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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.