brought zombie outbreak action to US theaters Wednesday, with a video game adaptation that sticks closely to the source material. The movie merges the stories of the first two games, and sees familiar faces trying to escape a city doomed by the Umbrella Corporation’s unethical experiments. It’s to delight fans, and its post-credits scene adds another classic character to the mix.
Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy battle to survive in the hellish Raccoon Police Department, while Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and Albert Wesker try to uncover the mysteries of the spooky Spencer Mansion.
Let’s look at who survives and the sequel possibilities. Be warned, SPOILERS are shambling your way.
The movie’s finale sees Claire, Leon, Jill and Chris, as well as Sherry Birkin, fleeing the city on a train out of Umbrella’s underground lab, where it was researching biological weapons. Scientist William Birkin, horrifically mutated by the G-Virus, tears through the train and makes one last attempt to slaughter them all.
As Birkin prepares to gobble up Claire, Leon arrives with a rocket launcher he apparently found in the first-class section. I guess only Umbrella’s fancy folk get access to explosive ordnance.
A rocket finishes off the monstrous scientist and the group escapes to the outskirts as the Umbrella wipes Raccoon City (and evidence of its crimes) off the map. It doesn’t know about the five survivors, who’ll undoubtedly be out to expose its evil.
This resembles the final moments of the second game and its 2019 remake, with a few tweaks. Jill and Chris aren’t present in the game; Jill escapes the city in, while Chris is in Europe investigating Umbrella when the city falls.
Turns out there’s a sixth survivor, as we cut to a morgue and a figure in a body bag who suddenly sits up. Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper), the treacherous captain of the elite STARS police unit, who’d seemingly been fatally shot after gunning down Annette and William Birkin, made it out.
It’s revealed that he was recovered by the mysterious spy Ada Wong (Lily Gao) and resurrected by a virus, but the process has done something to his eyes. Ada hands him a pair of sunglasses and says there’ll be other side effects.
“What do you want from me?” Wesker asks, earning a furtive raised eyebrow from Ada.
What does it mean?
This brief scene leaves us with a lot to unpack. Wesker, who was hired by a mysterious organization to steal Umbrella’s secrets, isn’t nearly as dead as his allies think he is. He’s been enhanced by an unknown virus and is seemingly indebted to Ada and her shadowy group, which will likely play into a sequel.
So much secrecy, so many references that’ll be lost on people who haven’t played the games.
What happens to Wesker in the games?
In the games, Wesker was an Umbrella researcher assigned to act as its agent within the STARS, essentially giving the company power over the group. In the original game and its 2002 remake, the STARS are drawn to the Spencer Mansion so they can battle T-Virus bioweapons and get combat data for Umbrella.
However, Wesker intends to abandon Umbrella and bring its research data to a rival pharmaceutical company in exchange for a new position. He reveals his treachery to the STARS survivors and sets Umbrella’s ultimate creation, the towering Tyrant, on them. It skewers Wesker with its big ol’ claw, apparently killing him and leaving his bloody corpse to blow up with the rest of Umbrella’s facility.
His survival is explained in Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. After the STARS take down the Tyrant and flee, Wesker wakes up on the floor of the lab. Knowing how dangerous his confrontation with the STARS would be, the villain injected himself with a mutant T-Virus strain that gave him enhanced stamina, regenerative abilities and awesome red eyes.
He uses his new powers to escape the Spencer Mansion before it blows up, and operates in the shadows for years. He reveals his survival to confront Claire and Chris Redfield in Resident Evil: Code Veronica, getting into an epic fight with Chris in that game’s ending. (I watched this cutscene so many times as a teenager. It’s so very early naught-ies.)
Wesker’s coolness and ridiculousness are both turned up to 11 in Resident Evil 5, where he makes his ultimate move and tries to unleash a virus that’ll kill or evolve the entire human race, depending on their genetics. His look and abilities are extremely Matrix in this game, and utterly delightful to behold.
The game’s final chapter sees him battling Chris and pals in a volcano, because it had to end in the most dramatic location imaginable (this is where Chris famously punches a boulder). Wesker mutates into a horrible tentacle beast, and gets his head blown off by two rockets as he wades through lava. Bye-bye, Wesker. We’ll all miss you.
What’s the deal with Ada?
Superspy Ada Wong has been femme fataling since Resident Evil 2 but remains pretty mysterious. When we first encounter her, she’s working for the rival pharmaceutical company Wesker is defecting to and enters the doomed Raccoon City to get a sample of scientist William Birkin’s G-Virus.
She forms a bond with rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy and the pair fall in love. She’s seemingly killed near the end of the game, but manages to escape the city before its destruction.
Since then, Ada has popped up in various games working for an assortment of organizations, often acting as a double-agent as she works toward some unknown purpose. Despite her dubious morality, she tends to secretly undermine the villains and help out our heroes.
She plays a major role in Resident Evil 6, but it fails to reveal much about her. That game is a convoluted, overlong mess and the only entry in the series you should just avoid.
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more
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