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Resident Evil: Alice
By Joel Rickenbach
August 22, 2012
I've been a Resident Evil fan from day one. The first game for Playstation, back in good old 1996, signified the emergence of a new genre in video games. Everyone knew Capcom was on to something, but I doubt anyone would have believed the franchise would be 20 plus games and 5 movies strong in 2012. As a franchise, Capcom and Screen Gems/Sony have spread the Resident Evil name faster than the T-Virus. People I know who aren't gamers or fans of horror movies know and love RE, so it got me thinking- All things being equal, who is the most loved Resident Evil character? Who is the people's choice? Well, I asked around, and one name dominated the answers. It wasn't Chris or Claire Redfield, it wasn't Jill Valentine or Leon Kennedy, hell, it wasn't even the licker- It was Alice.
Alice? Who the _____ is Alice?
Yeah, a character that has never appeared in a single RE video game is the one people gravitate towards the most. It's actually not that hard to see why, for the past decade she has been portrayed in numerous forms of lycra, leather, trench coats, armor and red cocktail dresses by Milla Jovovich. It also doesn't hurt that she usually comes armed with an assortment of shotguns, axes, assault rifles and grenades. Despite all that, the fact that she is a badass female protagonist in 5 films and counting is probably closer to the truth. Throughout the RE films we've watched Alice go from an amnesiac, to what can only be described as a horror superhero. It's a rarity to see that in a film series, so it got me thinking even further- There are only a handful of female-led film franchises, but even so, where does Alice rank on that list?
The closest counterpart to Jovovich's Alice would be Selene, portrayed by Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld series. Selene definitely wins in the lycra department, but considering she sat out the third Underworld movie (Rise of the Lycans), Alice has her beat by two films.
Sticking with horror, we can't forget Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise. The bookworm babysitter who faces the ultimate personification of evil in 3 and a quarter films. That last quarter is being generous, Laurie shows up in the opening scene of Halloween: Resurrection (shudder), but mercifully misses the rest of the film. Laurie Strode will always be close to my heart (John Carpenter's Halloween is my favorite horror film), but once again- Alice has her on endurance.
Neve Campbell's Sydney Prescott in Scream 1-4? As much as I love the original Scream film, Sydney is really a modern day Laurie Strode, and hasn't had the opportunity to jump through a window firing dual pistols at zombies. There's always Scream 5!
Kristen Stewart as Bella in the Twili... no?
There are some up and comers- The fate of the American franchise is still up in the air, but the character of Lisbeth Salander is well represented by Noomi Rapace in the Swedish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films, and Rooney Mara in the David Fincher adaptation. And, of course, there's Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the emerging Hunger Games Franchise. She will no doubt be a contender to the throne when it's all said and done, but for now Katniss' journey is just beginning.
There's no actual franchise, but if we're talkin' female badassery, Pam Grier has to be mentioned. The Big Bird Cage, Coffy, Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown... If all those films linked, Alice would have some stiff competition.
Ok, here's where it gets real- Sigourney Weaver AKA Ellen Ripley. Ripley is the undisputed queen of film heroines, the standard. Paul W.S. Anderson, and the other Resident Evil directors, no doubt drew a large amount of inspiration from Sigourney's iconic performances. In fact, I heard Alice herself say as much, but more on that in a minute. It's interesting when you think how Ripley and Alice both eventually get infected by that which they hate the most- By Alien: Resurrection, Ripley is cloned and spliced with Xenomorph DNA, and going into Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice has been cloned many times, and carries the ubiquitous T-Virus.
Regardless of which strong female franchisee floats your boat, there is one very real reason Alice would be near the top of anyone's list- Milla Jovovich. I had the pleasure of meeting her years ago at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors. She was there to promote the first Resident Evil film, and instead of giving everyone a sales pitch, she charmed everyone in attendance by being completely genuine. You could tell just how much she loved being Alice. Every time a fan asked if there would be more RE films you could see the desire for zombie destruction in her eyes. A decade later it's plain to see she got her wish, and we're the better for it. Who the ____ is Alice? She's Milla Jovovich, and she's got longevity like few others.
We want to know who tops your female franchise list. Take a gander at Alice in action HERE and leave your picks in the comments below.