Resident Evil is a film series loosely based upon the Capcom video games of the same name. Constantin Film bought rights to the first film in January 1997 with Alan B. McElroy and George A. Romero as potential writers. In 2001, Sony acquired distribution rights to the film and hired Paul W.S. Anderson as writer and director for Resident Evil (2002). He continued on as writer and producer for Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), and returned as director for a fourth installment, Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) and an upcoming fifth film Resident Evil: Retribution, set to be released September, 2012 in 3D.
The Umbrella Corporation acts as the main antagonist in the series, a bioengineering pharmaceutical company responsible for the zombie apocalypse as a result of founding the T-virus. The films follow franchise protagonist Alice, portrayed by Milla Jovovich, who was once a security operative working for Umbrella and is now the ultimate enemy of the corporation. Through her battle with Umbrella, she eventually meets with the main antagonist, Chairman Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts). A number of video game characters also make an appearance in the films, including Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller) and Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb).
Despite a negative reaction from critics, the films have become the most successful movie series to be based on a videogame and the franchise has collectively brought in US$675 million worldwide on a $183 million budget.
Resident Evil (2002)
The Umbrella Corporation operates a top-secret genetic research facility named The Hive. Located beneath Raccoon City, The Hive has been sealed by The Red Queen due to possible viral infection by the T-Virus.
Alice (Milla Jovovich) was once a security operative working for the Corporation until her memory was wiped. She is led underground, along with prisoner Matt Addison (Eric Mabius), into The Hive by a team of Umbrella Corporation commandos, among them is Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez). Whilst the team are searching for survivors, they turn the power off, unknowingly releasing the re-animated corpses of Umbrella’s workers. When confronting the Red Queen, Alice discovers that the T-Virus spreads through a bite or scratch and that a blow to the head will permanently shut down the attacker.
As the team attempts to escape The Hive, an Umbrella test subject called the Licker escapes and it pursues the team. When they reach the train that leads them to the exit, the Licker attacks and scratches Matt before Alice can kill it. When they reach the surface, Matt is taken away by Umbrella workers and he eventually transforms into Nemesis. In the conclusion, Alice wakes from a coma to a ravaged Raccoon City after a T-Virus outbreak.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
The viral outbreak reaches the surface and in an effort to contain the infection, Major Timothy Cain (Thomas Kretschmann) seals all exits to and from Raccoon City. Among the people trapped in the city are Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and her partner Peyton Wells (Razaaq Adoti). After Alice awakens from her coma, she rescues Jill and Peyton from a group of Lickers who escaped The Hive. They are then contacted by Dr. Charles Ashford (Jared Harris) who claims to know of an evacuation point in the city in exchange for the rescue of his daughter Angela Ashford (Sophie Vavasseur), who is trapped in Raccoon City Junior High School. The group also learns Umbrella plans to incinerate Raccoon City to get rid of the T-Virus.
On their way to rescue Angela, Nemesis attacks the team after it is commanded by Cain to kill all STARS members. After Angela’s rescue, they then make their way to the evacuation helicopter with Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), who has been dropped into Raccoon City and abandoned by Umbrella. After Alice’s confrontation with Cain and Nemesis, which leaves the latter two dead, the team flies away from Raccoon City as it is being sanitized by a nuclear bomb. The helicopter, however, crashes in the Arklay Mountains.
A wounded Alice is taken to the Detroit Umbrella research station where she is healed and experimented on by Dr. Sam Isaacs (Iain Glen). When she awakens, she escapes the facility and displays extraordinary powers, she is then driven away by Jill and Carlos who are disguised as Umbrella employees. As they drive away, the Umbrella logo flashes in Alice’s eyes and Isaacs’s computer states “Project Alice Activated”.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
The world has been consumed by the T-Virus and Umbrella develops clones of Alice in hopes of finding one who displays Alice’s powers. Elsewhere, Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) leads a convoy of survivors across the Nevada desert, including Raccoon City survivors Carlos Olivera and L.J. Wayne (Mike Epps) along with K-Mart (Spencer Locke), Nurse Betty (Ashanti) and Mikey (Chris Egan). A secluded Alice roams the country for survivors. After failing to find any living people, she comes into contact with Claire’s convoy after she rescues them from mutated crows using her super-human abilities.
The convoy, along with Alice, heads to Las Vegas to gather supplies so they can reach Alaska in an effort to get to a place called Arcadia, thought to be a safe haven and free of the T-Virus. Whilst there, they are attacked by super zombies who kill most of the convoy. After L.J. is bitten and hides his infection from the rest of the group, he transforms and bites Carlos. Isaacs himself is bitten and in an effort to cure himself, injects himself with large doses of the Anti-Virus which causes him to transform into a Tyrant. Claire and K-Mart leave for Alaska in an Umbrella chopper, whilst Carlos sacrifices himself in an explosion to aid their escape. Alice confronts Isaacs, in Tyrant form, in the underground Umbrella station where she is aided by a clone of herself. After his defeat, Alice looks on with the clone into a room full of pods as thousands of Alice clones awaken.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Japan is the source of the global outbreak of the T-Virus. After the events of Extinction, Alice and the clones attack the Tokyo Umbrella station. Wesker escapes and destroys the facility, killing the clones. Wesker is confronted by the original Alice aboard his escaping helicopter. He injects Alice with a serum that removes her super-human abilities. The helicopter crashes, and only Alice is seen emerging from the rubble.
After months of a failed aerial search for other survivors, Alice heads toward the supposed location of Arcadia. She lands on an abandoned airfield in Alaska, where she finds Claire in an animalistic state. Claire has an Umbrella device attached to her chest and her memory has been wiped; she begins to recover after Alice removes the device. Claire and Alice fly to Los Angeles where they stumble upon a prison surrounded by zombies. Among the survivors in the prison is Luther West (Boris Kodjoe) and Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller), Claire’s brother. The survivors explain that “Arcadia” is a tanker off the coast which has been broadcasting a looped message and is picking up survivors. During an attempted escape, Alice, Claire and Chris are the only ones to emerge and they reach the tanker only to find it abandoned. Claire’s memory begins to return when she remembers Umbrella workers attacking her group of survivors and removing them to the tanker. The ship is really an Umbrella research facility which is conducting experiments on the survivors. Among the prisoners is K-Mart. The three then meet Wesker, who has been granted super-human abilities due to the T-Virus in his system. After a victorious battle, Alice transmits a message to survivors calling them to the tanker and hopes to create a new haven.
In the conclusion, Luther emerges from a sewer drain alive. A fleet of Umbrella Corporation aircraft led by Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), thought to be missing since the events of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, prepares to lead an assault on the survivors.
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
A fifth film in the franchise was confirmed, entitled Resident Evil: Retribution, and is scheduled for release on September 14, 2012. Filming took place in Toronto, Ontario from mid-October to December 23, 2011, marking the third time the franchise will film in Toronto. Paul W. S. Anderson returned as writer and director, Glen McPherson serves as director of photography and Kevin Phipps as production designer. Jovovich suggested that the Las Plagas parasite taken from the fourth video game will play a part in the film.
Jovovich was confirmed, as well as Guillory, who will be reprising her role as Jill Valentine. Boris Kodjoe returned as Luther. Colin Salmon who played One and Michelle Rodriguez who played Rain Ocampo in the first film returned. Oded Fehr who portrayed Carlos Olivera in the second and third film returned for the film. Johann Urb is cast as Leon S. Kennedy and Kevin Durand is confirmed to appear in the film as Barry Burton. The character Ada Wong will be played by Li Bingbing. Ali Larter (Claire Redfield), Wentworth Miller (Chris Redfield) and Spencer Locke (K-Mart) will not appear in the film and their absence will be explained by their characters being captured by Umbrella.