This was a great edit. The movie was actually interesting, and I would not have watched the “Resident Evil” films if I hadn’t seen some other positive reviews of this fanedit.
There were a couple edits that stood out, I noticed them and thought that they were too abrupt or didn’t transition smoothly enough into the next scene to be a Hollywood edit – but otherwise, this movie was pretty damn enjoyable!
It consists of sequels being combined, with little bits from the original film put into it here and there, and the result is a standalone zombie-ish sci-fi movie, which is sensible (in the more-or-less realistic universe provided) and entertaining and not totally ridiculous! THAT is a feat, and I can recommend this edit, whereas I could not recommend the original films.
Editing: 9/10, Fanedited Movie: 9/10
Aztek delivers again! Even for someone like me who’s not a fan of the Resident Evil movies, this was fun to watch and kept interest. 151 minutes may be a bit too much for this kind of stuff, but it mostly worked. However, this is essentially still a movie for fans of the saga, as it wasn’t magically turned into Shakespeare or anything. It’s still gun porn and over the top, cheesy, cartoony show-off action, even after Az expurgated it of the most insulting stuff. The odd silly one-liner or sight gag that could have been cut still remains, such as the Russian soldier’s “Stay” after shooting the zombie dog, or Alice whistling at the zombies. Also, some of the most exaggerated show-off moments during the fights I’d like to see excised, yet I suppose if you’re a fan of the saga you like them.
I’m not sure extending Alice’s awakening in the Apocalypse segment was a good idea, as there’s an equivalent in the Extinction segment that’s more relevant plotwise, and one gets the impression that half the movie are sequences of Milla Jovovich awakening. It feels reiterative. I guess that was kept for continuity reasons regarding the first RE movie, but I’d have tried the total opposite: totally remove that part and the subsequent wandering, and have Alice first enter the movie (not counting “My name is Alice”) through the church window. I’d also try to smoothen the change from Apocalypse to Extinction by removing the expository narration and the graphics about the plague spreading and all that. We don’t really need that info spelled out to us, we can suppose it by ourselves, and placed at that moment the sequence screams “MOVIES CHANGE HERE”.
Otherwise, as one would expect from Az, the movie is flawlessly edited, both regarding narrative flow and technical stuff. No hard cuts, no odd transitions, excellently color corrected additional scenes (not an easy task), and great video and audio quality. Menus are well done and extras (a color correction comparison and an alternate version of Clone 87′s awakening) are interesting, althought I missed an audio commentary like the one in Silent Hill.
For Resident Evil (movie series) fans, this will be as good as it gets; for non-fans it will be a fun B-movie. I’m rating it 8/10, but I bet fans will be rating it higher. Oh, and extra kudos for using the original video game title!
I've always been a fan of the Resident Evil series. Growing up, watching the first 2 a number of times, and the latter ones as they were released (roughly). Although I'm a bit disheartened by the direction taken with the latest installments. This might impact my impression a bit. Regardless, throughout the viewing (like another reviewer commented) the movie stood out as a quality B-movie experience and perhaps even a candidate for a cult following. Even for non-fans, this could be a fun romp.
Let's head straight for the jugular and address my biggest gripe with this edit.
Unfortunately, horror elements are perhaps even lower than in the theatrical. Granted as a fan-editor, you can't really create something from nothing. But some of my favourite creepy scenes and atmosphere-setters from these movies were excised with this edit.
Here are some examples from the cutlist:
"CUT: Woman running up the stairwell being chased by zombies until Carlos sees her on the roof." - Not actually a lot of scenes left where running from zombies is a focus
"CUT: The priest feeding his sister." - Probably one of the creepier scenes in the series
"CUT: Alice from the start of Extinction until she shows up during the crow attack." - The scene with the zombie getting shot down by Alice was a pretty cool way to kick off Extinction. (admittedly the hit & runs that do open the second half of the edit are also pretty sweet). But also the scene where alice is kidnapped by the family (cliche I know) is pretty fun and a cool way to tell the audience that not everyone has adapted to the apocalypse in such a friendly manner. It fits with the Mad Max kind of vibe in Extinction and is a neat homage to outcast-family horror films.
"CUT: Long pause between crate opening and super-zeds running out." - I'm actually a bit split on this one. It's a very illogical moment because why would the door drop open if they weren't trying to get out asap? Also how do what look like hundreds of super zeds fit into one shipping crate and stay hidden in the back 3/4 of it? These issues aside, it was a tense moment that I felt maybe the movie needed more of.
As a side note I'm also partial to the GTA "mother-f**ker" scene but can completely understand its removal. ;)
Which brings me to my next point. I fully understand why these scenes had to be removed, that being pacing and running time, which benefit greatly from the removal of superfluous scenes. And keeps the narrative focused on the characters and story we care (or are supposed to care) about.
On an initial overview, one might wonder why anyone would want to combine these two (setting-wise) very different movies. It becomes clear in the second half of the edit when Alice's previous experiences that were taken from the Apocalypse portion are put into the Extinction portion. It creates a better flow to the overall story and makes everything more cohesive and interesting to watch.
This is where the edit shines, by rearranging a number of scenes and only revealing things when necessary it becomes markedly more entertaining.
And of-course this review wouldn't be complete without mentioning the fantastic nips and tucks done all over to make the movie less insulting to the audience. Fantastic examples include: licker vision, graveyard attack, repeated or unnecessary exposition (perhaps could have gone even further with this), Alice breaking her fingers pointlessly, Jill setting off the kitchen explosion, Cain shooting Ashford immediately after Alice refuses (very effective), Alice's rampage, Issacs being a prick, things running past the camera in the cheesiest possible way.
There was one thing in particular that I would have liked to have seen cut. When Ashford begins looking for his daughter and remaining survivors, he has to hack into the computer system as he's been revoked access. He does it so easily and in such a hollywood-ised way that it's laughable. Had he simply been able to log in straight away, it would have been a welcome cut.
I should mention that I watched this edit in a poorly compressed standard definition video file format. At a couple of chaotic points the visuals became a swash of pixels. As such, I cannot properly rate the audio/video quality. Probably fine in other formats.
The addition of deleted scenes was noticable, although color correction was done well, audio was a little flat for these moments as-well. The scenes do help build character however, so fair enough.
Lastly, editing wise, a couple of cuts in particular...
CUT: To Carlos right after Alice kills the last Licker.
CUT: Straight to bus after Alice says “who is this?”
CUT: To the lab after Alice says they aren’t driving to Alaska.
were quite noticable and a bit jarring, I'm not sure how they could have been done better (perhaps a fade) but the aforementioned benefits to story mitigate my complaints there. A couple of audio clips during these parts as-well, don't know whether to blame editor or viewing format for this.
Closing with Resident Evil 1 theme was the perfect way to send off this enjoyable and highly recommended edit. With that, thank you and well done Aztek463!
If I find a better copy of this edit, there's no doubt I'll enjoy this edit for many viewings to come.