Resident Evil (2002)
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Review Date: March 12, 2002
Director: Paul Anderson
Writer: Paul Anderson
Producers: Samuel Hadida
Milla Jovovich as Alice
Michelle Rodriguez as Rain Ocampo
Eric Mabius as Matt
A corporation is using an underground laboratory called "The Hive" for experimental tests with viruses. When one major virus escapes and kills everyone inside the premises, the government sends an elite commando unit in to restrain the virus before it escapes and recruits more victims in the outside world. Jovovich in a red-hot skirt...ensues.
A fun blend of various elements from other movies, RESIDENT EVIL does a great job of putting us right into the action, moving shite along quickly, giving us plenty of bang (literally) for our bucks, providing for a few boo scares, creepy silent moments and one-track-minded zombies, and featuring two badass chicks with guns leading the way. Is this film going to win an Academy award for Best Picture of 2002? Certainly not, but it's important to appreciate these types of films as much as any of the others, since they provide for some of the basic needs of most moviegoers: escapism, fantasy and entertainment. I had a blast watching this film! It's slick, it's got some really cool special effects, it features some memorable "kill" scenes (the corridor laser and the mutated Dobermans sequences in particular, were awesome!), it allows the teen pervs (and older ones alike...guilty!) to gawk at the gorgeous Milla Jovovich for over an hour and a half (and I love that pseudo-skirt thing that she was sporting throughout the movie...sweet!), it's got one-liners, delivered primarily by the gruffy Rodriguez (although am I the only one who's getting a little tired of her eyes always being rolled upwards routine?), a heavy soundtrack, and a half-decent story to boot? Granted, it's basically just a mélange of several other movies including THE SHINING, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, ALIENS, THE CROW, LA FEMMA NIKITA and Anderson's own EVENT HORIZON, but the whole thing about the virus was interesting, and like I said earlier, there were a number of cool and eerie sequences to satisfy me otherwise.

The downside? Well, it's definitely not 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. It's a film that doesn't ask for much "thought" from its audience, so if you're looking to dive knee-deep into a serpentinesque narrative, forget all that. The story is very basic and some of its characters are also one-dimensional, and obvious in their motivations (and reasons for being...prey!). But I did appreciate the fact that the film basically stars two ass-kicking women, in Jovovich and Rodriguez, with both ladies obviously coming to play (I especially enjoyed the various scenes of Milla kickin' zombie ass!). You also gotta give it up to director Paul Anderson, who usually gets massacred by critics for his movies, since he generally seems to worry more about the look and feel of his flicks, than the actual development of character/story, but he does provide enough of the latter this time around, to make the film's overall extra-cool and claustrophobic mood, all that more engaging. Yeah, I'll admit, I did get a little sick of all the zombies after a while (although a few of them looked remarkably scary-and that nasty CGI monster was also quite slick), and a couple of the last-minute "heroes saving the day" were definitely a little far-fetched, but forget those small quirks, because the overall project here is a success. If you're going to see this movie to be creeped out and entertained, you will surely feel the urge for a cigarette afterwards.

Incidentally, I know nothing about the game on which this movie is based and never try to compare or take away from a film just because it's based on another source material anyway, so I could give a shit if it is "faithful" to the game or not. As a virgin viewer to the introductory segment of this ongoing series (and yes, the film certainly ends on that note as well), I had a good time with what I was given, and even though none of it will likely mean anything to me tomorrow, the bottom line is that I munched on my nachos with my eyes glued to the screen and had a blast! Nothing wrong with that.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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