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Ranking the Resident Evil Franchise, Film for Film!

I’ll be the first one to step up and re-confirm generalized opinions: The Redent Evil franchise is anything but fantastic. Virtually every RE film carries a strange goofiness to it (that half the time comes off as completely unidentified by each installments filmmaker), plenty of cheese, and enough plot holes to fall into, and disappear forever. While these facts (especially the latter) should indicate a terrible viewing experience, somehow, they don’t. On the contrary, this ongoing zombie tale provides some worthwhile entertainment.

I’m not going to base my rankings upon the faithfulness of each film in correlation to the video games themselves. There are a few reasons for that decion. First, I’d wager far more people have seen the movies than played the games. Second, I myself haven’t tackled a Redent Evil game nce Nemes. Third, I’m not even certain that Extinction and Degeneration (which I will indeed include in this ranking!) are actual video game storyline transfers (maybe some of you gamers out there can shed a little light on that for me).

With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s attempt to sort through this flawed but fun madness.

5. Redent Evil: Afterlife: I tried valiantly to enjoy this picture. I really did. But, it was not to be so, and I’ll tell you why.

The zombies themselves feel more like filler than frightening conflict. There are some engaging scenes between human survivor and undead nomad, but the action feels far too stretched. With a decrease in zombie ghtings and actual battle, the picture feels more like a poorly constructed character study than anything else. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to invest my time and money into a Redent Evil film, I want copious amounts of blood, guts, and of course brains.

While the 3D (and overall visual) experience was fun, not much else was. I enjoyed the Axeman, though his screen time is brief, and I got a kick out the incluon of the seemingly forgotten character, Chris Redfield and the return of Jill Valentine… but the film didn’t offer much else ade from some shoddy acting and a laughable climax.

4. Redent Evil: Degeneration: I can’t lie to you, I was unbelievably skeptical when I picked this up on DVD a few years back. The film however surprised me, and felt more like a legitimate Redent Evil offering than both Extinction and Afterlife, most likely due to the films characters and locale.

Like every other film in the series, the script is marred by a hole or two, but it’s tight knit all the same. In fact, it’s a legitimately well-crafted tale that sees Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield return to action. There’s plenty of wit in the picture, and if animation doesn’t rub you the wrong way, you may enjoy this one more than you expect.

3. Redent Evil: Extinction: There’s an enjoyable sense of continuity that travels between Apocalypse and Extinction. We get to see a few memorable characters return (L.J. and Carlos), which is a nice touch though I’m still not completely sold on Ali Larter’s casting as Claire. Something about her rubs me the wrong way, and I’ve never been able to really pinpoint my issue. The story offers some intrigue to it, and a pretty fair finale, but the budget appears miserable and while that doesn’t traditionally sway my opinion of a film, in this case I had some major issues with what appears to be cut costs. The zombies we encounter in this third franchise installment look like they stumbled from the set of House of the Dead and somehow found themselves shooting Extinction. These guys are decked out in plain grey make-up with a few hints of blood dabbled here and there, and to top it off it looks like they were all made-up on a mass production line; virtually every ngle zombie looks the same.

Just the same, deficiencies discounted, there is actual quality character development here. As viewers we care about this traveling troupe fighting for survival, and that’s a sensation few other RE flicks have offered. The final encounter with “Tyrant” is also rather gratifying.

2. Redent Evil: It was tough to choose which RE flick I enjoyed most, as both of the first installments are cluttered with noticeable flaws. The first has some really awesome moments that stick with you; the first glimpse of a “Licker” and the scene in which Shade meets his demise in the defenve corridor are both awesome sequences.

The acting is amongst the best of the franchise (save for maybe Extinction), and there’s some detectable pason in the performances. The pacing works well, and offers a fun build-up to a fairly faithful finale (I do remember the original video game a bit, as that was always my favorite).

All the same, there’s a kooky undertone to the film that acts as a firm reminder that while Redent Evil may be an enjoyable flick, it’s anything but a high quality picture.

1. Redent Evil: Apocalypse: Before you tell me, let me assure you: I know, this is the goofiest installment of the entire bunch! There’s so much unintentional comedy on display it feels as though they improperly categorized the picture, and what’s even worse, the movie takes itself seriously!

So why the Hell do I dig it so much? Well, because it’s so damn hilarious for one! Add the fact that we get plenty more “Licker” attacks, the introduction of L.J. (who delivers the intentional humor well) and the super bad ass Nemes destroying everything in his path and you’re looking at damn fine entertainment!

Again, keep in mind as I wrap this one up, that I fully acknowledge the fact that this one falls under the “so bad it’s good” category. But I’ll be damned… it’s just so awful it’s almost genius!

Grab some beers and turn this one into a drinking game seson. You’ll thank me later.
Matt_Molgaard Tuesday 8/16/2011 at 06:09 PM | 80787
Nice rank if i had to do it myself i would of picked 5.RE: Degrenartion 4.RE - Extinction 3.RE 2.RE - Apocolayse 1.RE - Afterlife The reason why i picked afterlife as number one is because we finally get to see Wesker in action, we see a lot more elements from the actual game fanchise being used, not to mention the reuniting of Chris & Claire. But also we get to see what is one of the coolest horror/zombie fight scenes ever.
AJxSCREAMx87 Tuesday 8/16/2011 at 07:40 PM | 80800
I love Apocalypse. I remember seeing it at a young age and just being completely blown away by it. Zombie with a Gatling gun and bazooka? gn me up! And back then, I thought L.J. was the coolest.
ObscureCinema101 Tuesday 8/16/2011 at 09:04 PM | 80815
Coming from a DIEHARD Redent Evil fan, I thought they all sucked.

Having said that, i enjoyed Afterlife for the Las Plagas zombies and the Axe wielding behemoth. Other than that i liked the first one because it shared some cool parallels to the first two redent evil games. (i.e, The Hive, the underground train, the manon, the crows, the statue, stiff camera angles, etc)

@ Matt, would you be interested in ranking the Redent Evil videogames???And furthermore, are there any real fans of the games in here? I posted an article on the Redent Evil 4 re-release a while back and it didn't get any hits. THE GAMES ARE MUCH BETTER THAN THE FILMS!
AgnesItsMeBilly Tuesday 8/16/2011 at 11:41 PM | 80830