After finally watching Resident Evil: Retribution on my flight back to Germany, I’m happy to report I’ve seen every movie that has spawned from my beloved franchise. While I’m not prepared to claim that the Resident Evil movies are anything more than visually sound SyFy channel originals, I’ve enjoyed my time watching them. That being said, the latest film is probably the worst of them yet and is also the only one that gave me an excitement boner. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I want the play the last 5 minutes of a crappy video game based movie.
By the way, SPOILER alert:
Mistakes on a Plane
I’m not exactly sure what happened during the course of Resident Evil: Retribution because the script is convoluted and the events are beyond over the top… even for a series that started off with Milla Jovovich’s Alice jump kicking a cerberus through a window. Despite that, it is still a solid eyeball handjob. Then, there is the conclusion which starts off unbelievably dumb (no surprise) and then gets unbelievably awesome, so much so that I squealed a bit during the crowded flight I was watching it on. Of course my wife was a bit red-faced after this occurred, but men are supposed to show their emotions more aren’t they? I only have one emotion and that’s excitement.
I’ve included a screen grab fromt he finale, but let me paint the picture for you via words from my fingers. See, Alice loses her super powers during the fourth movie (though this hardly prevents her from being incredibly good at flipping over things and shooting multiple guns at the same time) but is given back these powers by Albert Wesker because, well, the planet really needs her. She’s confused at first, that is until the franchise villain (who’s died more times than I can count between the films and the games) leads her outside and reveals that the world is overrun by a Red Queen (psychotic killer computer from the first film) led invasion. It looks like a scene straight out of Starship Troopers; zombies and other land based horrors charging at the walls of a fortified White House while the bats with the carapace covered penises from Resident Evil 5 fly in from above. The military is doing their best to hold back the onslaught, but it appears to be a pretty dire situation.
End movie SPOILERS
Take The Leap
Now while I understand the movies aren’t canon, this all really got me thinking about the direction the games have been going in. The theme of that scene coupled with the larger scale and more action oriented state of the latest games seem to blend together quite well. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see a reboot of the series going back to its survival horror roots, but that might not happen. Rather than hold on to those hopes, I’m thinking its time that we accept the Alien to Aliens transition that has occurred in Resident Evil and look forward to the possibilities of what that universe could look like given the events that have transpired since the initial visit to the Spencer Mansion.
Outside of the cartoonish fighting abilities that the Resident Evil cast has developed over the years (coupled with their growing fascination with wearing leather suits), I’ve actually appreciated the growing scale of the conflict. It only makes sense that an international company with horrendous business ethics and access to a mutant producing bio weapons would create disturbances throughout the entire globe. It would only be a matter of time before all hell broke loose and the mini-battles turned into a huge ultra mega battle. While I haven’t played Resident Evil 6 yet, I believe that is the direction for the game despite its failures in terms of pacing and narrative flow.
One of These Personalities Must Go
Capcom has a really great opportunity to end the series off with a bang (unless of course it already died with a whimper) and I think that can only happen if they throw everything they possibly can into the seventh game. Let’s see a gigantic battle between what remains of humanity and the mutants born from the A-Z viruses. Let’s travel the world with a squad of hard-ass soldiers and dip our fingers into conflicts both big and small, eventually ending with that scene from RE: Retribution as the world comes together in an Independence Day-like last ditch effort to survive unbelievable odds. Multiplayer makes sense in such a scenario and won’t feel utterly tacked on as long as we all understand that the sequence of events throughout the series has killed the survival horror. I mean come on, enemies drop money and health now. There are plenty of things I’d want in the game, but overall I just want Capcom to be honest with the direction the series has gone and undo the shackles that are the fan’s expectations.
Obviously, it’s difficult to go all in on a game like Resident Evil due to its original tone and the polarizing direction that the games have taken over the years, but it’s time to shit or get off the pot. I have no problem with the tone of a series changing as long as it makes sense from a narrative perspective and the developers aren’t wishy washy about it. If Capcom wants an action game and the action dollars they think they’ll earn, take a page from the Resident Evil movies because your core group of fans probably abandoned the series after Resident Evil 5. It’s embarrassing to see both audiences attempting to be served and neither being left satisfied.
Pitched – Despite having the technology to put a man on the moon and clone sheep that we don’t need, humanity has struggled to convert their most popular movies into video games and vice versa. We’ve been plagued by bad game to movie and movie to game conversion attempts for too long, it’s time to make things right.
Giant Bomb (images)