Over the weekend we learned that, for whatever reason, the Resident Evil series is being rebooted to six more films all over again. Much like the protagonist Alice always finds herself waking up and having to fight her way out of the same situation over and over again, so do we once again find ourselves staring down the barrel of another video game franchise. But maybe, just maybe, there’s some hope to be found: horror director James Wan is producing the first of the six movies.
I’ve often wondered if there will come a time when people will heartily defend the Resident Evil franchise. They’re not perfect movies, of course, and they increasingly have very little to do with the video game franchise they’re based on, but there are moments when Paul W.S. Anderson’s direction and Milla Jovovich’s star-power combined to elevate the whole affair into a kind of pulp extravagance that plenty of films cannot match. Given a bit of distance — or at least a bit of separation from a crowded field of VFX-driven action movies — maybe these films could get a critical boost to match their box office numbers.
Some day, we’re going to look back at the career of Milla Jovovich and realize she was one of our more underappreciated action stars. While we spend our time arguing with Twitter eggs about representation in movies like Suicide Squad and Ghostbusters, Jovovich and her husband-director Paul W.S. Anderson have just been over in their own little corner of Hollywood, churning out modestly budgeted pulp action movies with a strong female lead. The upcoming Resident Evil release will be the sixth film in the franchise. Six!
As Resident Evil: The Final Chapter prepares to begin shooting later this year, we’re left to wonder whether the film’s subtitle is honest. Is this really the last chapter of one of the longest-running horror franchises? According to one of the stars of the film, it most definitely is.