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Resident Evil (2002)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Paul Anderson

Starring:
Milla Jovovich/Alice
Michelle Rodriguez/Rain
Eric Mabius/Matt
James Purefoy/Spencer
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A team of tough commandos infiltrate The Hive (an underground laboratory) to terminate a whacked out computer (The Red Queen). But to their grand surprise, they encounter a horde of un-dead scientists who have mutated into flesh-craving zombies due to the unleashing of the “T” Virus. LET THE MAYHEM BEGIN!
THE LOWDOWN
As you all know, this flick is based on the popular Capcom video game “Resident Evil”. Although the film is a prequel to the game and doesn’t showcase any of its characters (no Jill Valentine in the house), it still sports many of its elements: the mansion, the un-dead dogs (very well done), the zombies, The Umbrella Corporation, the “licker” beast, Raccoon City and a hint about “Nemesis” (who will be explored in the sequel).

Having played and dug the first two Resident Evil games didn’t interfere one bit with my enjoyment of its exhilarating cinematic counterpart. I really didn’t expect or want to see a frame-by-frame rendition of the game, I just hoped for a good old time at the movies and that’s exactly what I got. Talk about a relentless, action-packed trip! The flick starts off with a loud bang and doesn’t let up until its way kool “open for a sequel” ending. I’m talking vicious flesh-hungry zombie attack sequences, mucho exciting gun play, one particularly tense sequence involving a deadly laser beam, an awesome scene with slimy zombie dogs chasing scantily clad Milla Jovovich (Alice) around and one hell of a badass licker beast causing fun (for us) havoc. The movie just never stopped delivering the bloody goods and much like the video game, we get to follow the characters as they overcome crazy obstacles over crazier obstacles to try to get out of the mess alive. FUN FREAKING TIMES!

Which leads me to the film’s biggest flaw: its characters. Since the action moves so fast and the acting is mostly about reacting to intense shite going on, there isn’t much room left for character development. The soldiers (or whatever they are) are never properly introduced (they just barge into the action and start kicking that bootie) and the dialogue is mostly used for necessary exposition about the situation. Actually, there are three dudes in here with brown hair and at times I got confused as to who was who. A minute or two should’ve been taken to explore the players more extensively early on. In consequence, I never really cared about anybody but Alice (Jovovich) whose drop dead gorgeous looks, compensated for any lack of depth she might have had. Another small problem I had with this un-dead puppy is that on occasion, characters would pop up in a setting (alone) with no explanation as to how they got there or why they separated themselves from the group. That would bother me for about half a second but then gnarly action would kick in and distract me away from the specific plot hole. I’d get all riled up, sit on the edge of my seat and forget all about it. Clever, clever…

On the characters' plus side, I did appreciate the light whodunit as to who unleashed the virus. A few characters surprised me here as to their true nature and that got me somewhat involved on a human level (I said "somewhat"). I also dug the whole amnesia subplot which was slapped in there in regards to the Alice and Spencer (Purefoy) characters. Seeing both characters (especially hot-to-trot Alice) slowly remembering who they were while regaining their combat skills, put a grin on my amused face. Personally, I can’t think of a more satisfying image than Milla Jovovich in a shorter than “Gary Coleman” red skirt snapping all kinds of zombie necks and kicking the crap out of various beasties. Man, I love tough females, they really crank my dial!

Now I’ve heard many voice their concern in regards to the “Matrix-like” fight sequences and the overuse of CGI in the film. Well, let me offer you some comfort by saying that the only “Matrix-like” shot in this celluloid nightmare involves Milla kicking that freaking demon dog in the head (as seen in the trailer) and that the CGI is actually mostly subtlety used to enhanced some of the more basic visual effects (like the zombies). Sure, the “licker” creature looked a tad CGI in certain scenes, but overall, he came across as pretty bad (in a good way) to me and I loved seeing him go haywire. All that to say that it’s not as tacky as you might think.

Overall, "Resident Evil" entertained me gangbusters and gave me exactly what I needed to start my day on the right foot. It’s basically a roller coaster of mean guns, rotten zombies, hot babes and effective boo scares. Wrap all of that up in flashy/creative shots, kool high-tech settings (loved the mirrored-like hallway) and a sharp score booming in the background and you get an all-around attack on the senses. If that description doesn’t appeal to you, stay away and rent some British period piece instead. Others will have a blast and a half! Undo your seat belt and get ready to hit the windshield. The un-dead are back on the big screen!
GORE
It isn’t Fulci/Romero gory but there's still enough sauce to please. We get a way slick beheading, cut off fingers, a man cut to little pieces, bullet hits (some in zombie heads), snapped zombie necks and nasty zombie bites. It isn’t a gore-fest, but there’s enough here to please.
ACTING
Milla Jovovich (Alice) looks so fine and handles her dialogue well. I bought her as an action heroine and relished every close-up that she had. Her dreamy blue eyes captivated me. What a turn-on! Michelle Rodriguez (Rain) pouts and acts pissed off, that’s pretty much all there is to say about her. She’s so cute when she’s angry though. Eric Mabius (Matt) does well with what he’s given. James Purefoy (Spencer) does good things with the light substance his character has. Colin Salmon (James) and Martin Crewes (Chad) both have brown hair and both have thin parts. Who’s who here?
T & A
We get Milla Jovovich in that lovely skimpy red dress and if you don’t blink, you might catch the side of one of her tits and that now famous “twat shot”. Yes, she teases, nothing wrong with that. I’d rather be teased by Milla than by Eric Mabius (who keeps his shirt on by the way ladies). We also get quick glimpses of Milla having sex with someone else, but the shots are too flashy for us to see much of anything.
DIRECTING
Anderson does what he does best: give the film a very stylized and polished look. I loved his use of colors/lighting, how he delivered the dreamlike flashbacks, the tension which he injected in some scenes, the zany shots, how he milked the impressive settings for all that they were worth, his use of slow motion and his use of silence. He also goes nuts on the Milla Jovovich close ups (thank you), the computer camera POVs (way slick) and the boo scares (he got me a few times). The film is a visual treat.
SOUNDTRACK
We get a mean, edgy score by Marco Beltrami and chic freak Marilyn Manson that kicked my ass all over the theatre. I got to get the CD for this one.
BOTTOM LINE
When I got out of our critic's screening room, the "studio publicist" (a 40-something distinguished looking woman) perceived the big smile that I had on my face and actually said: “You didn’t really like this poor film, did you?” I found it odd that a studio rep would badmouth a flick that she’s supposed to be pushing, but that’s just me. I looked at her and said: "Yes, I did, I love stuff like this!"

Now I don’t expect the more highbrow or pretentious filmgoers to enjoy this tornado of horror fun. The movie wasn’t made for them, it was made for us. Fervent gamers and horror buffs will get a few kicks out of "Resident Evil" if they let themselves enjoy it for what it is and not let what they think it should’ve been, get in the way. No, George Romero isn’t doing it, no, it isn’t exactly like the freaking game and no, Paul Anderson isn’t loved by the masses. My advice: LET IT THE FUCK GO AND ENJOY THE DAMN MOVIE! I for one am anxiously waiting for the sequel. PAUL ANDERSON ROCKS! And you can quote me on that…
BULL'S EYE
George Romero was initially supposed to write and direct "Resident Evil" but Capcom didn’t like his script. You can find the screenplay here.
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11:21PM on 09/15/2010

Entertaining and sometimes clever horror action thriller.

Along with "Event Horizon" and "Death Race", this is Paul Anderson`s third best movie as a director.

Milla Jovovich is nicely cast in this. Especially Anderson and Jovovich are married in real-life, since they meet eachother in this movie.

I also liked Michelle Rodriguez`s character, i thought she was great. She`s one of these actress that is extremely underrated. Also she is quite sexy as well.

The premise is actually quite good and the action sequences are good. But not as gory, i
Along with "Event Horizon" and "Death Race", this is Paul Anderson`s third best movie as a director.

Milla Jovovich is nicely cast in this. Especially Anderson and Jovovich are married in real-life, since they meet eachother in this movie.

I also liked Michelle Rodriguez`s character, i thought she was great. She`s one of these actress that is extremely underrated. Also she is quite sexy as well.

The premise is actually quite good and the action sequences are good. But not as gory, i would like it to be. But the plot is kinda underwritten and same goes for the most of the characters.

The highlight is Anderson`s visual style. I was hope that Anderson would shot this in 2.35:1 Widescreen format. The movie would looked better in Cinemascope. Especially the sequels.

After being released for eight years now, it`s still looks great. Especially the music score by Oscar-:Marco Beltrami (3:10 to Yuma "2007", Scream Trilogy) and Marilyn Manson is effective. Followed by three sequels!
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+0
4:14AM on 01/21/2009
Resident Evil occasionally delivers what it promises, that is to say, it delivers some fun action/horror sequences, plenty of zombies, and a monster here or there.

Unfortunately, I don't think the pacing is tight enough, with a lot of scenes in between the action grinding the film to a complete halt. Can't say I cared much for the cast, either, as everyone here is incredibly bland and boring.

Overall, a so-so start to a so-so series.
Resident Evil occasionally delivers what it promises, that is to say, it delivers some fun action/horror sequences, plenty of zombies, and a monster here or there.

Unfortunately, I don't think the pacing is tight enough, with a lot of scenes in between the action grinding the film to a complete halt. Can't say I cared much for the cast, either, as everyone here is incredibly bland and boring.

Overall, a so-so start to a so-so series.
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1:30PM on 09/13/2005

Never agreed more with The Arrow.

Resident Evil (2002)

A secret experiment. A deadly virus. A fatal mistake.

"You're all going to die down here."

Plot:
Inside The Hive the biggest and most advanced genetic technology lab complex, the deadly T-Virus has been unleashed by someone. This caused the supreme AI girlie, The Red Queen to kill everyone inside so the virus doesn't escape to the exterior. A team is sent to see what the hell went down there only to get mauled by flesh eating zombies.

What I Thought:
Get
Resident Evil (2002)

A secret experiment. A deadly virus. A fatal mistake.

"You're all going to die down here."

Plot:
Inside The Hive the biggest and most advanced genetic technology lab complex, the deadly T-Virus has been unleashed by someone. This caused the supreme AI girlie, The Red Queen to kill everyone inside so the virus doesn't escape to the exterior. A team is sent to see what the hell went down there only to get mauled by flesh eating zombies.

What I Thought:
Get ready for controversy. I don't really consider myself a big fan of the "Resident Evil" videogames (I've always found "Silent Hill" to be a much superior franchise) but I beat and dug the first three videogames and when I knew about this movie's cast and crew (big Anderson fan) I knew I absolutely had to see this movie adaptation. While the movie didn't stay very true to the videogames feel, the movie managed to keep me glued to the screen with its fantastic visuals and great action.

This movie is supposed to take place before the first game, with not too many references to the games itself: we get to see the Umbrella Mansion, the T-Virus of course, all your favorite creatures (zombie dogs and lickers? dig in!) and a brief reference to the Nemesis (angle that is further explored in the sequel). Overly, the movie didn't feel to me like a Resident Evil plot but damn! It had me more engrossed than any of the games did. The screenplay is fantastic. The story manages a very logical and not too complicated explanation for the undead, while bringing us enough plot to dig our teeth into. I loved the 'amnesia' subplot that ran through the entire playtime and brought us very exciting twists, it was very well written. Everything began tying up by the bendy and twisty end until we are hit on the face with one of my favorite endings of all time (that's right, and I don't mean the shot of Milla's . . . downstairs).

But all these wouldn't have been achieved without the work of underrated director Paul Anderson (who wrote the second and more recently did "Alien Vs Predator"). The guy manages to give us a very claustrophobical feel throughout the entire movie with his trademark visuals that will pop your eyes out. He also did fantastic action sequences (gotta love the dog ass kicking, holee shiet!) and building tension like a damned pro (the laser scene was one for the motherfucking books). His crazy camera angles and tricks never failed to support the story and its setting. Also worth mentioning, I jumped more than once during this movie. How the hell did he manage that? Yes, I'm a big fan of Anderson and his work on this movie, pro-fuckin-ops.

The biggest (and really, only) problem with the movie is the characterizations. I'm still waiting for Anderson to bring me proper characterizations in a movie. Yes, we get to see not one but two ass kicking sexy heroines (fetish of mine) making their way through hordes of zombies and punching more booty than T-800. But the only characters that get any development are Alice, Matt and that's about it. However, everyone involved is very likable and I cared for them even if they're as flat as Milla's chest (not a bad thing though, I like Milla's chest). So even being a major problem, I didn't mind it while watching the movie.

I never had problems with the performances. Milla Jovovich didn't need to act, she OWNED her character, I forgot I was looking at such a well known actress, for me, she was Alice. Michelle Rodriguez (Rain) played Michelle Rodriguez fighting zombies with a cool name and did it like a champ, I am a big fan of both our heroines' players and they didn't dissapoint. Colin Salmon (James 'One') was hardly on screen but when he did he filled it with precense, damn! Eric Mabious (Matt) and James Purefroy (Spence) handled themselves well. I especially dug the former's layered performance, he's great. And I gotta love Martin Crewes (Kaplan) who made me like him seconds after he first appeared. This was a great cast.

The SFX were stellar, I thought. After reading so much ranting on how much the CGI sucked, I was expecting clay motion. I was pleasantly surprised with good looking creatures that mized great with the prosthetics used (loved the Licker transformation). I never ever mewled at the effects. And what can I say by the score done my Marilyn Manson? Nothing other than "top fucking notch". God that sounded so well and fit the images great.

Gore:
The gore was handled more on a 'sci-fi' route than horror (like the games). But we still see a lot of it and most of the time it quenched my blood thirst. There's a very slick decapitation, someone cut in half, someone getting cubed (think: "Cube"), bloody bites, snapped necks, crazy zombies (loved the half-head one), skinned dogs and more. I be quenched.

Overall Rating:
9/10. I'm still trying to figure out what's so bad about this underrated horror/action masterpiece (it's a favorite of mine, love it to hell). Okay so it's not too close to the games' feel but it worked in its different take. It has breathtaking action, a lot of tension, an awesome story and a very VERY memorable heroine.
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