Translating a video game into a movie is difficult. Too much like the game? No one enjoys it. Too much unlike the game? No one enjoys it either. (Just look at what happened with Assassin's Creed.)
Regardless of the critics' negative point of view, #ResidentEvil is the most successful video game franchise ever, raking in nearly $1 billion worldwide, and the films have been successful as well. So, what is the secret to their success?
That answer is easy: her name is Alice.
Now, I completely understand that answer may throw some of you through a loop. Diehard fans of the game have been complaining about Alice since 2002 because she's the main character in the movies but had no part in the games. But isn't the fact that you don't know her story inside and out the best part? Let's take a moment to discuss.
Alice's Story Allowed The Movies To Surprise Us
She allowed the writers to keep all of the elements of the games that we loved — zombies, Umbrella, B.O.W.'s and the survival horror storyline that we all craved — but with a twist. Wouldn't that all have been way less exciting if we'd known exactly what was lurking around the corner? Or if we knew the exact fate of the protagonist? (Sounds pretty boring to me, since I've already played the game 1,000 times.)
Alice gave the creators the freedom that they needed to keep us crazed fans satisfied while keeping us on our toes at the same time.
Alice Evolved As A Character Over The Years
Every chapter in the franchise built upon Alice's story further and further. However, the creative team always left us hungry for more. Over the past 15 years, we've had the pleasure of watching Alice go from a naked amnesiac — who's terrified of zombies — to developing Jean Grey-like powers and nearly (because this all depends on The Final Chapter) taking down the entire Umbrella Corporation.
Not to mention we have seen her beat Wesker's ass multiple times, and no one can complain about that.
Alice Is A Badass, And It's Totally Satisfying
It is clear that Alice is a combination of everything that we loved about the female protagonists of the games. She's cool and a little vulnerable, but if you back Alice into a corner, she will tear you apart. What can be better than that?
It worked for Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise, and it works in this one. Go ahead and say whatever you want about the Resident Evil movies, but deep down inside you know that you love seeing Alice kick major ass.
Milla Jovovich Embodied The Character (And The Spirit Of Resident Evil)
Milla did more than just play a part in this franchise; she became the part. You can tell in every single scene, in every single chapter, that it meant something to her. I don't know about you, but personally that means the world to someone who's worshiped the games since childhood.
Would these movies have worked as well without her? Highly doubtful. It is obvious that Jovovich had influence over them (since she's married to director Paul W. S. Anderson), but it went beyond that. Milla made sure that fans got what they wanted.
For example, fans were mad that Jill disappeared after Resident Evil: Apocalypse, and what happened? Jill showed back up, mirroring evil Jill from the games, but it didn't stop there. We got a Jill and Alice battle! AND they threw in our favorite character from the first chapter, Rain. What?!