Movie Review: Resident Evil

“Resident Evil” is a textbook zombie film. It does its job effectively, and without apology. It is also based on a computer game (for those of you who may have stumbled upon the film accidentally).
The film stars Milla Jovovich as Alice, a woman who wakes up on the floor of a shower stall with no memory (and I’m sure we’ve all had those days). After wandering around in a daze (à la “Dark City”) she gets apprehended by a group of crack commandos who are trying to break into a secret underground complex. The complex (nicknamed the “hive”) has mysteriously killed all of the Umbrella Corporation’s employees who work in its subterranean offices, and it’s up to the commando team to determine the cause of the breakdown.
Well, all hell breaks loose (lasers and zombies and mutants, oh my). Now they’ve got to get out….
Sure, a pretty straight ahead plot, with no surprises, despite the large number of deaths along the way. The film pulls few punches with its level of gore, and it beats me how so many kids were allowed in to watch it…. I was reminded of several other films while watching this one (notably “The Thing”, “Night of the Living Dead”, “Dawn of the Dead”, and bits and pieces of “The Matrix”). I also remembered a few great computer games as well (including “Quake II”, and “Halflife”).
All in all, not as disappointing as some films which promised to be scarier (“Event Horizon”, another of Director Paul Anderson’s flicks), or ones which tried to have more complex plots, only to disintegrate into zombie-kill-fests (“Ghosts of Mars”). The zombies are believable, the budget special effects are nifty, and of course, Milla’s in it. Everything is explained such that you don’t need to think too much, but it’s not so over-explained that it turns into a Star Trek episode. Essentially, if you like zombies, and you like watching Milla Jovovich, this film’s worth the price of a matinee.

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