Constantin Film produced six live-action Resident Evil films written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, starting with 2002's Resident Evil and concluding with 2017's Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Despite it's overall negative critical reception, the series was a financial success. Grossing over $1.3 billion total at the box office, it has become the most successful video game film franchise of all time.
Shortly after production wrapped on The Final Chapter, Constantin Film began pre-production on a series reboot, intended to return to the horror roots of the earlier films with the first film, 2021's Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City being directed and written by Johannes Roberts. This rebooted franchise shares no connection to the previous films and was intended as a closer adaptation of the video game franchise.
|Resident Evil||Paul W.S. Anderson||Paul W.S. Anderson||3-15-2002||$33m||$102m|
|Resident Evil: Apocalypse||Alexander Witt||Paul W.S. Anderson||9-10-2004||$45m||$129m|
|Resident Evil: Extinction||Russell Mulcahy||Paul W.S. Anderson||9-20-2007||$45m||$147m|
|Resident Evil: Afterlife||Paul W.S. Anderson||Paul W.S. Anderson||9-10-2010||$60m||$300m|
|Resident Evil: Retribution||Paul W.S. Anderson||Paul W.S. Anderson||9-14-2012||$65m||$240m|
|Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||Paul W.S. Anderson||Paul W.S. Anderson||1-25-2017||$40m||$312m|
In 2002, an underground Umbrella facility underneath Raccoon City, "The Hive", experiences a viral outbreak after the T-Virus is intentionally released during a theft. The facility's A.I., the "Red Queen", attempts to stop the outbreak from spreading outside by killing the research staff. Later that day, an Umbrella special forces unit breaks into the facility's only entrance, a mansion in the mountains, to investigate the situation in The Hive. They bring with them three people they find - Alice, the lab's security officer; Spence Parks, her husband and co-worker, and Matt Addison, a police officer investigating the area. Both Alice and Spence seem to have amnesia and have no knowledge of who they really are and the situation at hand.
Entering the facility, they find it empty and devoid of the research staff. They proceed to shut down the Red Queen, losing four of their team in the process. Little did they know that the A.I. was keeping the now-zombified research staff from escaping. The team is attacked by the former staff, with one member being killed and two others becoming infected. Eventually, both Alice and Spence manage to regain their memory, with Spence revealing that he was the one responsible for the outbreak and stealing a T-Virus sample. After Spence is killed by a "Licker" while trying to inject himself with Anti-Virus after being infected, the remaining survivors escape the facility, with one member, Rain, succumbing to infection even after being administered Anti-Virus and is euthanized, while another,Kaplan, is killed by the now-evolved Licker along the way. After disposing of the creature and making it back to the mansion, Alice and Matt are taken away by Umbrella for experimentation.
13 hours later, while Alice is unconscious, a new Umbrella team proceeds back down to the lab and forces the sealed door open; they are quickly killed off by escaped B.O.W.s. Within a matter of hours, the city's roads are walled and its people are being slowly evacuated by Umbrella. After the infection makes it to the gate, the gate is closed and the citizens are forced to fend for themselves against the Undead.
Umbrella sends in the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service to help suppress the outbreak along with the R.P.D. and S.T.A.R.S. units, but they underestimate the combined strength of the Undead and B.O.W.s, and many of them are quickly killed. Elsewhere, a S.T.A.R.S. team is completely wiped out by Matt Addison, who has been converted into the "Nemesis" B.O.W. Alice, waking up in an abandoned hospital, finds a group of survivors - Jill Valentine included - and, upon making contact with Dr. Charles Ashford, agrees to search for his daughter Angela in order for him to give them a way out of the doomed city. Alice gets caught up in fighting Nemesis, while Jill and news reporter Terri Morales head for Angela, encountering a survivor, L.J., along the way. While rescuing Angela, Terri is killed, and the rest of the group manages to meet up with Carlos Olivera and Nicholai Ginovaef, the only remaining U.B.C.S. soldiers, with Nicholai meeting his end at the jaws of infected canines. Angela explains to the remaining group that her father Charles is responsible for developing the T-Virus and the Anti-Virus, creating it to help her walk again after she was struck with the same disease he was.
The group heads off to Raccoon City Hall, where the Umbrella paramilitary executive, Cain, has based himself. Reaching the helicopter on the roof, Charles is executed by Cain after Alice refuses to battle The Nemesis. Engaging Nemesis in combat, Alice defeats but refuses to kill him. Cain orders Nemesis to kill the group, but he instead turns on Umbrella, giving the survivors a chance to escape, while losing his life in the process. The survivors eventually make it to the helicopter and escape the city, leaving Cain to be eaten by a resurrected Charles. The city is destroyed after Umbrella launches a nuclear-tipped missile into city hall.
Alice is injured after the helicopter takes damage, and is left for dead after crashing. An Umbrella team led by Dr. J. Isaacs claims her body and further experiments on her with the T-Virus. She wakes up in another facility and escapes using newly-latent psionic powers. Meeting up with the other survivors that she had originally escaped the city with, they make an attempt to spread word onto the world, who, due to Umbrella's influence, deny the evidence.
Meanwhile, a Raccoon survivor boards a plane to Los Angeles, and another to Tokyo. Both becomes Undead on arrival and the virus quickly spreads again. By 2007, five years after the Raccoon City incident, human civilization has collapsed and the remaining survivors are scattered across the world, always under the constant threat of the infected. Alice uses her psionic powers to defend herself after having abanded her friends and surviving on her own, as she makes her way to Las Vegas, where a convoy of survivors also heads off to - due to it being a hotspot for infected crows at one point, the Undead in the area have been wiped out. Alice meets the convoy leader, Claire Redfield, and the two make preparations for camp. She reunites with Carlos and L.J., both of whom she met during the Raccoon City incident and have joined Claire's convoy.
Elsewhere, Dr. Isaacs makes multiple clones of Alice based on DNA collected from her while she was being experimented on five years earlier. He uses their DNA, which was altered by the T-Virus, on a number of Undead in an attempt to cure them of the virus and return them to normality. These "Super Undead" soon escape to Las Vegas, assaulting the convoy en-masse. After a long battle in which most of the survivors lose their lives, L.J. and Carlos being among them, Alice stumbles into Isaacs' research facility. There, she meets the "White Queen", the "sister" A.I. of the original Red Queen. She informs Alice that the cure to the outbreak lies within her blood, but she must first deal with Isaacs, who she sealed in the lab. Alice battles the monster that Isaac's has become. Afterwards, she learns of Albert Wesker, the Umbrella executive working in the shadows, and targets him as her next victim.
Using Isaacs' clones as her army, Alice launches a massive assault on Umbrella's Tokyo headquarters. However, Wesker, duly informed that Alice is after him, has injected himself with a new strain of the T-Virus, which gives him enhanced, strength, agility, and regenerative capabilities. Wesker destroys the clones and overpowers the real Alice, injecting her with a special anti-virus serum that renders her powerless.
Wesker flees to the Arcadia super-tanker, utilizing it as his new base of operations, while Alice heads to Alaska to search for Claire and the rest of the survivors. Alice finds nobody there, except for Claire who was previously attacked by Umbrella and placed under mind control, while also giving her amnesia. After removing the device that was controlling Claire, both head to Los Angeles, where they discover a handful of survivors holding up in a prison. While there, Claire is reuinited with her missing brother, Chris Redfield, who she is at first hostile toward because of the amnesia. The infected, who have gone through a mutation, eventually get inside the prison compound. Most of the survivors are killed off, with one member, Bennett, escaping to the Arcadia. After fighting off the Axeman B.O.W., Alice, the Redfields, and the last survivor of the initial group, Luther West, attempt to escape the prison. All but Luther make it to the Arcadia, where they confront Wesker, and which contains nearly 2,000 plague survivors, with K-Mart, a survivor of the events in Las Vegas, being among them. They defeat Wesker and retake the ship, forcing him to flee. However, unbeknownst to them, a brainwashed Jill under the same mind-controlling device that Claire was, has been ordered to hunt them down.
Jill and her team of Umbrella soldiers attack the Arcadia, recapturing and or killing the newly freed survivors. Alice awakes in an underwater facility called "Umbrella Prime", having found herself captured and separated from the others. After some interrogation by Jill, Alice escapes her prison room after a power failure, revealed to be the doing of Ada Wong, an associate of Wesker, who ordered the spy to recover Alice. Ada informs Alice where they are, and that Wesker, along with herself, no longer work for Umbrella and need Alice's help. Shortly, Wesker himself appears on a screen and reveals that The Red Queen has been reactivated, and is now controlling what remains of Umbrella. He plans to aid Alice's escape and battle the base's programs, in order to save what's left of mankind. Alice and Ada then go on to battle Undead and two Axemen B.O.W.S. Meanwhile, at the same time, a team of freelance operatives and professional gunmen consisting of Leon S. Kennedy, Barry Burton, and Luther West, who managed to survive the previous events, all hired by Wesker, infiltrate the base from the outside to help Alice and Ada escape.
Alice and Ada eventually locate a little girl named Becky, while Leon, Barry, and Luther fight another sect of Undead who have gone through even further mutation thanks to the Las Plagas. Jill and her unit catch up to the women and capture Ada, while Alice and Becky escape. The two run into a "good" clone of Rain Ocampo, who has been long-dead since the events of The Hive. All three meet up with Leon, Barry, and Luther, while coming under attack by both umbrella soldiers, including clones of Carlos, James "One" Shade, and "bad" Rain, and a giant 50 foot Licker. The Licker manages to kill "good" Rain, while Barry is gunned down by Umbrella. Explosives set up by Leon, destroy the facility, annihilating everything and everyone, while the survivors escape to the surface.
At the surface, the remaining survivors are confronted by Jill and "bad" Rain, who have Ada hostage. Jill battles Alice while "Bad" Rain injects herself with Las Plagas to fight Leon and Luther, with Luther being killed. Alice manages to defeat both Jill and Rain, with Jill regaining her memory and immediately switching back sides, while Rain is dragged underwater and eaten by Undead.
Traveling to Washington D.C., They find that the White House has been walled-off and converted into a base under the leadership of Wesker. Wesker injects Alice with the T-Virus, causing her to regain her superhuman powers. He says that she will need them, while they fend off hordes of Undead and Kipepeo. in a last stand.
It has been ten years since the outbreak of the T-Virus. Alice was one of the few survivors in the past decade. She decided to go back to Raccoon City and the Hive as she learned of an antidote of the T-Virus. At the Hive, she encountered Alexander Isaacs, whose clone (Sam) was killed. He explained that Alice is actually a clone of Alicia Marcus, who got infected with the T-Virus that it made her age quickly. The Red Queen also represents Marcus. After a final battle with Isaacs (Wesker was slain by the Red Queen), Alice destroyed the Hive and activated the antidote.
As a reward, the Red Queen gave Alice the memories of Alicia Marcus so that she will continue her life without the T-Virus.
The first Resident Evil film began pre-production in 1997 after Constanin bought film rights the previous December. For two years it was stranded in development hell as Constantin and Capcom were disappointed in the various scripts offered by Alan B. McElroy and George A. Romero. Based on interview accounts, Capcom was concerned over how adaptations of characters such as Jill Valentine would affect game sales. Constantin Film meanwhile lost interest in the idea of a re-telling of the original game, and was against the use of excessive gore due to the harmful effect it would have on the film's release in Germany. Consequently, both writers were removed over time and by 1999 Constantin was considering giving up its rights to the movie. This changed with the hiring of Paul W.S. Anderson, who had himself already created a Resident Evil-like script called "Undead", which featured a viral outbreak in a laboratory with elements of Alice in Wonderland present. Anderson's script was produced as Resident Evil: Ground Zero (the title later shortened to Resident Evil, following the September 11 attacks).
Making a moderate success, Constantin began working on a sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, released 2004. This film introduced three game characters to the franchise, Jill Valentine; Carlos Oliveira and the Nemesis-T Type as well as exploring the depths of the Umbrella Corporation's influence with Raccoon City being sterilised in a nuclear explosion and successfully covered up.
The Chicago Tribune called the first film "one of the few video game movies to truly re-create the gaming experience", while other reviewers (mostly fans of the games) criticized it for not including characters from the games and following a totally different storyline.
The Austin Chronicle described it as "an absolute wreck" and "relentlessly sexual, almost deviant", adding that "Resident Evil may be the first truly subversive horror-porn hybrid to make it to the American cineplex". The Seattle Times says the second film is "junk, but it's fun junk" and considered it as an improvement over the original, stating that "this obligatory sequel makes up for the wretched mess that was 2002's 'Resident Evil' ". The Hollywood Reporter said Extinction is "pretty much more of the same from the first two films" and described its plot as "rudimentary", but added that the movie "should reasonably satisfy the devotees". Michael Ordoña of The Los Angeles Times gave Afterlife a positive review, but noted that it has plot holes and a villain who "clearly went to the Agent Smith School of Diction, in one of many 'Matrix' echoes". REVIL praised Retribution's "more intelligent use of slow motion than its predecessor" and the humanized Alice, but described the story as "exaggerated" and criticized the lack of importance given to the games' characters. Contradictorily, their Final Chapter review describred Retribution's 3D as use worse than that of Afterlife. REVIL criticized the sixth film's editing and plot holes. Rourke Keegan from Rely on Horror wrote that "The Resident Evil movies are bad. They’re schlocky action blockbusters at their best (Apocalypse, Afterlife), and incoherent gibbering of a disinterested directors at their worst (Retribution, Final Chapter)" but praised the design for doing "a fantastic job recreating the look of things".
In the film review website Rotten Tomatoes, Apocalypse received the lowest score of the six movies: 21%, while The Final Chapter received the best one: 36%. Resident Evil, Extinction, Afterlife and Retribution received scores of 34%, 23%, 23% and 31%, respectively. On Metacritic, the first, second, fourth and fifth films received "generally unfavorable reviews", with scores between 33 and 39. The third and sixth films received "mixed or average reviews", with scores between 41 and 49. CinemaScore gave a "B" score to the first, second and sixth films, "B-" to the third and fourth ones and "C+" to the fifth movie.
|Film||U.S. release date||Budget||Box office revenue||Reference|
|1. Resident Evil||March 15, 2002||$35,000,000||$40,119,707||$62,321,367||$102,441,077|
|2. Resident Evil: Apocalypse||September 10, 2004||$45,000,000||$51,201,457||$78,193,437||$129,394,837|
|3. Resident Evil: Extinction||September 21, 2007||$45,000,000||$50,648,677||$97,069,157||$147,717,837|
|4. Resident Evil: Afterlife||September 10, 2010||$60,000,000||$60,128,567||$236,093,097||$296,221,667|
|5. Resident Evil: Retribution||September 14, 2012||$65,000,000||$42,345,537||$197,813,727||$240,159,257|
|6. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||January 27, 2017||$40,000,000||$26,844,962||$285,412,558||$312,257,250|
- K.Elder, Robert (March 15, 2002). The Chicago Tribune. (Retrieved 2010-09-07). http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/mmx-15754_lgcy,0,6871157.story (the page doesn't exist anymore)