Resident Evil And Apocalypse
Resident Evil And Apocalypse. The movie franchise! Well, at least the first two movies of the franchise, but still… So, what is there to be said about Resident Evil and its sequel, RE: Apocalypse? A lot apparently. Some good, some bad… But, let’s start from the very beginning.
You know, since the rebooted Resident Evil 3 is scheduled to be released this April… I thought to myself. Let’s bring them back from the dead. Shall we? Or… The un-dead. Whatever works better. Well, to be honest, the release of the upcoming video game did inspire me to go back in time.
Back in the early 2000’s, to be more exact, with the first two Resident Evil movies. Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse. But, let’s begin with the movie that started it all.
And I should state that this wasn’t my first viewing. I actually saw Resident Evil in theaters, when it actually came out. And just last year my husband made me do an all night marathon of all 6 movies. Yes, all six of them, one after the other. That was a fun night.
But back then, for a high school (albeit non-gaming) nerd like myself it was a halfway decent movie. I know I’ll get a lot of heat for saying this, but it was watchable, well directed horror movie. For me. Yes, the acting was not Oscar worthy (to say the least). And yes, the special effects were less than stellar. I know. You don’t have to tell me. But i didn’t even mind the big flaws. Like the over-reliance on jump scares and convoluted plot holes. But I digress.
What bugged me the most (again, as a non-gamer) was how the perfectly fine actors were wasted in generic cliché roles. It was atrocious. James Purefoy was my biggest pet peeve to tell you the truth, and Michelle Rodrigez close second. Such fantastic actors in such bland roles. Don’t you think?
So many wasted opportunities
As I researched my way through this article, I found out that it wasn’t a critical darling some 18 years ago. Yup. For instance, one of the greatest movie critics of all time (the one and only Roger Ebert) loathed this movie. Oh, yes he did!
In fact, he hated Resident Evil movie so much he put it on his „worst movie of the year„ list. As for my husband… Well… His biggest complaint was that the similarities to the original Resident Evil video game, or lack there off (according to him), were close to ZERO.
‘Where is Jill Valentine? Where is Albert Wesker?‘ That was him ranting some months ago. And his opinion about the movie? ‘It sucks. With a capital S! It still sucks some two decades later, and it will sucks until the end of time.’
Young and talented director
And just how did Paul W.S. Anderson manage to get behind the camera? Well, because of one teeny tiny movie called Mortal Kombat. Yup. Anderson managed to create a half-decent video game inspired movie in an era when there were not that many of them.
He was the hot new director back in the 90’s and he was on a roll by the end of that decade. He did Mortal Kombat and then he did Event Horizon. Which is by the way, one of my top 10 SF movies of all time. If you haven’t seen it, I beg of you. Check it out.
On a totally different subject…I was pleasantly surprised to find out that among the first directors attached to direct the Resident Evil movie was the one and only George A. Romero.
Which is brilliant since I’ve been a fan of his for so long. Just imagine how good of a movie this could have been if Romero actually directed it. I found an old Resident Evil 2 commercial that Romero directed, but nothing else since. It’s really a bummer.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
To be fair, my beef with Resident Evil: Apocalypse was bigger than with the original 2002 movie.
Miss Valentine had a supporting role, which is fine I guess, but I hated how fantastic actors were (again) wasted in terrible roles. Most notably Oded Fehr and Jared Harris.
Harris is a force to be reckoned with, and could have elevated the movie just with his talent. Fehr could have done the same with his charisma alone. But nooooooooo. They were stuck in the most boring, vapid, insipid roles imaginable. It was a pure waste of their talents.
The sequel was not an improvement?
Once again, just like with the predecessor, Roger Ebert demolished the movie in his review. He called it, “an utterly meaningless waste of time that lacked any wit or imagination and also failed to provide entertaining violence or special effects“.
I think he was right. You can tell that the director Alexander Witt was a rookie. He was way unprepared for this. He didn’t have the experience and stamina to pull off this movie. It was a huge mess, and you can really tell that most of the crew didn’t have a clue what they were doing.
All in all. The first Resident Evil movies were mindless scary fun. In times like these, they’re very much needed. But, they’re not the critical masterpieces that most of us were expecting. They don’t necessarily have to be. According to my husband, they have to be fateful to the original material. But, that’s just him. What do you think: were they any good? Did you enjoy Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse?
Tell me in the comments.