In 2002, a man named Paul W. S. Anderson was selected to write and direct the film adaptation of the Capcom video game Resident Evil. In the pantheon of video game movies, the first Resident Evil movie was not the worst movie that we had seen but similar to other adaptations, Anderson took the liberty to write the movie he wanted and the end result was only loosely related to the source material. But, people hoped that future movies would improve and 15 years later the film series officially died a pathetic death with the release of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. At first I thought my short review for the film in my Action Movie Roundup would suffice, however, I realized there was a little more for me to say.
The truth of the matter is that “The Final Chapter” of the RE movie franchise came out at the perfect time. Well I suppose the wrong time for Anderson and Milla Jovovich, the face of the movies, but nevertheless the right time for something else. Three days before the release of “The Final Chapter,” the latest installment of the Resident Evil game series, Resident Evil 7, came out with praise from critics and fans alike, including myself. The new game serves as a return to form for the series as it recaptures the spirit of the original game and implements that spirit in the form of a modern 2017 game. However, the most important factor with the new game’s success is, in my opinion, that is stands against the pile of garbage that is The Final Chapter.
Whereas The Final Chapter reminded viewers of just how awful the RE movie franchise is, RE 7 represents what the game series can be. Yes, RE 7 is not a perfect game by any means but it is a vast improvement over RE 6. It showed that Capcom recognized their mistakes over how they handled the Resident Evil video game franchise over the past decade. Gamers and fans alike complained that RE 5 and 6 relied too much on action and not the horror that made the original game famous. The developers listened and took notes from newer horror games, such as Outlast and Amnesia, and handed fans what they have really wanted since RE 4 came out in 2004 on the Gamecube.
With the movies on the other hand, it seems like Anderson looked at what the few fans of the movies, like me unfortunately, wanted and did the exact opposite. Each subsequent movie contained less and less details and scenes that made the movies before watchable until there was nothing left.
The point I’m trying to make here is that the Resident Evil games finally have something to gain from the Resident Evil movies. Finally and undeniably, the Resident Evil brand can be rightfully returned to the video games and the awful movie series can go away and never come back. Now, I know you might say that the Resident Evil brand always belonged to the games but I would say otherwise. The recent RE games (RE 5, RE 6, and the RE Revelations games) have been bad at worst and barely ok at best, while Sony and Anderson have been laughing their way to the bank with the RE movies. But now with the pitiful Final Chapter standing next to the wonderful RE 7, the brand can finally return home.
I could add a part on video game movies and how Resident Evil’s “success” in the box office complicates those matters, but I figure that’s another post for another time. Until then, I will remain here on watch to warn the public if Paul W.S. Anderson gets his hands on another camera.