Upon the release of the ‘Resident Evil: Final Chapter’ trailer, (Numbered sequels not being one of Resident Evil’s things) I thought it would be a good idea to try and make an attempt at figuring out how this roller coaster of a franchise could possibly end before it is eventually remade. The franchise of movies based on the franchise of the sometimes survival horror video games has definitely stayed true to it’s gaming roots what with it being mostly about action and keeping just enough story to keep the sequels coming. That does sound like a bad thing but just like the games, the films manage to make it entertaining.
The first Resident Evil starts off with a naked lady (Milla Jovovich) waking up the in the shower with no memory. As she walks through the obvious mansion, she works out that she had sex with a hunky bloke and has a semi-automatic machine gun in her chest of drawers. A lovely dress is laid out for her so she puts that on and some combat boots. Seconds later, the mansion is stormed by military types so Alice, (her name is not mentioned in the first film) Matt (Eric Mabius) who is an activist of some type and the military types are taken down to an underground lab (because of course there fucking is) called the Hive where the Red Queen, the computer that runs the place, has gone batshit and killed all of the 500 employees.
The team consists of
James ‘One’ Shade (Colin Salmon) Leader
Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) Action Chick
J.D. Salinas (Pasquale Aleardi) Action Guy
Chad Kaplan (Martin Crewes) Tech Guy
Olga Danilova (Liz May Brice) Medic
There is another two members, a guy and a girl who are not rewarded with names.
They pick up another bloke along the way, Spencer (James Purefoy) who also has no memory but he is the hunky bloke that Alice has sex with. She also found a wedding picture of the two of them and they are both wearing wedding rings. So they are married? No. They’re wedding is a sham and only a cover story for their identities. She is a security type and he is something.
When they get down to the Hive to shut the Red Queen down, a lot of the commandos are killed and the place is swarming with zombies. They find out so me stuff about the T-Virus such as the existence of an anti-virus which is handy since the Michelle Rodriguez character is infected. Spencer turns out to be the bad guy who caused the outbreak in the first place and is mauled to death by a Licker. Alice, Matt, Rain and Kaplan make to the train out but they are followed by the licker who kills Kaplan. Rain dies from the infection and comes back but is put down by Matt. Alice and Matt kill the licker and flee the mansion before the doors are sealed forever. Matt begins to mutate because he was scratched by a licker. Scientists come in and strap Matt to a stretcher and they take Alice away. A doctor is heard saying to put Matt in the ‘Nemesis Program’.
Alice wakes up on a table with needles in every orriface. When she gets outside, she finds Raccoon City in ruins. A newspaper says ‘The Dead Walk’. Alice finds a shotgun in an abandoned police car and gets ready to face the city.
For it’s many faults, I enjoyed the first film. The low budget nature gave a tight, claustrophobic feel to the filming and it does feel like the people behind it gave a shit about the game. Also, this is the film where director Paul W.S Anderson met Milla Jovovich and they got married which is nice. The film had a budget of $32 Million and made just over $102 Million which is impressive. Onto number two.
RE Apocalypse starts with a little video where we finally learn that Alice’s name is Alice and she recaps the plot of the first film. Apocalypse is heavily influenced by Resident Evil: Nemesis as it takes place in a zombie infested Raccoon City. Also we are introduced to some actual characters from the Resident Evil Universe. We have Jill Valentine played by Sienna Guillory and Carlos Oliveira played the sexy Oded Fehr. In interviews, Sienna
Guillory mentioned that she did extensive research into her character and played RE3 to see how her character moved. Oded Fehr is already a badass so job done. Jill Valentine enters Raccoon City for some reason, presumably to deal the zombie outbreak whilst Carlos Oliveira is definitely in Raccoon City to deal with the zombies. His team is left behind by Umbrella because they are expendable.
Meanwhile, the scene from number 1 plays when Alice wakes up in the hospital and thats where her part ends for now.
A couple of central characters are introduced in this film. Dr Ashford, played by the wonderful Jared Harris, is the scientist who created the T-Virus. Ashford is in a wheelchair and his daughter, Angie (Sophie Vavasseur) was born with the same affliction. He created the T-Virus to strengthen the muscles in her legs so she could walk unaided which was a nice touch to a little humanity. Angie is trapped in her school so Ashford hires Jill, Carlos and his friend, Nicolai Ginovaef (Zack Ward), LJ (Mike Epps), a reporter Terri Morales (Sandrine Holt) and Alice who all make it to the school from separate directions. Their reward for rescuing her, a chopper ride out of Raccoon City which is about to get nuked. Carlos is infected but is saved by the anti-virus which Angie carries with her. It is also revealed that Alice was infected with the T-Virus but she has a special gene that helps the T-Virus bond with her rather than turn her into a zombie.
All throughout the plot, Alice is pursued by Nemesis who is remarkably well portrayed down to the very last inch of makeup and it all comes to a head when they have their final battle. Alice realises that Nemesis is in fact Matt so she won’t kill him. Nemesis recognises Alice and saves her life by blowing a helicopter and shielding her from the wreckage. Jill, LJ, Carlos, Angie and Alice all make it onto the chopper just as the nuke hits. The chopper
goes down and Alice is killed by a piece of metal that had detached from the chopper.
6 weeks later, Alice wakes up in a tank having been revived by a bunch of scientists. The lead scientist is Dr Isaacs (Iain Glen) who is shiftier than a caffiene riddled removal man. Alice remembers who she is and fights off the other doctors before being rescued by Carlos, Jill, LJ and Angie. Just as they leave the facility, Dr Isaacs initiates ‘Project Alice’. Alice’s eyes flash with the Umbrella symbol and her vision has gone all weird and computery.
Overall, not a bad film experience. The introduction of new characters was well implemented and I didn’t hate them. Alice’s evolution in a warrior with the T-Virus was also well done with Ms Jovovich’s performance worthy of praise. Some of the one liners are a bit cringe worthy but there are some top actors in this line up so I can look over that. As ever the action sequences are bigger, more monsters and better weapons. Taken as a whole, the movie is an improvement over the first one due to the bigger budget and overall scale. With a budget of $45 Million, the film took in $129.3 Million. Next.
Extinction was where the franchise started to lose me. It’s still an entertaining film but the sudden leap from Apocalypse to this maybe have been a shot in the foot storywise. I’ll explain what I mean. In the unspecified time between Alice escaping the Detroit facility at the end of Apocalypse and the start of Extinction, the world is fucked. In the prologue with some narration by Alice, the T-Virus started in Raccoon City but the barrier that they had didn’t seem to work. The whole planet succumbed to the virus and is filled with zombies.
The opening scene is a replay of the first time we see Alice in the first Resident Evil. She wakes up in the shower, puts on the red dress but quickly finds herself in the laser room. She gets through the laser room and ends up in some kind of hospital area. ‘Alice’ is killed by a machine gun that comes out of the floor. Dr Isaacs shows up with two blokes and he tells them to take a sample of her blood and to take her to the surface. The blokes take her body to the surface and dump her into a ditch with a lot of other dead ‘Alice’ clones.
Now we see real Alice as she responds to a distress call. The call is a hoax and she ends up in a pit with a load of zombie dogs. She uses her new skills to escape the trap and kill her captures.
Eventually, she hooks up with Carlos and saves his life by using her telekinesis. She also has some kind of psychic link with the clones, possible because they are derived from her DNA. She clearly doesn’t have any control over her power because she passes out after saving Carlos.
I mentioned earlier that this was the film that lost me. All through the plot, Dr Isaacs is tracking Alice with the Umbrella satellites that are orbiting Earth. He needs the real Alice because her blood has bonded with the T-Virus and can be used to create a cure. Sounds reasonable in theory but the writer seems to have forgotten that the world has ended. There is a piece of dialogue with a sub-par Wesker later on in the film that seems to be some kind of meeting where they discuss their dwindling food supplies. So their food is running out but they have infinite fuel for helicopters and electricity on-site for powering computers and electricity in the bases for all the cloning.
Anyway, back to the plot. Dr Isaacs is bitten by a super zombie that was infected with a serum made from one of the clone’s blood and Carlos is bitten by a zombified LJ who was bitten early on and didn’t mention it. Alice makes some new friends being Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and K-Mart (Spencer Locke) a teenage girl who really takes a shine to Alice and clearly has a crush on Carlos (who doesn’t).
The remnants of the convoy that Claire put together find the base where Dr Isaacs is and they hope to find the anti-virus for Carlos but unfortunately, it’s too late. The vast area around the base is littered with hundreds of thousands of zombies so after Alice kisses him goodbye, Carlos sacrifices himself by blowing a tanker and clearing a path so the convoy can get to a helicopter and to a safe zone in Alaska. Alice stays behind to take care of business. She finds the ditch that’s filled with the bodies of the ‘Alice’ clones and that is over the fucking limit. Alice makes it down to the lab and meets the White Queen who is the good sister to the Red Queen. She tells Alice about the cure but she has to take care of Dr Isaacs whose infection had gotten out of hand and he has turned into the Tyrant from Resident Evil 1. Alice manages to defeat Dr Isaacs with the help of one of the clones and tells the Umbrella panel, including Wesker, that she will be coming for them and she will be ‘bringing a few friends’. The last shot is Alice and her clone watching the rest of her clones wake up.
This film was the one where the franchise started to go a bit weird with the whole cloning thing. I did roll my eyes when cloning got involved and adding the death of a main character, I knew where they were heading. With cloning, there is no longer any danger. If a popular character dies, they can just bring them back. And that’s what they did but we’ll have to wait a few films for that. Also that thing about Alice’s blood being the key to a cure, in the next film that whole thing got thrown out of the window. Resident Evil Extinction had a budget of $45 Million and made $147.7 Million worldwide at the box office. Onto Afterlife.
Resident Evil Afterlife opens is Tokyo, Japan with the ‘Alice’ clones storming the Umbrella Facility where Wesker reigns. Wesker manages to escape the clones by getting into
an aircraft and detonating a huge bomb that wipes out most of the city. Fortunately, the real Alice was hiding on the plane and confronts him. However, she is no match for
Wesker and he injects her with a serum that takes away her powers. No more advanced reflexes, no more accelerated healing and definitely no more telekinesis. Despite being a
mere human again, Alice thanks Wesker for making her human just before the plane crashes into a mountain. Somehow, both Alice and Wesker survive.
Cut to later and Alice lands a small propeller plane in Arcadia, Alaska which was where Claire Redfield took the convoy after they separated in Extinction. Alice encounters
Claire who is once again played by Ali Larter but she has had her memory erased by the bug like device from RE5. Whilst taking Claire on a plane ride with her, they encounter
some survivors who are hiding out in a prison. Alice makes friends with their ring leader, basketball star Luthor West (Boris Kodjoe). Alice meets all of the people in the
prison. Along with Luthor is former film producer, Bennett (Kim Coates); his assistant Kim Yong (Norman Yeung), actress Crystal (Kacey Barnfield) and mystery man, Angel Ortiz
(Sergio Peris-Mencheta). In addition to meeting all these characters, Alice also meets Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller) who is being kept prisoner by the others. He says that he knows a way out of the prison that doesn’t involve going head to head with thousands of zombies.
Alice figures out that the Arcadia that she visited is not the Arcadia that is actually the safe haven. The Arcadia is actually a ship. Anyway, zombies start tunneling into the
prison so they decide to make their escape through the hole that the zombies made as Bennett stole the plane to get to Arcadia. After a fight with the Executioner from RE5,
the gang get on their way.
Alice, Claire and Chris make it to Arcadia and are confronted by Wesker (Shawn Roberts). Claire and Chris re-enact the same fight that Chris and Sheva have with Wesker in
RE5 and Alice finishes the job with the help of K-Mart (Locke) who was captured by Umbrella when they landed in Alaska. Wesker escapes but his plane is blown up by Alice who sees through his plan to blow up the ship and plants the bomb on his plane instead. Alice decides to make Arcadia into an actual safe haven and watches as the survivors step
out onto the main deck. A happy ending, right? Wrong. An entire Umbrella fleet of aircrafts are heading towards the ship who are headed by Jill Valentine who is being
brainwashed and is once again played by Sienna Guillory. Also in the post credits sequence, we see that Luthor is in fact alive after he was dragged out of view by the
RE Afterlife was the second film to be shot with the new 3D technology after James Cameron’s 2010 epic, Avatar. This film also encapsulates numerous slow motion sections that act as an interesting contrast to the fast-paced action sequences. Overall, the use of the 3D technology made the film a lot slicker and a lot prettier in general. It also seems a bit more grounded than Extinction although there are still some inconsistencies. Even though Alice lost her powers at the beginning of the film, she still seems to be able to flying kick an 8-foot tall guy in the face and still land on her feet. Resident Evil Afterlife was released on September 10th, 2010 and with a budget of $60 Million, the film took in a whopping $296.2 Million. Impressive. Next film.
Resident Evil Retribution starts off from where Afterlife finished, with the fleet of choppers approaching the Arcadia. Jill and the rest of the Umbrella soldiers attack
Alice and the survivors and Alice is knocked into the water after a plane crashes into the ship.
Alice wakes up in a nice bed with Carlos by her side. They are a nice, suburban couple and they have a young daughter, Becky (Aryana Engineer) who is deaf. She communicates with Carlos and Alice with sign language. As Carlos goes to work, he is attacked by a zombie and Alice flees with Becky. They are saved by Rain who is an activist and opposed to the use of guns. Their car crashes and Alice makes it back to her house where she is attacked and killed by an infected Carlos.
Alice wakes up again in an Umbrella facility wearing something similar to what she was wearing when she woke up in the hospital at the end of Resident Evil 1. She is trapped in
a cell and is being tortured by an mind controlled Jill. However, Alice is released and given some more appropriate fighting attire. She shows up in corridor and is chased by
a laser beam before turning up on a street in Tokyo, Japan. The empty street is then filled with people and rain. A J-Pop girl stumbles through the crowd and ends up biting
someone. Zombies are then quickly produced and Alice fights them off promptly. She ends up in a control room where everyone is dead. It is here that she meets Ada Wong (Li
Bingbing) and they re-enact the small sequence originally played out by Leon and Ada in Resident Evil 4. Speaking of Leon, he shows up for the first time in the film franchise.
He is played by Johann Urb and he does bare a striking resemblance to the Leon that we know and love. I would just like to voice how maddening it is for (arguably) the most
popular character in the games to show up so late in the films.
Anyway, Leon is working with Ada and he is joined by Luthor, Barry Burton (Kevin Durand) and some other guys. Ada is working with Wesker who doesn’t work for Umbrella anymore
and was the one who got Alice out of her cell. They are battling against the Red Queen who is back somehow and is in control of the facility. The facility in question provides
simulations of how an outbreak of the T-Virus would affect a populated area. This is all done so the T-Virus could be sold to people who could see the affect of the virus would work. The simulations are populated by clones so the simulations are endless. Ada is to take Alice to Leon’s team and blow up the facility.
Jill’s team consists of some old favourites. Carlos, Rain and the return of ‘One’ played by the fabulous Colin Salmon. They are clones and they are bad. They continue to track
down Alice and Ada.
Speaking of, Alice and Ada end up in New York and are faced with two Axe-men. They defeat the Axe-men with relative ease and end up in Suburbia. Alice sees her dead clone and finds Becky hiding in a wardrobe. She decides to take care of her. Outside, Jill’s team is waiting for them. A shootout ensues and Ada gives Alice her grappling hook before staying
behind so Alice and Becky can escape. Alice and Becky get to an underground train station were they meet ‘good’ Rain. Alice leaves Becky with ‘good’ Rain and goes off to
save Leon and his team.
Leon and his team end up in the Russia simulation where they attacked by the Plaga infected and a giant licker. Alice arrives and saves Luthor, Leon and Barry. They fight off
the licker and re-unite with Becky and Rain. They get to the lift where they are going to get out but Becky is taken by the licker and Rain is killed. Luthor is wounded by one of Jill’s soldiers who has caught up with them. As Alice goes to save Becky, Leon and his team fight off the ambush. Barry is shot dead and Leon detonates a bomb that fills the whole facility with water and sets off the lift so they can escape. Alice rescues Becky and kills the licker once and for all. They meet up with Leon and Luthor and make their escape.
As they drive through the frozen landscape of Russia, they are ambushed by Jill and ‘bad’ Rain who have kidnapped Ada. Leon obviously wants her back. Rain injects herself with
the Las Plagas parasite which makes her super-strong and impervious to bullets. Jill fights Alice as Bad Rain fights Leon and Luthor. Alice manages to tear off Jill’s mind control
device and she is returned to normal. Bad Rain breaks Leon’s arm and kills Luthor with a single blow to the chest, breaking his ribs and stopping his heart. Bad Rain faces off
with Alice who is killed when Alice shoots the ice around her and she is pulled under by the zombies that lie underneath.
Alice, Leon, Ada, Becky and Jill are taken to the White House where she finds Wesker sitting in the Oval Office. He re-injects her with the T-Virus and she once again has her abilities. He says that she has work to do. The Red Queen wants to kill everyone and so few humans remain. This is humanity’s last stand. The last shot is Wesker, Jill, Alice, Ada and Leon standing on top of the White House as one of those flying things from RE5 flies at the camera. The End.
As a film, this plot doesn’t really do all that much. The majority of the plot is just the characters farting around in the simulations with the majority of the plot being
given by Wesker at the end. Also, why the film makers thought it was necessary to cast a short guy to play Wesker is beyond me. Alice is taller than him. The taller a character is, the more foreboding they are. Nemesis taught us that. The bloke who played Nemesis was huge and he pulled it off.
Whilst the 3D thing continues to keep the film looking sleek and smooth, the film itself wasn’t as inspiring as the others. It just seemed that the writers thought of the action sequences and then developed what plot there is around that. That could arguably be said about the other ones but at least the other films had some big motivation to keep the characters going. In this one, there doesn’t seem to be one. There is only one plot device at the end to set up number 6 which I will get to.
Resident Evil Retribution opened internationally on September 14th, 2012 and with a budget of $65 Million, it pulled in $240.2 Million, a smaller take-in than Afterlife but
still big enough to warrant a sixth and final installment.
So what do we know about The Final Chapter and how could this possibly end? We know that this will be the last one. From the trailer, we see that Alice is going back to Raccoon
City and to the Hive. The Red Queen bangs on about an airborne anti-virus but Alice has no reason to believe her and she has a punch up with Iain Glenn in the laser room.
We also know that Ali Larter is coming back as Claire Redfield and that is about it for the knowable faces. No Chris, No Jill, No Rain, No Carlos, No Becky, No K-Mart, No Ada and definitely no Leon. What the fuck? This is the final instalment of a major franchise based on a major video game franchise and you are not going to have most of the major faces of the franchise in the final film? I would love to see the explanation for where all those characters went after Retribution.
It does seem that the whole ‘cure’ thing is being brought back after it was dropped following Extinction which is a positive move. At least they are trying to actually end it.
I would like for the film to show much more about Alice’s past because aside from the little insight we got in the first film, we don’t really know who she is. It would be
interesting to see how she came to work for Umbrella in the first place.
It also looks like they’ve stopped messing about with clones which was a good excuse to get all our old and favourite characters back but it does open up a can of worms where
the plot is concerned.
I do know that trailers can be mis-leading but I did enjoy the Final Chapter trailer and I am a fan of this hilarious franchise so I will probably be the first in the cue.
All I can say is, the ending had better be satisfying.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is released on January 27th, 2017 and I am so looking forward to it.