Resident Evil

"Zero"

Resident Evil Review


It's been 13 months and 295 preview screenings since I last walked out on a movie ("Series 7: The Contenders," it was called), but "Resident Evil" really earned my indignant, preemptive departure.

A plotless wonder of unmitigated noise, cheap scares and endless rounds of ammunition, this sci-fi zombies-and-gore cinematic calamity is based on a video game of the same name. The only thing positive I can say about it is that the picture's structure is true to its roots: it gets harder (to watch) one level of carnage at time.

After an unexplained biological weapons accident in a secret underground lab complex run by one of those evil movie mega-conglomerate corporations, the whole joint is locked down by the mainframe computer called Red Queen, which then goes HAL 9000 on the workers, killing everyone. Some are drown in their airtight labs, others are gassed -- but not before they've all been infected by the experimental "T-virus," which turns them into...the undead.

Meanwhile, a sexy amnesiac (Milla Jovovich), who slowly remembers her butt-kickin' super security-agent past, is dragged along for no apparent reason by a heavily armed assault force as it infiltrates the complex to shut down the Red Queen. Picked off one-by-one in a thoroughly predictable order by either the computer (by way of body-slicing lasers) or the George Romero-quality ghoulies (chomp, chomp!), the commandos have to fight their way in to the computer core, then out of the compound.

Entirely dependent on movie theaters' 150-decible sound systems for its thrills and jolts, "Resident Evil" can't even manage the simple task of story continuity. Scores of zombies disappear and reappear as if scenes have been spliced together from scraps on the cutting room floor. The zombies can't be stopped with guns, but when it's convenient for the script, 105-pound girls can punch them out cold. Characters often wander off on their own without explanation and without anyone in the dwindling group noticing they're gone. They'll have a run-in with, say, blood-covered, undead Doberman pinschers, then bolt back to the commandos with zombies magically popping up out of thin air to pursue them.

As writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson has proven in the game-spawn "Mortal Kombat" and the similarly imbecilic sci-fi splatter fiasco "Event Horizon," he cares little about anything beyond gross-out effects and slick production values. Apply even a modicum of common sense to any given scene in this clunker, and the whole plot crumbles. Vacant sneers are the closest thing you'll find to acting coming from the cast of B-players (Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy). Turn the sound down below ear-piercing, headache-inducing level and "Resident Evil" loses what meager ability it might have had to terrorize.

As for entertainment value, there were people in the preview audience who seemed to enjoy the movie -- they were the type who cheer during decapitations. If that's as high as your standards go, "Resident Evil" may be your cup of tea. But I bailed out after an hour to go home and cleanse my palate with "Aliens." That character-driven but hair-raising, infinitely superior futuristic action-horror flick was obviously where Anderson pilfered most of this picture's story arch.

If you want a tough chick leading cannon-fodder commandos in ammo-exhausting battles with unstoppable, man-eating monsters, there's just no point in trying to top Ellen Ripley.



Resident Evil

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th March 2002

Box Office USA: $39.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $102.4M

Budget: $33M

Distributed by: Columbia Tristar Pictures

Production compaines: New Legacy, Constantin Film Produktion, Davis-Films, Impact Pictures

Reviews

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 82

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Alice, as Rain, as Matt, Ryan McCluskey as Mr. Grey, as Mr. Red, Indra Ové as Ms. Black, Anna Bolt as Dr. Green, Joseph May as Dr. Blue, Robert Tannion as Dr. Brown, as Lisa, Jaymes Butler as Clarence, Stephen Billington as Mr. White, as Ms. Gold, as One, as Kaplan, Pasquale Aleardi as Rain, Liz May Brice as Medic, Torsten Jerabek as Commando 1, Marc Logan-Black as Commando 2, as Spence, Michaela Dicker as Red Queen

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Advertisement
Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.