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Resident Evil Franchise

Guilty pleasure series. I know it's crap, but I can't help but enjoy it on a junk food level (like Underworld).

Some facts...
Holds the record for most video game to movie franchise entries and has the highest BO for any video game to movie property (nearly a billion $ total).

Number six is supposed to be filming this year for a 2016 release, The last one apparently.

They all range in quality, muck with the source material, introduce characters, kill them, then bring them back. It's Milla's pet franchise and she's married to the franchise captain, PWSA. Any fans? Haters?

My tribute...


It's funny you bring this up because I was musing about this the other day.  I remember Resident Evil 2 was the first game I played in the franchise.  I would rent it every weekend at the local video store. Every time I rented it I would only get about half an hour or so's worth of progress.  I was young and extremely unused to the type of game that required so much more of a mind than jump on Mushroom to kill it.  I rented 1, because I saw the grotesque image of the STARS agent on the shelf, the title, and decided hey why not?  I like this franchise.  I got to the first zombie, died, and never played it again.

So naturally when the movie was announced I was right in the absolute sweet spot of my Resident Evil fandom, long before the decline into embarrassed curiosity, which very explicitly started at 5.  The first movie...  It's kind of alright.  I got to see the Licker.  I got to see fun zombie action.  But I still can't really get over the fact that it isn't the movie that I wanted.  Resident Evil 1, specifically the GORGEOUS gamecube remake, is one of those perfect games for me.  It's just so absolutely incredible, and a genuinely great movie could have been hidden in there somewhere.  Sadly, the WS movie decides to cut right past the mansion stuff and skip directly to what should have been the last ten minutes of the movie with the laboratory stuff.  I understand it has to be it's own thing, but loud rock and Milla kicking dogs in the face is just not at all what I wanted or was expecting.

Otherwise, I saw the second and thought it was fine, but the third is probably easily my favorite of the franchise.  Mad Max with zombies in Las Vegas?  Fuck yeah.  It was cool as hell.

AAnd it was directed by Russel Mulcahy (Razorback, The Shadow, Highlander). Crazy.

I remember being excited for the first one for the simple fact that it was the first zombie film to be released theatrically since, I think, Day of the Dead? In the end, it had some good atmosphere. 2 was terrible with all the zombie strobe light scenes. 3 was fun. I think I watched maybe a few minutes of 4 but couldn't make it past more than that and I've never looked back.

If any franchise needed a reboot, this is one! REBOOOOOOT!


Jaquio took one for the team.

Poor Guy. Check out Post No 61.

Edit -Here it is.

This was awhile ago now, but a few months back I woke up to the opening credits of Resident Evil: Retribution. I had no initial intention of doing so, but after a few minutes of shaking the early morning sleepiness off, I wound up watching the entire movie before even having breakfast. I was utterly transfixed at the complete and utter nonsense unfolding before my eyes. I mean, the movie was every shade of awful imaginable, but it wound up sticking in my head days later. See, we've all used the stock phrase "this movie has no plot". By and large though that's an exaggeration: we don't really literally mean the movie has no plot whatsoever. We usually just mean it has a shitty, poorly written one that barely matters to the point of irrelevance. But generally speaking, when asked, we can almost always recount at least the bare minimum basics of what the movie's story was about.
This movie was different though: I'd seen it, in its entirety from beginning to end, and I still knew NOTHING about what just happened in it. Like you could tie up my family and hold them at knife point in front of me, and I would NOT in the least bit be able to describe what this movie was actually, y'know, about. Not on an even the simplest level, and not without flat out making shit up from wholecloth to cover.
At first I actually thought it was me. Maybe it was because it was still too early and I was still half-asleep. Maybe I was dozing in the middle of it without realizing. I wound up actually ordering it On Demand later, making sure it was the middle of the day and I was bright eyed and wide the fuck awake. I didn't like or even enjoy it the first time though; that wasn't the point of the rewatch. I was determined to just nail down the absolute simplest basics of what the plot of the movie was. Purely on principal. Up till then, I'd only ever seen the first two Resident Evil movies when they first came out, before deciding life's too short and not bothering with all the rest. Now those were wretched, nigh-unwatchable crap. But again if you asked me, like really sat me down and asked me to do so, I could at least rattle off basic story points of what happened in both.
I couldn't do that with this one. I sat there and watched it again, this time wide the fuck awake. And once again, I had NO idea what was going on for the entirety of the running time. Alice gets attacked on an aircraft carrier (the point where the previous movie left off I'm guessing), gets knocked unconscious, wakes up in a happy normal suburban life with no memory. But wait, its not Alice but a clone in a mockup of a metropolitan city that Umbrella made to test out simulations of their bio weapons? Clone Alice dies, and her daughter meets the real one, who then decides to look after her. That right there is the most cogent amount of plot I got out of this, and that's all merely within the first maybe ten minutes at most. From there, the entire rest of the movie is just a succession of scenes of characters... ha ha, did I say characters? I'm sorry, let me rephrase that. It was just a succession of no-name models in bad cosplay of random characters from the video games running from one sound stage and cg backdrop to another, shooting and punching things.
And again, no hyperbole here. No context, no even flimsiest of flimsy reasons given. The entire movie is a series of gun and martial arts battles against zombies and random creatures, the motivations behind which still utterly mystify me. I literally don't know who ANYBODY is in this movie or why they're here or what they're attempting to accomplish. I get that Pretty Boy A is supposed to be Leon, Random Generic Guy B is (I think?) supposed to be Barry, and Doe-Eyed Asian Girl is cosplaying as Ada (in fact I'm almost convinced this film's casting took place in a Comic Con convention hall). But I know all this from piggybacking my knowledge off the games. Within the context of the movie? These people are somehow less than ciphers. They're action figures. Literally. The movie finally ends at the White House, where Wesker, who I think was the villain in the last few movies, is now a good guy who teams up with them. Again, what I just said there is literally all the context that's given in the film: which is to say, none at all.
I sat there feeling like someone who'd spent 2 hours watching a dead insect decay. I'm not proud to admit that I wound up watching this movie a third time, again trying for all I was worth to glean something, some basic shred of a story out of the collection of scenes. Again: nothing.
I shit you not, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (the brown standard in unwatchably awful, putrid, bargain basement quality video game movie adaptations), while having the plot structure akin to what a bunch of 7 year olds making up their own Mortal Kombat movie in the school yard at recess might come up with, has an infinitely more coherent storyline than this did. Maybe it helps that I played the first three Mortal Kombat games way, way too much as a kid, but however stupidly and ineptly it did so, I got that the movie was essentially trying to follow the basic-most beats of the third video game's story. As executed, its not even remotely, vaguely passable much less "good" in even the most charitable light, and large stretches of the film are indeed a muddled and incoherent non-movie: but there's a basic-most through-line even past all the bullshit that's crystal clear and can be summed up in a sentence or two: evil warlord from another dimension wants to use his resurrected queen to merge his world and our world together and take over, thus an intrepid band of martial arts heroes split up to go on their own personal journeys before then rejoining to stop him. A lot of dumb, dumb, dumb nonsense happens along the way and its all executed with all the deftness of a surgeon with two clubbed hands: but there's a very clear, understandable A leads to B leads to C basic structure at the foundation underneath all the meandering digressions and other assorted impenetrable bullshit.
Resident Evil: Retribution, I can safely say after no less than four (yes, fucking four) near-back to back viewings, doesn't even have that much going for it. Yes I said it: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is better written and has a more coherent central story than Resident Evil: Retribution. And like with Mortal Kombat, I actually played through the entirety of a good majority of the games in the RE series back when they first came out: its been many, many years since I went back to any of them, but I still remember the important events (and even a lot of minor, subtle details) of RE 1, 2, 3, Code Veronica, and 0 with a great deal of clarity. The RE movies famously have all of jack shit to do with the games' events, but even still one would think it might be of at least SOME small help in decoding what the fuck was going on throughout the runtime of this cinematic equivalent of babbling in tongues. Nope. Not even the tiniest bit, other than attaching a few names to some of the faces. In fact, while writing this post, I actually kept having to look up the film's subtitle on IMDB to make sure I got right which one I saw. This for a movie I saw 4 times now. Resident Evil movie subtitles literally all blur together for me.
God help me, I haven't yet mustered up the wherewithal to try another tactic I'm mortified to have found myself considering: go back, rewatch the first two movies, see the third and fourth that I missed, and then see Retribution for a FIFTH time just to make absolutely positively certain beyond all shadow of a doubt that maybe, just maybe there's a decipherable basic through-line to the film's, ahem, "narrative". There's a purely irrational, horrifyingly OCD part of me that's prodding at me to get on doing this, but I... I don't think I have that kind of stamina anymore. This movie's astounding level of emptiness and almost nihilistic disregard for any remote pretense at having a point to anything happening (even on the level of basic-most narrative mechanics, something which even the dumbest of dumbshit muscleheaded 80's action movies had) has been haunting me in the back of my mind for months now.
For another point of comparison, I recently revisited the 1991 Van Damme opus Double Impact. As stupid and brainless an early 90's action movie as you'll ever find yes, but again, I KNOW WHAT ACTUALLY FUCKING HAPPENS IN IT. I get who each character is, what their purpose is for being in the movie, why they do the things they do, etc. Granted, once again, its all laughably idiotic: but its also COGENTLY idiotic. (Side note: for the record, while we're talking about bad video game movies, Double Impact? WAY better Double Dragon movie than the actual Double Dragon movie, with infinitely more in common with the old arcade games, down to a muscleman named Bolo hurling barrels at the hero). Again, if you asked me to I could easily give you a brief rundown of what its about, if even in just a sentence or two. It's a preposterously stupid, stupid fucking movie, but its still recognizably a movie. Retribution? Not joking, I honestly, truthfully do not know what this is: a demo reel for someone who worked on the film maybe? Its not a movie though. Not in any real sense of the word.
I do not understand how it is that the Resident Evil movies are STILL getting made. Anyone who argues that 2000's moviegoers are more sophisticated than 90's moviegoers are completely full of shit in my view, if only for the fact that in the 90's almost none of the shitty game adaptations of this caliber (which was all of them really) made it past maybe one sequel (and most of the time not even that: Annihilation's the only one really, all the rest died at one film each), while this thing has been chugging on for motherfucking FIVE movies (with a sixth almost undoubtedly on the way) over the course of a ten year period.
Again I ask, is it me? Am I just not smart enough for these movies? Is Paul W.S. Anderson pulling some David Lynchian abstract shit with these films and I'm just too stupid to grasp it?

Jesus Christ, I totally forgot I watched this until I read that post.

AND THE FUNNY THING IS: It's pretty par for the course for the series in general. Resident Evil went up its own ass with its mythology-building bullshit years ago. I don't buy for a second that any reasonable person still buys those games because they care about any of these characters.

That being said, I absolutely enjoyed (see: hate-watch) Resident Evil 4 (the one before the one Jaquio watched, I think), partly because it's ridiculous and all kinds of dumb. But mostly they straight up rip off an action scene straight from the actual game itself.


Hahaha I know the Wesker actor, he starred in my buddies Indie.  Fun dude.

AMade it through the first one. Beschissen. Seen bits of the others. Unwatchable.
AI totally expect this thread to be brought up by a CHUD arbiter as proof of my bad taste.

Like Alice, in the record-breaking RE film franchise, I'm not afraid.

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AI kind if love that second one.
AResident Smugness
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post

That being said, I absolutely enjoyed (see: hate-watch) Resident Evil 4 (the one before the one Jaquio watched, I think), partly because it's ridiculous and all kinds of dumb. But mostly they straight up rip off an action scene straight from the actual game itself.

Relevant: the only thing worthwhile to ever come out of Half in the Bag.

I'll go to bat for the lion's share of the main Resident Evil video games. When people think of everything that's terrible about the games, they're generally thinking primarily of 5 and 6, which are unplayable and known to induce brain cancer with prolonged exposure.

In the grand scheme of the series though that's really not that huge of a piece of it; it kept itself largely on the rails for a good long while before plunging over the cliff. I think it feels like more of a sharper, longer decline to a lot of people due to A) the two overwhelmingly worst games being the two most recent and easily the most heavily, widely marketed, B) the severity of just how fucking gobsmackingly terrible they are compounded by C) how well liked and successful the older games were, and D) a whole metric ton of sub-par to outright garbage spin offs and side-games orbiting the series throughout the years further diluting and chipping away at its reputation.

RE2 in particular deserves recognition for incredibly effective atmosphere-building in a video game. The Spencer Mansion from the first game is more iconic, but the Raccoon City Police Station in 2 to me is one of the hands down most evocative game environments in the medium's history.


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