Saturday, January 21, 2017

Movie Review: "Resident Evil" (2002)

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Movie"Resident Evil"
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Year: 2002
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

In "The Hive," an underground research facility of the Umbrella corporation, a virus that is being developed gets released into the facility. The computer system known as the 'Red Queen' implements safety measures and locks the building down. When a private security team is sent in to assess the situation and rescue any survivors, they are met with unexpected challenges.

"Resident Evil" is written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. It is based on the horror video game series of the same name. It stars Milla Jovovich as Alice, a top security agent for the Umbrella corporation. She and her partner were tasked with guarding the entrance to 'The Hive,' the company's super secret underground research laboratory. When a deadly virus the company was developing in The Hive is accidentally released, it causes the facility's super-computer known as 'The Red Queen' to go into emergency lock down, killing everyone inside. An Umbrella tactical security team is tasked with going into the building to shut down The Red Queen and to locate any survivors. Alice is the first survivor who lives just outside The Hive. Joining Jovovich are Colin Salmon, Michelle Rodriguez, Martin Crewes, Eric Mabius, Pasquale Aleardi, and James Purefoy, who make up members of the security team and others they encounter along the way.

"Resident Evil" does make an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of the video game in some ways. The team moves slowly through this massive compound with the occasional jump scare before turning into a full-on zombie outbreak action flick. There isn't a whole lot of character development, unfortunately. The characters include people like generic soldier guy 43 in a mercenary outfit who you know will die from the moment he shows up on screen. In addition, Michelle Rodriguez plays her standard tough girl with a chip on her shoulder, the character she always plays in every movie for all of time, Milla Jovovich is essentially a female version of Jason Bourne, who has all these secret fighting skills, but has recently lost her memory and needs to piece it all back together. It's full of tropes and outdated CGI, which we can forgive to some extent, but if you're going to build an entire film series on characters with not a lot of backstory, don't expect the audience to get too terribly invested.

The first act and a half of the movie is fairly slowly paced with the exception of a couple of cool scenes here and there. There is a lot of exposition that goes on, explaining to the audience everything it needs to know about the Umbrella corporation, its motivations, and the T-virus itself. It does start to pick up a bit towards the finale as the zombies become a factor in the story, but by that time, the characters start to make inexplicably stupid decisions for the rest of the movie in an effort to make the plot more exciting.

Despite a couple of decent action sequences, the first "Resident Evil" is a rather basic film with a pretty rock start that doesn't get the audience fully gripped in the story until it's already too late.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 34%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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