With the release of the fifth Resident Evil movie Resident Evil: Retribution coming up soon, the question has been asked, why are these movies popular enough to warrant so many sequels? Here are some ideas I have.
The Resident Evil movies are based on the phenomenal video game series of the same name that has players fighting all types of zombies created from a bioengineered virus. They are really the only big budget adaptations of video games out there that have been successful. Most of the other video game movies that have been released have been low budget and not well received. Examples include super Mario Bros., Bloodrayne, Doom and Double Dragon. The only other franchise I can think of that had some success was Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. But that franchise only lasted two movies since the second one was not as successful or well received as the previous movie.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson, who directed the first Resident Evil movie and the fourth and fifth one, is another reason for the movie franchise’s success. While not a great director Anderson is at least competent in what he does, making good action movies. I think his other movies have been well done like Event Horizon and the first Alien Vs. Predator. They are certainly better than those Michael Bay movies that are basically loud, mindless and difficult to follow in terms of action (the Transformers movies come to mind). Having his wife Milla Jovovich starring as Alice in these films doesn’t hurt either. Plus, while he didn’t direct the second and third movies, he has written and produced all five of them, which kept him involved with the series.
Another point is that the movies loosely follow the games and have branched off to have their own storylines. So what happens next is a surprise to long-time players of the games. Lastly, the Resident Evil movies continue to be made probably because the video games themselves are still very popular. This fall, Resident Evil 6 will be released for the PS3 and Xbox 360. And the previous games in the series have all been huge sellers. Capcom, the company that makes the games, has also released CG animated movies and continues to do so. In short, Resident Evil continues to be relevant, which keeps the movies highly anticipated with fans of the horror/sci-fi franchise.