Resident Evil is the film adaptation of the survival horror video game of the same name, and with a tagline like “Survive the horror!” you might think it follows closely to the source material. On the contrary, the film takes a very different approach compared to the first game. As a matter of fact, none of the characters from any of the games appear in the movie (to my knowledge). Knowing that, most would assume the film would flop and be forgotten quickly. Well, I’m here to tell you, despite poor reviews, Resident Evil sturdily cements its place in game-to-movie history.
Resident Evil isn’t as much a horror film as it is an action movie littered with disgusting creatures. Zombies, to put it simply, but the film doesn’t stop at turning people into the common BRAIN-EATERS we all know and love. Other ghouls-like the RAVENOUS hound pictured above-are on the prowl. The story introduces us to Alice, security guard for a giant scientific research company called the Umbrella Corporation and recent amnesiac. She wakes up in the middle of a raid on the enormous facility she is posted at. Along with a team of well armed special operatives, Alice navigates the underground labs where a nasty virus has left a load of zombies in its wake.
For being a movie made in 2002, Resident Evil holds up well a decade and a half later. There is some spotty CGI but there is an equal emphasis on practical effects as well. The acting is what you would expect from an action movie released in the same time period as The Matrix. Paul W.S. Anderson directs Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) and Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious) in a slightly cheesy but fitting way. There aren’t any Oscar-winning performances, but hey, what do you want from the guy who made Mortal Kombat? Actually, comparing those two films is right on the money. Both strayed from the source material but came up with their own excellent structure. Originality isn’t cheap these days.
Even though I just watched Resident Evil I am inclined to put it on again, which is way more than I can say for most films. It did what it set out to do, made the impression it needed to. I’m glad they didn’t have it set in a mansion like the original video game. The movie would have been so much more slow-paced and uninteresting. The route they chose was “guns blazing, badassery” and it serves the franchise well. My top scenes include the zombie dogs, the building’s “security firewall” and the “final boss” of course! The film leaves off with an elaborate cliffhanger to set up the inevitable sequels. Come back tomorrow to see if they manage to match Resident Evil‘s pure adrenaline!
5 demonic doggies out of 5