Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: "Resident Evil" is a Top Notch Zombie Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 179 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Resident Evil (2002)
Running time: 100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sci-fi/horror violence, language, and sexuality/nudity
PRODUCERS: Jeremy Bolt, Bernd Eichinger, and Paul W.S. Anderson
EDITOR: Alexander Berner


Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, Colin Salmon, and Jason Isaacs (uncredited)

The almighty Umbrella Corporation has a top-secret facility called the Hive where they conduct illegal viral and genetic experiments. A laboratory accident unleashes a terrible virus that transforms hundreds of resident scientists into ravenous zombies (hungry for flesh, of course) and the lab animals into mutated hounds from hell. A special military unit answers the Hive’s alarm summons; they are however not prepared to fight the flesh-eating creatures or the Hive’s diabolical and out-of-control super computer. When they disable the computer, they inadvertently release the zombies, allowing them to roam the entire complex, and all hell breaks loose. It’s up to Alice (Milla Jovovich), a Hive security officer who has suffered recent short term memory loss, and Rain (Michelle Rodriguez), a member of elite military task force to contain the outbreak, but they only have three hours to do so before the pathogen is released into the outside world.

Resident Evil is based upon videogame giant Capcom’s very popular video game of the same title. Although he isn’t a critical darling and many movie fans don’t like his work, director Paul W.S. Anderson has helmed some very entertaining sci-fi thrillers, and Resident Evil is another example of his skill at making excellent popcorn SF shockers. And Resident Evil is by no means a “good, dumb movie;” it is actually a very effective and amazingly well done (for a film adaptation of a video game) horror film. Night of the Living Dead creator George A. Romero was originally slated to direct this film, but left over creative differences. Anderson does the master proudly, as Resident Evil is a zombie movie that is just about as creepy and as scary as any other zombie picture.

The acting is mostly stiff, modern B-movie material, but the characters make excellent chess pieces in Anderson’s game plan. Fans of horror films, especially zombie films, will love this. The flesh-eating residents of the lab are some topnotch walking dead.

7 of 10


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