Okay I am talking about the RESIDENT EVIL movies now, but wait-don’t disappear. I have just watched a trailer for, yes, another sequel from the infamous PAUL WS ANDERSON for RESIDENT EVIL:RETRIBUTION, due out later 2012. Did you think there could be another after the last one? Well, financially the last one, RESIDENT EVIL:AFTERLIFE (in 3D!) seemed to do very well. It’s amazing what a gimmick will do for a franchise dying on it’s knees.
I know how critically derided and mauled this film series has been ever since the first one appeared based on the already very successful cult videogame franchise. Again, like most movies based on games, fans hoped for so much, only to be largely let down a very big way. That was to be expected really. After the horrors of the STREET FIGHTER and SUPER MARIO BROS. movies, audiences were not every expecting much for game adaptations.
I did personally quite enjoy the first film, even while I could see the negative aspects to it. The budget was big enough, MILLA JOVOVICH is always entertaining, and some of it worked very well.
Then a sequel-RES EVIL:APOCALYPSE in 2004. It again, in ways was better, trying to emulate the second, possibly best game. But then some terrible scripting, and horrendous effects and acting. It generally got worse for RES EVIL:EXTINCTION (2007) and RES EVIL:AFTERLIFE(2010).
The annoying part is that while most of these sequels are trashy, and lame, they do have often very great starting points, set ups and endings. The last couple also have almost really caught some very relevant interesting parallels with the dangers and fears of modern international mega corporations, governments, genetic engineering and chemical and biological terror. They could be so much more powerful and terrifying or at least more successful on a basic entertaining level.
The director and producers seem caught with a platform for conveying some very relevant issues, and earning absolute fortunes if they just let MILLA kick zombie butt, and stick some regular gimmick spin on top of it. The many fans of the original games-from Playstation through to XBox-did want bucket loads of non-stop blood and gore or at least more darker, complicated thiller elements which I think almost came through in the first movie.
Well, later this year we will see the next, latest sequel and see how brave or safe they are this time with the series which could be a much more powerful, shocking and brave zombie gore survival flick.