It appears that a reboot for the Resident Evil series in on the horizon (Come on, we all saw that coming). This series has been a lucrative money maker, but not a quick cash grab. You can tell the cast and crew genuinely have love for these films. Despite scathing reviews, there’s a sense of giddy abandon and inherent ridiculousness to these adventures, and it’s clear that Director Paul W.S. Anderson and franchise lead star Milla Jovovich have this series close to their hearts.
In a few weeks I'll be once again experiencing the relentlessly action-packed Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Final though it may be for Alice, the series is yet to continue, with James Wan set to produce. In my eyes, a reboot of this popular series just wouldn't be the same without Milla Jovovich. I'm open to new characters and a closer link to the video games but this franchise has been so well grounded and established it'd be strange to see a reboot without Jovovich or any other familiarities onscreen. But hey ho, times are a changing and reboots and remakes are all the rage.
I'm with Milla Jovovich on this one, as she reacted to news of the reboot:
"They’ve announced a reboot? Okay, well good luck with that."
Though critics and general moviegoers haven't been too impressed with the quality of the films despite a loyal fanbase, the box office haulage has been mighty and it seems people keeping coming back for more. Is a reboot wise? Jovovich went on to state:
"I would do it if I was a producer. I think what made Resident Evil so special is that the people involved really loved what they’re doing."
Whatever the future holds for #ResidentEvil, let us not forget that there are six films in this franchise and no reboot is going to tarnish or ruin the memories of these films. I do hate it when people say that a remake will ruin the original. No remake can do that; your memories are memories. Speaking of memories, I think it's high time we revisit some of the biggest, best and boldest moments of the series, just before The Final Chapter comes out on Blu-ray June 12!
Narrowing the entire series' best moments of badassery to just 10 choices is a tricky one, but for me, there are a clear bunch that standout, and mostly featuring Project Alice herself. From Apocalypse to Retribution, here's my verdict on what are possibly the best moments of the six-film series!
10. First Encounter — Resident Evil
If you revisit the very first film, you may just appreciate the first zombie encounter scene even more. Coming back to the original, I forgot just how tense, well paced and thrilling this scene really is. Lit so well that the mood just oozes an edgy atmosphere, and a set design so tight and clinical, you feel enclosed — much like the characters — who one by one begin to fall victims to the undead.
The shouting begins, the performances kick in and the effects both explosive, prosthetic to computer generated all blend together to create one truly gripping and awesome moment. Zombie slaying and zombie eating reaches its peak in what I think is an underrated scene, one that should stand taller in the zombie genre.
9. Nemesis — Apocalypse
A barrage of bullets and explosions tear up parts of Raccoon City as Alice dodges the attacking Nemesis. In one of the more ridiculous entertaining sequences, characters become basically indestructible as this monstrous creation attacks Alice and company. A highlight shows the Nemesis launch a rocket towards Alice as she so effortlessly leaps over a fence, dodging the missile as it hits a car and explodes in a blazing fireball right behind her!
8. Arcadia Assault — Retribution
Who would've thought an action scene played backwards in slow motion could work so well for an opening credits? Tomandandy's almost otherworldly, blood-pumping score "Flying Through The Air" plays in perfect tandem with some of the most awe-inspiring action shots. As a 3D showcase, you need look no further for some of the most immersive effects, plus this sequence also serves as the perfect continuation after the climax of Afterlife.
7. The Fury-Zombie Road — The Final Chapter
With a Mad Max: Fury Road visual aesthetic, giant modified trucks and endless roadways as playgrounds for vehicular warfare, the Resident Evil series gets a wicked car chase that mixes in gore, speedy editing and some truly gut-punching fight choreography, with Jovovich taking some nasty hits and Iain Glen getting a run for his money. Some of the shots here barely last a second; this four minute sequence rockets by — blink and you'll miss it! After a knockout fight, Alice leaps onto an Umbrella motorcycle, rides it off the truck and into the distance, dodging missiles and machine gun turrets — this scene ups the ante and just keeps going.
6. Alice's Powers — Apocalypse
Of course the moment where Alice finally gets her powers had to be on this list. Apocalypse is the weakest of the bunch in the series, but it's still an entertaining shoot-em-up with ridiculously over-the-top action and characters who can survive almost anything. At the climax, Alice awakens, essentially reborn with incredible powers. She takes out an entire research lab, manipulating her opposers and fighting her way to safety. Jovovich portrays a woman aware of these capabilities, but still unsure of the extent that her powers. This is arguably the most thrilling sequence in this second entry.
5. Jill Versus Alice And Rain Versus Leon And Luther — Retribution
It seems Paul W.S. Anderson saved all the epicness for Retribution, particularly for its finale, in which Tomandandy's heavy standoff soundtrack introduces the scene, all in slow motion, as Alice raises valiantly out of her ice truck to get ready for war. Characters enter the scene, dressed for a fight, staring down one another — this is how you create a standoff. Epic music, epic weaponry and characters ready to battle it out — this scene pulls no punches, with some of the most intricate fight choreography, particularly between Jill and Alice, who make every single punch hit with some ferocity. Bones break, heads are smashed, and blades threaten to slice. If you thought all prior action scenes were intense then wait 'til you reach this whopper of a finale.
4. Zombie Prison Riot — Afterlife
In arguably the most underdeveloped film of the franchise in terms of characters and story, Afterlife is merely a showcase for visuals, 3D and sound design — and boy what a show it is! Paul W.S. Anderson and crew delivered the technical aspects and dazzling special effects wonderfully in a barrage of nearly all action. Among the flat characterization and bad dialogue, there is one scene that almost manages to make you forget all the negative here, and that's the prison assault sequence.
Ambushed and outnumbered, Alice, Claire, Chris and other survivors open fire upon a legion of undead running towards them atop the roof. Elevator shafts explode at dizzying heights, Alice drops a bomb and dives off a rooftop, swinging down like Tarzan and eventually rolling into the streets below, unleashing her armada of shotguns filled with coins and pistols, all before sliding to safety like an absolute boss.
3. The Birds — Extinction
When I say the birds I'm not talking about a Hitchcock film; I'm talking about the murderous, zombified birds in the third film of the series. Alice's powers ignite onscreen on several occasions in the series, so it's hard to pick the most exhilarating moment. For me, it's when Carlos, Claire Redfield and their convoy of post-apocalyptic survivors are attacked by thousands of hungry, infected birds. They think they're done, until Alice turns out to save the day!
Standing from afar looking nonchalant, Alice deflects a raging ball of fire high up into the sky, incinerating every single bird in a wave of flame, without moving an inch. For those who own this on Blu-ray, this sequence too looks perfect in 1080p, particularly the shot at 48 seconds in the video above — dazzling flames and fading sparks!
2. Hanging Upside Down — The Final Chapter
This scene just epitomizes the best of Alice. Ambushed, dangling upside down and unarmed, she is confronted by armed Umbrella soldiers, who beat her, ready to take her in. Alice just laughs, taunting them with, "Is that the best you got?"
Tightly cut, yet simplistic compared to some of the more explosive and grand sequences, Alice dispatches half a dozen of heavily armed man using her acrobatic skills, snapping necks, aimlessly firing machine guns and then elegantly spinning around dishing out head shots for her opponents!
Alice barely breaks a sweat, and this goes down as one of the finest sequences of the entire franchise, despite it barely lasting two minutes.
1. Corridor Of White Light — Retribution
In what is probably the most critically slated film of the series, there's one fight scene that brings together nearly every element of this franchise into one gloriously gory and vibrant package.
Alice flees down a sprawling white corridor. Cue zombies, slow motion, impeccable fight choreography, gratuitous butt shots, tight leather and gore. Tomandandy's energized musical score perfectly accompanies this hard-hitting and gloriously gory fight sequence featuring bike padlocks on chains, sleek silver guns and some crazy acrobatic skills. Milla Jovovich once again boasts kinetic athleticism and, in 3D, you feel closer to the action, especially when bullets and brain matter fling towards you! Crunchy sound design emphasize every bone crunch and utter style and timing round out what stands as, to me, the best and biggest sequence, despite its relatively claustrophobic setting.
What do you think of my choices? Or do you have a favorite moment that's not on this list? Let me know in the comments below!