4 – Resident Evil series
First Film Released: March 15, 2002
Cost To Make: $33,000,000
Box Office: $102,441,078
Perhaps closer to actually being a film than most, the Resident Evil series has stoically took the cramped, claustrophobic camera angles of its early games and re-invented a Gears Of Evil hybrid.
Thankfully the film-makers took a massive body swerve of practically everything to do with the games themselves, wrote a bare bones script along the lines of ‘Zombies…guns…Milla Jovovich…Credits’ and threw it out into the world at large.
Featuring wobbly set-pieces and enemies that look even more obviously wrong once the CGI gets slapped on top, the Resident Evil movies dragged video game films into new, uncharted depths.
But to their credit the director and holders of the purse strings have shied away from such over-complications as plausibility as five instalments of fan-bait have been released where in-depth explanation makes way for tits, and science is always the bad guy.
They started out well enough, a vague attempt to disguise the blatant shoe-horning of Leeloo into the undead drivel. But since they destroyed the Hive in the first film and blew their load with the Nemesis in the second, they’ve just been scraping whatever bits they can find off the cutting room floor and dubbing over the result.
Worse than a Russian film about hope the films are now an entirely separate entity that nonetheless is part of the Resident Evil universe, yet as apart from the other titles in the series of disposable dead as the games are to each other. All this serves to do is give whichever director who gets the next turn of the wheel a blank cheque book with which to create his own inspired Romero rip-off.
With only the vaguest of constraints as to what absolutely has to appear (zombies, Umbrella, unashamedly racist sub-characters) the Resident Evil films are some way from being the leading light of zombiedom Capcom set out to create way back with the very first game. With no other studios apparently capable or bothered enough to try dipping their bread in the undead gravy train, they’re somehow still managing to come second in a one horse race…