I have vaguely discussed my dislike for these movies in another article. There are some cool features about these films; however, I feel that most of the content takes away from the feeling players experienced in the game. The game series since these movies, has become far more action oriented over the original survival horror flavor where the franchise started.
I do like it when directors and producers make the effort to spice things up with the story so everything is not predictable for viewers. I do not like it when the changes are so extreme that the title does not seems to fit the content of the production. The amount of money behind Resident Evil is really the only reason I they were able to keep this series going. It is hard even with the character cameos in the sequels to feel like they belonged to the same universe as the Resident Evil video games.
I do like how they introduced a character that exclusive to the film series. I do not care for how much like a super-hero she is, without any of the typical side effects other Umbrella subjects get to experience. This is one franchise that should have featured on horrific details and brutal mutations. There are not enough sequences where people barely get out with their lives.
These movies could be good movies if they were given a more appropriate title and catered to a different audience. If I had to guess, I would have to say it is as if Paul W.S. Anderson has never played any of these games. There were good fights and some funny comic relief; but, that is not the flavor most would expect from Resident Evil. Much like the Final Fantasy movie, it tried too hard to cater to a larger market which caused a take away from the over all quality of the product.
Out of all of these movies, the third one; Extinction, was probably the only one that came closest to capturing any sense of the games. I am highly disappointed by the waste of resources and time these films have been for everyone. I write this article because there are lessons that can be learned from these mistakes.
Video games have amazing potential to become movies, like Max Payne. There is a long history of movie-from-game cross overs that has discouraged such development of concepts. In my opinion, there is no excuse for the track record of failures we have endured. We have seen more recently some adaptations done right. Hitman is another movie I feel carried a sense of it's original game.
I can see why the approach around this series was taken; yet, I do wish they had done things much differently. There are some ways they were going in the right direction while at the same time, leaving much to be desired. I strongly feel there was not enough attention to the graphic details like you would find in other zombie movies. There is always time for slow deaths even in the most chaotic scenes.
Nemesis in the movies almost completely ruined everything by itself. His role to fit him into the films was altered way too much from the original game and I hated the fact that Alice fights him at the end. In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis the video game, he is never under the corporate control on Umbrella. Taking what was a trademark monster of the series and having him go hand to hand with Alice, was completely flavorless. He should have been much harder to kill and should have regularly encountered Jill until she somehow killed it.
I did not mind the first Resident Evil movie opening the series the way it did. Many series openers introduce alternative concepts and the hive was kind of interesting, except for the fact it killed more people than the zombies did. I remember feeling that those movies had a future when Alice came out of the hospital at the end. The first sequel was the beginning of the end. Now I am saddened to see what they have become over the years...