Disclaimer: I'll admit it, I'm not really a non-gamer; rather, it's more of an ex- or old-school gamer kind of thing. Give me an NES and a Game Genie, and I'm as happy as Larry.
With the release of #SonyPictures' Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the sixth and most likely final installment in the #ResidentEvil franchise, once again a hot topic of conversation is video game movie adaptations. More specifically, how the hell did this particular movie franchise manage to outperform in a market that saw big-name properties likes Doom and Assassin's Creed crash and burn? Part of the answer lies in the fact that the Resident Evil franchise caters as much to the non-gamer crowds as it does fans of the video games.
Resident Evil Movies Don't Feel Like Video Game Movies
It seems a little demanding to expect a video game move to not feel like a video game movie, but writer-director Paul W. S. Anderson has truly pulled this off. Six movies in and I would enjoy number seven and beyond.
The first film established a plot, with non-gamers starting off with very little knowledge of the video game series, as if we had just awoken from a coma in a zombie-ruled world, just like #MillaJovovich's Alice. The plot, the backstory, the big-screen world were complete mysteries to us. And once the story began to unroll before us, every second of the initial Resident Evil film was an awesome spectacle. Of course, with a good plot comes...
Epic Plot Twists
This is something that the Resident Evil movie franchise has had plenty of, even if they usually end up involving clones of some description.
Despite the movie being about zombies, seeing the death of Michelle Rodriguez's character Rain before she reanimates and has to be destroyed by Alice was heart-wrenching stuff. And seeing her return for Resident Evil: Retribution was thrilling. The same goes for Ali Larter's Claire Redfield, who showed up two more times after her initial appearance in 2007's Resident Evil: Extinction.
Even though most of us non-gamers don't know what the flip is going on in the video games, one thing we do know is what we like in movies: plot, plot twists, and our favorite characters coming back because of said plot twists.
In a nutshell, if a movie adaptation of a video game wants to succeed, it would be smart for the filmmakers to appeal to those of us whose only recent video game experience consists of watching some guy named Leeroy Jenkins get his guild creamed on YouTube. There are a lot of us less-than-casual gamers out there. Assassin's Creed seemed to do little more than irritate and offend fans of the game series. The reviews were highly negative, which is something non-gamers rely on heavily if they're going to spend two hours of their lives watching a movie about a video game they know nothing about. Resident Evil was a hit right out of the gate and non-gamers enjoyed the hell out of it.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter comes out on DVD and Blu-ray May 16. Until then, enjoy some more Resident Evil reading material: