(I write this strictly from the point of view of a fan of the Resident Evil series)
Paul W.S. Anderson holds a special place in my heart. And that would be at the deepest, darkest, blackest part of it. After watching the newest trailer for the Resident Evil: Retribution movie, I am thoroughly convinced that he has completely lost touch with what the Resident Evil series is about. And that’s even assuming he had it was at the beginning.
Every time I see a new movie being made with him at the helm, I automatically assume that story, narrative and an intriguing plot is being thrown out the window in favor of CGI characters and/or the same Matrix style moves and camera work that he uses in every film.
As a longtime fan of the Resident Evil video game series, I was first excited when I heard that a movie was being made based on one of my favorite franchises of all time. Now I know that video game movies are not necessarily the greatest thing to ever get excited about. Films such as Super Mario Bros, both live action Street Fighter movies and every Uwe Boll project did little to convince movie studios that video game adaptations would do well in the theaters. But that is a completely different topic matter that I could go into about at a later time.
After watching the first movie, which I did like for a while, little did I know that he would continue to twist and turn and mutate the next series of films that he has written and directed for so long, into something that I feel like he is just making to have his wife (Milla Jovovich) star in another movie.
I know that there are people who will tell me, “Well, what you have to remember is that video games and movies have two completely different audiences’”. And I agree. I understand that you cannot do a direct game to movie adaptation because things that make sense in games would look just silly on the big screen. I understand that. But I remember when Resident Evil was the standard in survival horror. Survival Horror! These movies are being made now to show just which type of CGI monster they can fit into the next big action sequence. This highlights my previous statement about sacrificing story and character for mindless action.
Also is the handling of the characters in the movies. I have made no qualms that these movies are just too highlight his wife’s acting (or lack thereof), but please, show some real fan service to the people that attempt to watch your Resident Evil movies. There’s never been an Alice in the series and to make her the central character is just wrong. This goes along the lines of watching the live action 1994 Street Fighter movie and finding out Guile is the main lead. The character of Carlos Oliveria, who was taken from Resident Evil 3, dies, while the almost meaningless character of Kmart is found and still alive? What? Why kill off the characters that the movies are somewhat a basis off, and keep others that are not? I did think it was right trying to make Albert Wesker the main villain of the series now, but the pre-history of his character is nowhere to be found. He is just shown to be a member of Umbrella. No fleshing out is done, or mention of his relation to the rest of the “real” characters of the Resident Evil universe.
I understand that these films make money, and that’s what it’s ultimately all about. If a film releases showing nothing but 2 trash bags sitting on a curb and it breaks the record for most money earned by a movie, you better believe that next year there’ll be a sequel showing 3 bags this time. Make no doubt. In today’s world, especially in business, if people continue to support something that makes money no matter how silly, it’ll continue to be made over and over, hence; the continuation of the Resident Evil films. But to some Resident Evil fans, this is a continued destroying of a universe that becomes more ludicrous with each movie released. Like I said earlier, I know we can never have a shot for shot remake of a game, but I’m sure that fans would be willing to give a little if the movies would just stay true to what the games are.
I was really hoping that this franchise would have been able to make some really or at least somewhat frightening movies. At this point, I would really hope that this film franchise gets be rebooted, although I doubt very likely that will happen.