The Resident Evil movies are undoubtedly gigantic hits at the box office, having raked in over $244 million since the premiere of the first film in 2002. While these movies are definitely a departure from the games that inspired them, we’re treated to the sight of some of our favorite characters on the big screen. Milla Jovovich’s Alice, the film-exclusive protagonist, might be the star of the show, but we can’t help but check out the other characters and see how they compare to their game counterparts. Let’s put the likes of Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine, and other Resident Evil mainstays under the scope, and check how faithfully they were brought to the silver screen.
Chris Redfield is one of most iconic characters in the Resident Evil series, and many fans know him for bashing in doors and the heads of bio-organic weapons — or B.O.W.s — in Resident Evil 5. His enormous, bulging muscles were his true weapons, but he still whipped out a firearm to get some real work done.
In the films, he’s played by Prison Break alum Wentworth Miller. who is probably not as jacked as Chris, but just as tough. While he doesn’t fully resemble the beloved BSAA agent, we can at least tell who he’s playing. His outfits, however, are far from what Chris Redfield wore in the video games. Instead of short sleeves with BSAA patches on them, he wears some kind of tactical field jacket. He’s got plenty of gear strapped onto his torso, but his all-grey ensemble just makes him look like a failed Ghostbuster, or an overzealous maintenance man. But that’s all we’ll say about that subject, lest we find ourselves on the receiving end of those guns.
Ali Larter breathes life into Claire Redfield, sister to Chris and heroine to Resident Evil fans everywhere. In the films, Claire doesn’t get her signature ponytail, but she does retain her vest. It’s a little more crimson than pink, but we think that’s for the best. We’re not sure where you can pick up vests that feature little sheathes for combat knives, but we’re going to assume it’s not a thing in real life.
Also noticeably absent are the gloves and Claire’s black, short-sleeved turtleneck. The end result is that Larter’s Claire looks and feels like more of a badass than the original Claire. Together, she and Wentworth Miller’s Chris make up a deadly pair of siblings that we’d love to have on the front lines against an army of zombies. And given that a ponytail can be easily grabbed by the undead and other monsters, maybe letting her hair down was a good, tactical decision.
Tube top? Check. Short, brunette hair in a bob cut? Check. Mini-skirt? Check. Sienna Guillory’s Jill Valentine seems to be the most accurate portrayal of a Resident Evil character in the movies. The former S.T.A.R.S. member probably shouldn’t keep so much skin exposed when there are zombies everywhere that are looking to bite and infect her, but we appreciate the risks she takes to looks good.
In Resident Evil: Retribution, she returns as a blonde, now the villain of the movie. She even looks the part of her superpowered, antagonist form from Resident Evil 5, complete with the device on her chest and the one-piece outfit. We’re glad that the fimmakers did their homework on this one.
As far as bad guys go, Albert Wesker is certainly one of the most arrogant. If his glowing, red eyes weren’t a dead giveaway that he’s evil, then maybe his frosted tips might. In Resident Evil:Afterlife, we see him played by actor Shawn Roberts. He’s got the sunglasses to hide his ocular peculiarities, and those tips definitely seem frosted, but something about him still feels a little … off. Perhaps it’s because Shawn Roberts was only in his mid-20s when he filmed the role and Wesker is supposed to be much older, but the one thing we couldn’t get past was his youthful, good looks.
Other than that, and the prominence of Roberts’ widow’s peak, the costuming was pretty spot on. Leather and bad guys go together, and Wesker is definitely the type to rock it in all-black
Leon Kennedy may not be as brawny as Chris, but he’s still one of the coolest characters in the series. There are some stark differences between his appearance in Resident Evil 4 and actor Johann Urb’s character in Resident Evil: Retribution, but it’s probably difficult to find someone with bangs like Leon’s. In an interview with Collider, director Paul W.S. Anderson confirmed as much, saying, “You have no idea how difficult it is to find someone with Leon Kennedy’s hair. It is just not the easiest thing in the world. He has to be manly and has to have these long bangs.”
Urb doesn’t rock Leon’s signature leather jacket in the film, but he does have a nice, winter coat with a fur-lined hood. But, going by what Anderson said, getting the hair correct seemed to be the most important thing.
Ada Wong’s acrobatic skills and penchant for gunplay have earned her a spot in every Resident Evil fan’s heart. We see her portrayed by actress Bingbing Li in Resident Evil: Retribution, wearing her signature red outfit. This is actually a fairly faithful representation of the character, from the hairstyle down to the yellow butterflies on her dress. We’re so impressed with how accurate the portrayal is, we could have sworn Ada stepped out of the game’s code and into the movie. She even performs that incredible disarm using a front handspring kick in the movie, adding to her cool factor.
Carlos Oliveira’s first video game appearance was in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, where he helps Jill Valentine escape the zombie-infested Raccoon City and the clutches of the Nemesis. In the films, he’s portrayed by Oded Fehr, who you might remember from The Mummy movies as Ardeth Bay. For some reason, Fehr just can’t escape the undead in any of their forms.
As you might be able to tell, there’s a stark contrast between the game character’s appearance and Fehr’s. Carlos is more youthful-looking with medium-length hair, whereas Fehr is more mature, with a shorter haircut. Even the costuming is different, with Oded’s Carlos featuring less pouches and straps, with more of a desert soldier look. We don’t really mind the departure from the original character’s look, but it’s just a little jarring when most of the other characters’ signature looks are so accurately depicted.
Whenever we think of sandwiches, we think of the majestically-bearded Barry Burton. The character is famous for exploring the Spencer Mansion with Jill in the first Resident Evil game and saving her from becoming a Jill Sandwich. In Resident Evil: Retribution, the beard is brought to life by Kevin Durand, who wears a red vest similar to that of the original character design. There’s something about the heroes of Resident Evil and wearing red and vests, but we don’t judge.
While his costume features the same kind of leather straps and holster from the game, the biggest difference is that Kevin Durand’s face is a little more good-natured than Barry’s. The video game character looks a lot more hardened in later iterations of the series, but we respect the attention to detail on the outfits. It’s almost enough to make us forgive how nobody spoke of sandwiches. Almost.