Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2017 by Jack Giroux
Over the course of five Resident Evil movies, we still haven’t learned a whole lot about Alice (Milla Jovovich). She’s a character driven more by action, but her actions often don’t define her in any substantial or tangible ways. She’s often shooting her way through these movies — mostly surviving, rarely evolving.
The character is always on the move. She’s nearly always driving the story, creating more action than waiting to react. Alice rarely stops to doubt her missions or to self-reflect or chit-chat. This character and these movies aren’t prone to slowing down and stopping, unless it’s for exposition. Perhaps you’ve forgotten some of that exposition and pertinent information after all these years since the last installment in the series, 2012’s Resident Evil: Retribution.
If you want to brush up on the events of the franchise before seeing director Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, then give our Resident Evil recap a look.
Resident Evil (2002)
The leanest and most effective film in this series begins with Alice as a security officer of the Umbrella Corporation, an evil bioweaponry company. She wakes up in a shower with no memory, thanks to the Red Queen’s nerve gas, but she hasn’t lost any of her punch. Alice and Spencer (James Purefoy), the man who doesn’t remember he released the virus, along with Umbrella soldiers Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) and James “One” Shade (Colin Salmon), try to prevent the T-virus from escaping The Hive. If the virus spreads, then the world slides into the land of the walking dead. In the Hive, we see infected pooches, characters sliced to pieces by lasers, and plenty of blood and guts. Only Alice survives this more horror-driven Resident Evil film. Matt (Eric Mabius) perhaps gets the worst of it — infected by the end and turned into a monstrosity called Nemesis.
Despite the Red Queen’s warning — “you’re all going to die down here” — Alice reaches the last level of the movie, fights and kills the big bad (the Licker), and ends up in abandoned streets all alone carrying a shotgun.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
If you didn’t see the first movie, don’t worry. This one fills you in on the details with a big ol’ exposition dump at the start: Alice explaining directly to the audience what’s occurred, which happens at the beginning of a few of these movies. Like the previous film, the plotting is more straightforward, getting from Point A to point B with a simple mission. This time, it’s to save Angela (Sophie Vavasseur), daughter of Dr. Ashford (Jared Harris) of the Umbrella Corporation, who is a part of the T-Virus’ origin. Ashford didn’t want his daughter to grow sick like he did, but his cure didn’t turn out as planned.
Alice has to find Angela before the company blows up Raccoon City to cover up the infection, which is now uncontainable. She goes searching for the girl with L.J. Wayne (Mike Epps), Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), and Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), who later returns under mind control in Retribution. Who makes his big return in this sequel? Matt, now deformed and under the control of Umbrella. There are a lot of close-ups of the infected’s blue eye to let you know it’s really Matt. A part of old Matt is still alive, too, so he goes against his orders and helps out Alice by killing a few Umbrella soldiers.
In the end, Umbrella covers up the infection as a nuclear meltdown, Angela lives (but her father Dr. Ashford dies), and Alice ends up in the hands of the largest and most powerful commercial entity in the world. For a vague reason, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) inexplicably lets her run free with Carlos, L.J., Jill, and Angela. Umbrella can track her, but still, they let Project Alice go, which seems to create a whole mess of problems for them in the future.