the action hero, Alice, based on Capcom’s game series, are very special. The quality is not high, not even within the zombie genre, but these films are a guilty pleasure for many people, including non-Resident Evil fans because it has a high entertainment value.
This is achieved through brutal action scenes, slow motion, and awesome weapons that must be fired every minute. It’s no secret that the face-paced action is more important than the plot, and that’s what makes it great.
We take a look at the films and list them from best to worst. The Japanese CGI films, Resident Evil: Degeneration, Damnation, and Vendetta have not been included.
Resident Evil (2002)
Yep, the first one is the best one. I think most fans agree. I think that’s due to it being a focused film adaptation of a game that is loved by many. That’s kind of rare. But although the film has its scare moments, the atmosphere is nothing like the game. But Milla Jovovich manages to pull off some great and memorable action stunts, which along with the claustrophobic settings make for a great film. It’s not amazing, the plot is weak, but it’s still memorable and is able to do more than you may think at first glance.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
The fourth installment in the series is not, artistically, something you would write home about but has a high entertainment value. Once again the setting, which happens to be a prison, helps achieve this. The plot is extremely simple and yet confusing at times. It reminds me of Dawn of the Dead and The Walking Dead. Something I enjoyed about this film is how it feels like a game complete with levels and boss fights. The 3D effects are pretty cool too.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Resident Evil’s take on Mad Max is nothing like George Miller’s post-apocalyptic universe. The zombie showdown in Nevada stands out thanks to the fact that most scenes take place broad daylight and at times a Western-inspired mood, all of which are a great base for a zombie film on ecstasy. However, I don’t think that director Russell Mulcahy (Highlander), manages to utilize this base to its full potential, and the film ends up being a generic zombie film.
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Paul W.S. Anderson doesn’t know the word moderation, the action is so over the top at times that neither budget or talent can keep up. In the series’ fifth installment this results in non-stop action with too many scenes in slow motion. Don’t get me wrong. The film is ok. All it takes is that you don’t take it too seriously. Otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy it.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)
The final installment could have been so much more than it is. Director Paul W. S. Anderson tried his best to close all the plot holes, so to make the series make just a little sense. But it ends up being too complicated and the action once again way over the top. Despite all that, the film ended up as the highest grossing at the box office.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
The series’ second installment has its fans. Maybe because the plot is close to the games. Maybe because they needed to return to the universe of the first film, which was better in every way. The film is directed by Alexander Witt who happens to be one of Hollywood’s most popular second unit directors.
In May it was revealed that Constantin is “still working on [Resident Evil reboot] creatively” and that a TV series is an option. You can read more about that right here.