Director: Paul Anderson
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, Colin Salmon, Heike Makatsch
MPAA Rating: (for strong sci-fi/horror violence, language, and brief sexuality/nudity)
Running Time: 1:40
Release Date: 3/15/02
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Review by Mark Dujsik
Markís Unofficial FAQ/Strategy Guide to the Movie Resident Evil
Question: What genre would you place Resident Evil under?
Hint: It has zombies in it.
Answer: Resident Evil is a zombie movie in every sense of the wordómindless, lifeless, meandering, loud, painful, obnoxious. You get the idea.
Question: How faithful is the movie to the video game on which it is based?
Hint: Well, itís definitely based on a video game.
Answer: Director Paul Anderson seems so focused on keeping the elements of a video game in his movie that he might as well have controllers installed into the back of everyoneís seats. The zombies walk in convenient lines, providing a perfect shooting gallery for the disposable cardboard cutout characters to wander through.
Question: What about the story?
Hint: Why must you make me remember?
Answer: Thereís something about a corporation that creates a virus that zombifies its victims. Seems pointless, doesnít it? Anyway, the virus is released among the secret lab facility, and the main computer, in a HAL 9000 kind of mood, kills off all the employees. A special team is called in to investigate the accident.
Question: Are any of the characters from the game in the movie?
Hint: Does it matter?
Answer: Itís hard to answer that, because just about every character is interchangeable, and itís almost impossible to tell most of them apart.
Question: Is it scary?
Hint: Have you ever seen any horror movie?
Answer: If the answer is yes, then no. The movie times its scares with the predictable timing of relatively every horror movie ever made. How much the movie actually startles you will depend on how loud the theaterís sound system is.
Question: How do I tell a zombie from the humans?
Hint: It takes a while for the characters in the movie to figure this out, too.
Answer: If thereís a creature that looks like it is straight out of a Marilyn Manson video that carries some kind of weapon and manages to bang every piece of metal around it, itís probably a zombie. There are times theyíre able to sneak up on you despite their clumsiness, but only if the script calls for a scare at the time.
Question: Whatís up with that little girl?
Hint: And why does she have a British accent?
Answer: The girl is actually the representation of the computer, called the Red Queen. The British accent, however, is a mystery.
Question: Well, what about the acting?
Hint: What about it?
Answer: Iím not sure which is worse: the dreadful dialogue, the delivery of said dialogue with the conviction of a local car dealership commercial, or Michelle Rodriguezís eternal scowl.
Question: What kind of action heroine does Milla Jovovich make?
Hint: Does the word "kick-ass" sound professional?
Answer: Somehow through it all, Jovovich is entirely convincing and completely engaging as the hero. She puts a great amount of conviction into her role and serves as the one obvious saving grace of the movie.
Question: Will there be a sequel?
Answer: The movie takes about five minutes to set up its sequel, which is about twenty times longer than any movie should, so Iím guessing, yes.
Question: Uh-oh. A zombie just bit me. Is that a bad thing?
Hint: Did you take Horror Movies 101?
Answer: Yes, that is a bad thing; you will become a zombie. Try to make the best of it. If you were bitten while watching Resident Evil, do a favor to yourself and those around you and invade the projection booth. Celluloid may not be as accommodating to your tastes as human flesh, but you may lull the audience into extreme gratitude, which will make them easier targets for creating your zombie army.
Copyright © 2002 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.