Resident Evil (2002)
Main cast: Milla Jovovich (Alice), Michelle Rodriguez (Rain), Eric Mabius (Matt), and James Purefoy (Spence)
Director: Paul Anderson


Paul Anderson wrote and directed Mortal Kombat. You've been warned. Ssh, it's my secret shame, but I kinda like Mortal Kombat a lot despite its trashy, tacky B-grade gawdawfulness. Unsurprisingly, Resident Evil is another movie based on the really popular shoot/bash-'em-up semi-RPG computer game. I've never played that game, but I'm told it's pretty cool.

But Resident Evil sucks so much, I can package the suck and manufacture vacuum cleaners out of the whole suckiness. Even the idea of two buxom, pouty, babes sexily-clad in a most impractical way blasting their ways through zombies can't prevent my B-grade movie fan son and my usually less discriminate movie fan hubby from tuning out 15 minutes into the show to discuss soccer.

I'm not complaining about the inane plot. Hey, the plot, if we can call it that, is that this super business corporation in the future, Umbrella Corporation, is secretly manufacturing nasty experiments in their basements even as they sell us people happy lollypops and candies. Or something. They make bad weapons and conduct genetic and cloning experiments using plastic-looking toys passed off as props. I think I saw that plastic gun-thing sold at Toys R Us the other day.

When something goes wrong, the mother computer at this secret lab (under the ground, of course) shuts everything down and drowns everybody in it. Cool. But wait - the doors will really be shut forever, after 60 minutes. You'd think if this is so, why even bother, right? Let the sad bastards drown and put this nonsense out of memory ASAP.

But no, we have a team of investigators dashing into the lab to discover the cause of the mess and get out. In 60 minutes. I can't even get my mechanic to discover the cause of that guggling sound in my car for 60 minutes. What do these fools expect to achieve?

To the surprise of no one, they find the now rank and smelly dungeons of a lab filled with ugly, nasty, shambling zombies! Eeeuw, the guy with that extra long tongue reminds me of a really bad date. But I'm still cool with this movie so far. I don't watch a movie like Resident Evil for enlightenment.

But the movie is so choppy and loud it grates on my nerves like an orchestra of nails on blackboard. It doesn't help that I don't know what the names of the characters are (thank you IMDB.com for cluing me in, oh, two days after I've watched the movie that Milla Jovovich's character is called Alice). The action scenes are either tacky and cheap (and hence fake) as a "designer dress" sold in Chinatown for $10.00, or they are so disjointed and inept.

But one thing though - Milla Jovovich really can carry off the cheesy superbabe with guns thing very well. If her character in The Fifth Element is cool, well, she almost recaptures the magic of kickass ammos-and-leather babe archetype here.

But instead of gloriously tacky and cheesy, all I get from Resident Evil is a tacky and cheesy movie that actually annoys me rather than entertains. Inept techniques, lousy pacing, and Michelle Rodriguez's zombefied face (no, she plays a heroine, not a zombie, alas - can we say "miscast"?) bog down what could've been a super-cheesy and hence mega-cool bad script from making masterpiece MST3000 tour de force.

Maybe the game will be more fun.

Rating: 34


My Favorite Pages

This movie at Amazon.com

This movie at Amazon UK

Search for more movie reviews:

My Guestbook Return to The Movie Autopsy Guild Email