Resident Evil Review

Resident Evil is a 2002 science fiction horror film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, starring Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, and Colin Salmon.  It is the first installment in the Resident Evil film series, based on the video game series Resident Evil, following Alice (Jovovich) and a band of Umbrella Corporation commandos as they attempt to contain the outbreak of the T-virus at a secret underground facility.


Positives:

  • Good performances by the main and supporting cast
  • Interesting characters
  • Interesting, well-placed story
  • Good use of practical and make-up effects
  • Great soundtrack
  • Good action sequences

Negatives:

  • Convenience ridden script
  • Useless, flat characters
  • Poor CGI effects

Plot:  The story does go at a good pace, allowing plenty of twists to unfold while keeping a atmosphere filled with tension.  As far as story goes, the commandos investigating the facility after it goes down as well as Alice and Spence’s involvement is a great angle for the film. The film would’ve benefited better had there been more expositions on the experiments and practices of Umbrella so that audiences who know nothing of the game lore can be familiarized with it.  (3  out of 5)

Characters: The film does feature a good roster of characters.  Alice is a likable character and over the course of the film does develop into a strong female lead.  Rain is a likable character and the most standout.  We have Matt who is likable and does contribute something of an emotional/personal stake in the story.  Spence is one of those characters a person loves to hate but his reveal does make him out to be a douchebag.  Unfortunately, the film features more characters who feel more canon fodder, especially since it took a laser grid less than a minute to cut the characters down by half (literally). (3 out of 5)

Cast:  The film has a really good cast who do good performances.  The film stars Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, and Colin Salmon, all of who do well.  (3 out of 5)

Visuals: Visually the film does feature a great use of practical and make-up effects, especially when it comes to the setting and zombie effects.  The zombies have a pale, deteriorated look to them.  Most of the CGI hiccups surround the Licker creature effects.  There are several moments where the CGI could’ve been touched on a bit better rather than being ripped from a video game.  Even the Red Queen projection left much to be desired.  The dog effects were good enough even though they did look like were covered in scrambled eggs and ketchup. The action sequences do have a solid look to them that make them feel grounded. (3 out of 5)

Score: One of the best aspects of the film is the soundtrack.  It does a great job of giving the film it’s own distinct feel, Especially when it comes to the action sequences.  There are even moments where the suspense is building and the soundtrack helps to emphasize it.  (4 our of 5)

Writing: Unfortunately for the film, the story has too many conveniences.  Not only does it include useless characters but also fails to elaborate on any of them nor give much exposition on the Umbrella Organization.  Also, the zombie attacks aren’t suspenseful.  The zombies themselves seemingly appear out of nowhere for no apparent reason.


The Verdict:  In the end, Resident Evil is a decent film.  Fans of the video games will look upon this with shame as it does take what was great about the games and change it, though it is good for what it is. The film does feature a bunch of useless characters, crappy CGI, and a story filled with plotholes and conveniences. The film does have a lot of promising aspects to it; there are decent performances, likable characters, great use of practical effects, and a killer soundtrack.   Resident Evil gets 3 out of 5.

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