Resident Evil 2’s remake is coming out on the 25th of January, and if the demo is anything to go by it’s going to be something absolutely special.
I’ve had a different Resident Evil experience, however. I recently watched the final Resident Evil film in the Paul W.S. Anderson / Milla Jojovich series.
This means I have finally seen all of the Resident Evil films, meaning I can tell you, dear reader, which ones are any good, and which ones aren’t worth your time.
Here’s every Resident Evil film, ranked from worst to best:
Note: All films seen voluntarily. No torture involved. There will be spoilers.
Resident Evil: Retribution
The issue with this film is that by this point, it’s just a little tired. A fight fails to really happen (again) Alice gets captured (again), lives out a fake life (again), gets cloned (again), and even Raccoon City’s under attack by zombies (again).
Surprise appearances from previously-killed characters doesn’t do much to save what’s a lacklustre entry in the series. It’s not just that most of what happens feels superfluous, it’s that for the first time in the series it’s become a little boring.
We’ve just been here before, and five films in, I want to be somewhere else.
Verdict: 2 ink ribbons out of 10
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Otherwise known as Resident Evil: 3D Is Popular Now, Let’s Cash In. More objects come flying at your face than if you protested a Trump rally.
Other than that, this film is filled with disappointment. It feels like an ellipsis in the story. The big fight promised throughout Extinction fails to materialise, and the rest of the film leads up to another big fight…which fails to materialise.
Apart from landing a plane on a prison, there’s not much memorable about this one.
Verdict: 3 ink ribbons out of 10
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Ah the conclusion, it’s over.
The Final Chapter heads back to where it all began, the remains of the Umbrella facility underneath Raccoon City. Time to end Wesker and finish off the zombies once and for all.
It’s great seeing the old place, including one standout action scene back in particularly memorable location. That said though, it’s just fine. There’s nothing really great about this film, nothing really terrible either. It just is. The only real low point is a lot of late-film clone chat which frankly at this point, who cares about?
Verdict: 5 ink ribbons out of 10
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
We’re onto the ‘more good than bad’ part of the list now.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is probably a bad film, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Very much the Resident Evil 2 to the original film, this follows up the underground action with what happens when zombies get out in a populated place.
Everything about this film is ridiculous, from the way Alice is reintroduced to the series, to the action, to the appearances by Nemesis.
The second film in the series is definitely where things went from a focus on action-horror to a more comic-y approach. But that’s no bad thing, at least not in Apocalypse.
Verdict: 6 ink ribbons out of 10
Resident Evil: Extinction
The later Resident Evil films give the impression that the post-apocalyptic T-Virus world is a meaty, dank world full of zombies.
In Resident Evil: Extinction, it’s all gone a bit Mad Max. And that’s no bad thing, because this film works pretty well for it. Searching for survivors in the wasteland is something that looks good for the series, and for a large part of the film it’s a refreshing change in direction.
It’s also helped by being three films into the franchise, so by this point we’re not tired of Alice’s powers, or clone storylines. Instead they’re intriguing, something that unfortunately for the series does not last.
All in all, it’s a solid action-horror-post-apocalyptic film.
Verdict: 7 out ink ribbons of 10
Was there any doubt that this would be the best in this list?
Resident Evil is that rare thing, a video game film that’s not terrible. It deviates pretty strongly from the source material but it does so with style.
Set in the warren of The Hive, Umbrella Corporation’s research laboratory deep underneath Raccoon City. Alice and a team of soldiers infiltrate to work out why it’s gone dark, and find out what’s going on.
Hint: it’s zombies.
Resident Evil’s not the best film in the world, but it never wants to be. It’s an entertaining scifi-action-horror and that’s never a terrible thing to sit down to. Featuring some genuinely exciting set pieces and some memorable scenes, it does what later films in the franchise can’t. It makes Resident Evil worth watching on the big screen.
Verdict: 9 ink ribbons out of 10
Also it has hamdogs, the finest undead canines that look entirely like someone’s just thrown ham at a dog and gone ‘fuck it, that’ll do’.
Resident Evil 2 is releasing on the 25th of January, and is available for pre-purchase here.