Director – Paul W. S. Anderson
Cast – Mila Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, Colin Salmon
Release Year – 2002
Reviewed by John of the Dead
How many of you remember getting the living crap scared out of you playing the first few Resident Evil games?(raises hand) Well when I first heard there was going to be a movie adaptation of a game that scared the crap out of me I thought “I HAVE to see this!”. I was then even more excited when I heard that zombie genre legend George A. Romero was attached to direct the flick. Unfortunately, creative differences between producers and Mr. Romero caused Romero to drop from the director’s chair, which was then offered to Paul W. S. Anderson. Now I’ve heard negative things about Mr. Anderson, and I suppose he hasn’t done the greatest flicks(Mortal Kombat) but he DID direct the infamous Event Horizon, that’s gotta say something.
Anywho, this film begins with a brief bio on the Umbrella Corporation and their grip on society, as well as the illegal underground experiments they are taking part in. Then this flick gets going rather quickly with someone down in “The Hive” releasing the experimental “T-Virus”, which brings the dead back to life. When the security system takes notice that “The Hive” is possibly contaminated, it kicks in a fail safe and kills all those inside. But wait, if they are dead…and the T-Virus(which brings the dead back to life) is spreading…wont that cause the dead to rise and be zombies? Yup, you got it! Dead + T-Virus = zombies. We then are introduced to Alice(Mila Javovich), who is actually never named onscreen, waking up in an amnesiac state. She is then interrupted by a group of commandos who are on a mission down to the hive to figure out why the hive’s computer, named the “Red Queen”, killed all the employees. We then get to witness these commandos battle the “Red Queen”, as well as zombies, and the infamous “licker” monster(which looks freakin sweet!).
I will tell you right now that I decided to watch this film not a fan of the game, nor as a hater of the game, but just as if I was watching a regular movie that I know nothing about. I did this so that I could watch this with an unbiased state of mind, which would keep me from saying stupid things like “that’s not how it is in the video game!”. If you expect this film to follow everything exactly as in the videogames series, then you probably will be a bit disappointed. However, if you did the educated thing and watched this with an open mind then you will probably come out enjoying this flick.
I really loved the zombies in this film. They had a very “Romero-ish” feel to them, which is always awesome. The zombies even had some CGI done on their faces to show some decay, which I thought was pretty cool given this is based on a video game(therefore CGI is appropriate). I also of course loved the fact that we have lots of guns present in this film(I’m a fan of things that go “boom!”). The special effects in this film were solid, and the “licker” monster really turned out pretty sweet, I just wish we were able to have more scenes involving him/her/it. We even get to see a pretty decent amount of gore as well, although most of it is CGI and not Savini-esque.
Now onto what I didn’t like about this film. For starters, I really did not like Michelle Rodriguez in this movie(when do I ever like her?), nor did I enjoy any of the 1,573 b*tchy one-liners she spewed out. I also was quite saddened that we didn’t see a “Day of the Dead stomach ripping moment” when one of the commandos is pulled into the crowd of zombies. I was SERIOUSLY expecting to see a shout-out to Romero in that scene(thanks for the tease Pawl W. S. Anderson).
Overall, this is a cool film definitely worth checking out if you feel like seeing guns, some gore, and lots of special effects. Plus if you are a fan of the game it sure wouldn’t hurt to give this a try.
– I ranked this film #48 in my Top 50 Horror Movies of the Decade(41-50) post.