The movieverse is split into two in my opinion: canon and non-canon. There are two movies that are considered canon and they are both animated: Degeneration and Damnation. The other five deal with a new character named Alice. Those are not canon. We’re going to go through each of them. First, the non-canon films.
We start off in a familiar mansion. Seems like everything is going to go by the game, right? Well that quickly changes as we head underground to The Hive. Resident Evil begins the tale of an Umbrella employee with a memory issue. Alice isn’t a normal person and her adventure through The Hive is also anything but. We see plenty of zombies, a licker, and what is the beginning of the Nemesis project.
Overall, it wasn’t what many fans were thinking it would but it wasn’t bad, either. There were plenty of cheap thrills and screams to be had and a very interesting plot featuring an AI. It was a fun movie but it was easy to tell that if they continued with a sequel, this was going to be a very different Resident Evil. Turns out that’s just about right.
To be honest this isn’t even the best Resident Evil movies but it is the safest. It doesn’t try too much and it does just enough to keep you watching from start to finish.
Score: 3 out of 5
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Now this is Resident Evil. Apocalypse just feels like a Resident Evil game. As Alice, Jill, and Carlos go through Raccoon City you can just see this as a game. They go from section to section of the city, fighting enemies, surviving, and of course, the Nemesis.
They did a great job with the Nemesis. Everything about him was exactly like in the game. In fact, the only issue with this movie was the beginning of the crazy Alice plot. Apparently Umbrella was doing extensive experimentation on her and well, she’s like Wesker except with mind powers. Yup. I can understand having a hero character with the power of Wesker but the mind stuff is just wacky.
Still, this didn’t do much to harm the movie. Apocalypse is the closest thing we’re going to get to a live action Resident Evil movie that stays true to the games. It’s just a shame that they decided to go off the wall with the main character towards the end.
Score: 4 out of 5
Resident Evil: Extinction
And here’s where everything just goes stupid. Stupid as in, why? We come back to this movie series with most of the world gone to hell. Majority of life is infected or just dead and civilization, at least in the United States, is sparse and traveling to survive. We’re introduced to some new faces traveling with some familiar ones. Claire Redfield enters the silver screen as she leads a band of survivors across the desert.
What’s Alice doing? Roaming by herself and dealing with some crazy mental problems. It seems Umbrella is looking for her and they are experimenting with creating a … new… Alice.
Extinction isn’t a very good movie, let alone a Resident Evil one. It is at times boring and at other times dumb. The only memorable character is Claire. She doesn’t act like any of her in-game appearances but she is a strong and confident woman and she is a good watch. Aside from Claire, this movie is largely forgettable and does nothing to carry on the strength of the first two movies.
Score: 2 out of 5
Resident Evil: Afterlife
This is a movie that tries to stay canon with the previous film while trying to fix the issues it created. Afterlife tries so hard to be Resident Evil but with what Extinction did, it’s just too difficult. There are plenty of things to like about the movie: Chris Redfield, a Garrador-like enemy, plenty of zombies, and Wesker.
The guy who plays as Wesker in this film is a much better fit for the role than the previous actor. He looks and acts the part almost perfectly. Every scene with him in it is great.
It’s such a shame that Afterlife can’t be considered a good film. Extinction ruined so much about this movie series that it is just far beyond help. It can only get worse from here. Afterlife was the last chance.
Score: 3 out of 5
Resident Evil: Retribution
Well, I said it could only get worse. Alice’s most recent movie is nothing but a giant fight scene. There are a bunch of returning characters and this movie pits a group of them against the other group. Seriously, there is nothing else about this movie.
It’s flashy, action-y, it’s unnecessary, but hey, it’s 3D!
I weep for anyone who paid to see this movie. It is the ultimate product of Extinction did. I blame the failure of this movie series on Extinction. Apocalypse set up a great storyline that could have turned into a series true to its original format. The first movie was a safe call. The sequel established what the fans wanted. Extinction killed it. I can’t blame Afterlife and Retribution for coming to this. It was the only course of action to take if they wanted to keep creating movies. Such a shame.
Score: 2 out of 5
Resident Evil: Degeneration
The first of the two canon films. This CGI produced movie features Claire and Leon, the two stars of Resident Evil 2, in an airport that has become infected with a form of the T-Virus. This is a precursor to Resident Evil 5 as we also get to see the rise of the Tricell company. So that also means this movie fits in after the events of Resident Evil 4 and before Revelations.
Degeneration stays very true to the games if just a tad corny on the backstory of two characters that are introduced in the movie. It’s a fun watch and the way the story flows feels like a Resident Evil game, just like what I was saying about Apocalypse.
This was a great start for the CGI Resident Evil films. Many fans were hoping they would continue to make these and that’s a good sign.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Resident Evil: Damnation
Leon returns as a European civil war erupts into B.O.W. terrorism. Leon sneaks in to try and find out what’s going on but he isn’t alone. An old friend, Ada Wong, is on the scene and she is never up to any good.
Damnation is a good follow-up to Degeneration and makes me hope that perhaps the next CGI film will include Chris Redfield as we get closer and closer to the Edonia incident.
I like to place this film after Resident Evil 5 and before Edonia’s events as seen in Resident Evil 6. Damnation tells a pretty telling story of how B.O.W.s have are being used to stop oppressing nations from harming rebels. It’s a story of a desperate group trying to salvage their way of life through any means.
Damnation only makes me want more CGI firms based on the Resident Evil world. With the non-canon movies turning out to keep spiraling down, one can only hope that the CGI movies keep coming out. Let’s get a Chris movie and see some animated Jill. Hell, I’d love to see the Resident Evil 5 DLC Lost in Nightmares go CGI.
Score: 4 out of 5
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