Good evening readers,
Tonight is a special night since we will be covering not just a video game or a film, but one of the most successful franchises in the entertainment industry. We will go deep to give you all the details you will ever need to discover what makes Resident Evil so special, and at the same time creates so much controversy between hardcore video games fans and film lovers. So grab your cup coffee and get ready, because this is one hell of a drive that you don’t want to miss. Before I get any further I will like to say who I am and what do I do – The reason behind it is because I want you to trust me in every word that I wrote in this review tonight. I may not be the Resident Evil’s creator but I have a clear perspective of its universe and fundamental understanding of its structure.
My name is Ed Rivero, I’m a film director of CG/Live action films. I have work in different type of projects from CG animation to visual effects, and currently working on a film script. I’m a movie/video game addict, and when it comes to Resident Evil, I’m what you will call a “hardcore video game fan”, but guess what? I love the films as well. True, if you are a game fan you may be thinking, “How could this guy like the films? It is not possible”. Well, the problem is that most of hardcore video game fans doesn’t know exactly what Resident Evil is about.
(Don’t worry, I will explain you what you are missing below)
Resident Evil, also known as “Biohazard”, is a survival horror game that made his debut on Playstation in 1996. It was created by the talented Shinji Mikami and produced by Capcom. Today is one of the most successful franchises with a variety of multiplatform games, having a couple of new tittles hitting the stores on February 2012.
Now, what exactly is Resident Evil? Is it a character driven story? Is it about killing zombies? What is the core of Resident Evil? – This last question is exactly what blurs the lines between game fans and film fans. Based on all the titles presented by Capcom until today, it is easy to say that Resident Evil is not a character driven story. With this I mean, Resident Evil is not just the story of Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Clare Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy and Albert Wesker to mention a few. Truly, we follow their stories and we feel connected with each one of them, but at the end of the day, RESIDENT EVIL is not just a character driven story, it is a UNIVERSE. A universe where the core of it is the production and development of a VIRUS that gives you special abilities or power to be what Albert Wesker stated in the last entry of games “The right to be a GOD”. Zombies, Outbreak, S.T.A.R.S are elements that surround that core, that help lead and develop the story, but without the CORE they don’t make any sense.
Now, based on this statement can you still say that the Resident Evil films are not “Resident Evil”? From where I see it, director and producer Paul W.S. Anderson simply used the same formula, same universe. Isn’t Alice (Milla Jovovich) and Albert Wesker the same type of characters? Both were the only ones that after being in contact with the T-Virus were able to adapt to it giving them special abilities. Isn’t Umbrella the cause of both outbreaks? (Film and video games).
The big issue that I found is that many “hardcore fans” believe that in order to the film be called “Resident Evil” it has to follow the same patterns of the game in terms of characters and story. I’m pretty sure that the majority of game fans preferred the CG Animation film of Resident Evil rather the action live films just because of that, don’t realizing that we were just tools of a marketing strategy.
The CG animation film of Resident Evil so far has one of the weakest structures in the history of films. As a fan of the Resident Evil franchise and as a filmmaker, that film was quite a disappointment. The story and structure was a mere copy of the Resident Evil 2, there was no originality or anything unique or fresh. Everything was pre-established from the start. Truly our favorite characters Leon and Claire returns, but to follow the same structure of RE2 was really disrespectful to the fans. Sadly, Capcom made it a success based on marketing strategy knowing that us, the fans, will buy anything with the name “Resident Evil” on it.
Now, you want to know why the live action films are so successful? Well, it is because they have what the CG film missed; originality. Paul W.S. Anderson did a smart move creating new characters and introducing them to the Resident Evil universe. In that way we begin a new journey without knowing the ending, keeping us guessing and wanting to know more of what is going to happen next. It is that fresh and unique story that revolves in the Resident Evil universe that keeps attracting more and more people to watch their films.
It is truly important that you understand what exactly you are fan of. It is the story? The characters? The enemies? Always remember that Capcom’s success is directly connected to all of you. We are the one who pay almost $60 for a video game or $12 for a ticket at the movies. It is US who decide the future of the franchise. Ask yourself next time you buy their next title “Is this truly Resident Evil? Or I’m just paying a new type of game in a different platform with the name “Resident Evil” on it?”
I hope that after this article you are able to have a better understanding on how the Resident Evil universe works, so you can make you own decision and be able to decide what it is working and what is not.
Have a goodnight everyone,