Resident Evil (2002): Breakdown by Rantbo
Skinny Chick kicks a dog, shoots zombies and wears a dress. One of these she does well. You get three guesses as to which it is.
I wouldn’t say I’m a BIG fan of the Resident Evil video game series, but I’ve played the main ones and I liked them all. I’ve just never been very good at the survival horror genre, so I usually prefer to watch a more skilled friend play, as I am mostly interested in just finding out what happens anyways. My point being, it was the characters, situations and story I was interested in, not the gameplay, which I found unnecessarily difficult and annoying. For instance, why wouldn’t they just let you kick the damn zombies out of the way? I’m a sluggish load and I could have survived in that mansion, just by kicking the zombies and using the ammunition to blow open all those fucking locked doors. I digress.
So, I was quite excited when I found out that the games were being adapted into a film. I figured, all the story and zombie killing [-] the repetitive item hunting [=] good times. But I forgot I’m bad at math.
I viewed the film, as I believe it was originally intended, as a prequel to the events of the first game. So while I was initially upset over the lack of familiar characters and mansion setting of the original story, it didn’t bug me so much with what they did. At least not in the first movie.
The story is simple and easy to follow, even for non-fans. Large commercial corporation secretly engineers bio-chemical weapons and experiments for shady government organizations. An outbreak within one of their secret underground facilities triggers the death of all those working inside. A team of corporate commandos is sent in to find out what happened. Much to their surprise, all the workers have turned into flesh craving zombies. Yay!
When I think Resident Evil, I think three things: puzzles, zombies and killing zombies to solve puzzles. Even though the brand of puzzles made famous in the games is highly un-cinematic, they did manage to work in the frantic gofer aspect without making the journey tedious. As for the zombies, the action is shot frantically and with far too much shaky cam. Just like most every other modern undead flick made recently. (DAWN OF THE DEAD remake excluded). So that’s a bummer. But at least there are a bunch of them and they stay true to the slow-walking, shit-for-brains, hard-to-kill flesh-eaters from the games. The score is fucking fantastic and co-provided by Marilyn Manson around the height of his fame. In interviews he claimed to actually enjoy composing more than his previous work and it shows in the final product. The score is catchy, creepy, atmospheric and arguably the best part of the film.
The problems begin with the fact that there is no Chris Redfield-like character. Milla’s Alice is OK, but they kill off the most badass guy a half hour in and he doesn’t even get to do down fighting, as the zombies don’t show up for another 10 minutes after his death. Which is another gripe. Forty minutes is WAY too long to have to wait for zombies to show up in a movie carrying the Resident Evil name.
The effects are heavily dated already and it proves that CG is a poor, poor, substitute for practical effects. The acting is shit, the gore is weak and even the story is paper-thin compared to the 12 year old video game it’s based on. And I initially liked this movie. I was either just stupid, in a really forgiving mood, or both. But, in any case, it’s not very good.
[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]
Milla Jovovich is Alice
She literally does NOTHING for the first 48 minutes. During the opening credits she loses her memory due to some kind of nerve gas or some such convenient bullshit, so she doesn’t start to realize her ass-kicking skills until she’s alone and forced to use them via muscle memory. After that she does wage a war on killer canines (all off-screen), quick-cut kung-fus some zombies and shoots a slow-motion cg bullet into a mutated licker that looks like an even worse version of the end creature from ALIEN RESURRECTION. All-in-all, she’s weaker than Paul W.S. Anderson’s film making skills. Well, almost.
[THE BODY COUNT: 508 AND A LICKER]
Hard to say exactly as almost everyone that dies comes back as a zombie, and those fuckers keep coming back. A ton of them get shot, but only a handful stay down. So, rather than count the zombies that actually remain dead, I’ll just go with counting their initial death. During the exposition dialogue, the head S.W.A.T. guy says that the facility had 500 staff members. So, there you go. The rest of the kills are attributed to those who ventured in after the biohazard. Four of them die within about 30 seconds of one-another by a laser grid, which gyps us of seeing them battle the undead. One is eaten (largely off screen), one get’s axed (off screen), one is grabbed and presumably killed (off screen) and one turns into a zombie and is shot.
[MOST SATISFYING RE-DEATH]
Most of the deaths are fucking cut-aways. Which is a technique that has been annoyingly popular these last 10 years. The shitty thing is, that this was shot with an R rating in mind. Why they didn’t bother going the whole nine with their conviction, I’ll never understand. But, there is one kinda funny/cool novelty death that I dug.
Trapped in a hallway with no place to go but up, that’s what Alice does. And she wraps her delicious stems around a lucky zombie’s head and snaps the fucker’s neck with the power of her creamy white thighs. What a way to go–again.
[CHICKSWEAT AND FEMCHISMO]
The film centers on two female characters, Alice and Rain. Rain is played by Michelle Rodriquez and as such, is clearly a dyke. And I think Alice is on the fence. She is shown in the backstory as having a relationship with a man, but it was only a cover set up by the corporation. Alice only knows Rain for a couple hours, but is visibly heartbroken when she is being taken by the virus. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think that if these two had escaped the facility together and in good health, they’d be living with each other on the west coast right now.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
Milla exploits herself, if that counts. I dunno? But several times in the movie, we are given unnecessary shots of her nips and twat that just seemed odd and ill placed. But I’m sure it was her idea. She’s a weird one.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
The scene introducing Alice in the shower was sweet, but it was pretty much downhill from there. Which sucks, ‘cuz it happens in like the first 10 minutes.
The one-liner is actually pretty good:
“I’m missing you already.”
Alice says the line to the Human villain before (I assume) chopping off his head with an ax. I say assume, because they don’t show it happen, severely fucking up the potential badassitude of the scene.
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
I forget. I’m pretty sure it had to do with Michelle Rodriguez being a shitty one-trick character actor, but I’m just not sure. Must be the nerve gas released by opening the DVD. Oh, and if you want to bag Milla Jovovich, direct her in a movie. Works every time.
[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]
[ ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[ ] Crotch Attack
[ ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel*
[ ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[ ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[ ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[ ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[ ] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[ ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse**
[ ] Tis The Season
[ ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Resident Evil: Apocalypse]
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice
*The non-Alice survivor, Matt is strapped into a stretcher and taken away by what appear to be bio-chemist doctors, so I’ll allow it.
**Well, they use anti-virus injections to cure their T-Virus infections. That’s close enough to drugs for me.