By Jordan (Eddie has too much taste for this)
As the pioneering and (generally speaking) critically adored game series celebrates its 20 year anniversary, the Resident Evil movie franchise has also quietly turned 14, with marketing beginning to hit overdrive for its 6th instalment due out in January 2017: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
Beginning its life as claustrophobic techno-horror film that introduced a worthy new character in Alice (clearly originally intended as Ada Wong) to the established universe, and proceeded to have her kick zombie butt in a slight red dress backed by the sounds of Manson and the adolescent eye of now-husband Paul W. S. Anderson, the series has since earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest grossing video game adaptation and developed a legion of closet fans who will enjoy these adventures as the guilty pleasure oddities they are, but probably refuse to admit it publicly.
I’m not afraid to admit it publicly… I enjoy these movies, and am eagerly anticipating the grand finale that promises to tie up a collection of loose ends, return the style to its roots by way of opting for grit over stylised slo-mo and music video environments and make Alice human again. Surely Anderson has leaned from the mistakes of Afterlife and Retribution and will deliver a worthy finale that bolsters his baby into the realm of critical adoration and audience favour, to be remembered in the years to come as the highpoint of the action genre and finest 5th sequel ever made, right? What could possibly go wrong?
Below are 5 reasons why you should be excited. Note: it may be hard to separate the sarcasm from genuine affection.
1. It has actually been made!
Originally due out in 2014, and even earning a spot on my most anticipated list for that year, The Final Chapter has since been delayed while Anderson tackled other projects, Milla had a baby and, hopefully, some serious brainstorming was done to ensure that this entry actually features a storyline.
On a far more serious note, the production in South Africa was marred by tragedy, with stuntwoman Olivia Jackson Suffering serious injuries during the filming of a high-speed motorbike sequence and crew worker Ricardo Cornelius passing away after being crushed in an on-set accident. Our condolences to all affected by these events, which brought to light that there are more important things to worry about than the completion of a movie. I’m sure that Paul and Milla will honour them in the final product.
2. Alice is back in the stylish first poster
IGN posted the poster (see below) and what a poster it is! Sure, they’ve all been good and some of the movies they represent questionable, but I’m confident, just like when I was confident about Death Race and The Three Musketeers…
Milla Jovovich as Alice is one of the most empowering heroines of the action genre, and seeing her with top billing and holding up the franchise 14 years on is seriously impressive. She is brave, powerful and has revenge on her mind, but her most endearing quality remains her almost maternal instinct in protecting her comrades. Aesthetically speaking, she is even more impressive when working alongside Ali Larter…
See below for the recently launched trailer!
3. A return to Racoon City
The general fan consensus is that the first two films (Resident Evil set in “The Hive” and Apocalypse the greater Racoon City) are the best by a zombie strewn mile, with the location offering nostalgia to ’90’s video gamers and providing the characters with their natural surviving ground. The return home from the less atmospheric environments of the later entries should give The Final Chapter a welcome sense of authenticity, with the city housing many fond memories for horror aficionados. Nemesis, anyone?
4. No more cliff hangers
Retribution ending with an assortment of shallow characters facing off against a numberless swarm of infected monstrosities standing atop the Whitehouse probably wasn’t the wisest move for the worst instalment so far to make, especially since it was following up the Jill Valentine circa Resident Evil 5 reveal of Afterlife which itself was far more satisfying than the army of clones Extinction threw at the screen along with the kitchen sink. The thought of a conclusion to finally give Alice some respite and her humanity back is one to eagerly look forward to.
5. The Reviews
Resident Evil could be the most incomprehensible, illogical and nonsensical film series of all time to continue this far, which in my opinion is a feat worth celebrating and embracing as one of those unexplainable occurrences in life. Film critics, though, for the most part don’t understand Anderson’s vision and in their unenlightened knowledge refuse to refrain from serving heapings of vitriol, bemoaning the state of affairs like the silliness is unintentional. It’s intentional. Still, negative reviews are often the most entertaining to read, so it is certainly something worth looking forward to.