Time: 100 Minutes
Age Rating: Contains horror and violence
Milla Jovovich as Alice
Michelle Rodriguez as Rain Ocampo
Eric Mabius as Matthew “Matt” Addison
James Purefoy as Spence Parks
Martin Crewes as Chad Kaplan
Colin Salmon as James “One” Shade
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on the popular video game, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez star as the leaders of a commando team who must break into “the hive,” a vast underground genetics laboratory operated by the powerful Umbrella Corporation. There, a deadly virus has been unleashed, killing the lab’s personnel and resurrecting them as the evil Un-dead. The team has just three hours to shut down the lab’s supercomputer and close the facility before the virus threatens to overrun the Earth
I heard for a while that the original Resident Evil was one of the better video game movies. I also heard that the original was the best in this video game movie series and gotten worse as the sequels progressed. If that’s the case, I’m a little worried about what the rest of the series will be like because I don’t even think I can call this first movie enjoyable as a guilty pleasure movie. Even if it might be one of the better video game movies, Resident Evil isn’t very good on its own. There’s no doubt some enjoyment to be had with it with some of the action scenes but unfortunately it wasn’t entertaining enough.
I will just first of all state that I’ve never played a Resident Evil game, so I’m not the best person to talk about accuracy to the games. There is so much exposition dumps by the characters that you just lose track of what’s going on. At a point you just stop caring about what’s going on. Honestly there’s not much to say about the plot of Resident Evil, people go inside a building with zombies in it, and the killing ensues. If you turn your brain off you might find it a lot more enjoyable, I certainly enjoyed it more. There’s nothing really intriguing, entertaining or interesting about the plot at all. Maybe the sequels have better plots but I’m not really counting on it.
The acting isn’t good at all, no one in the cast whether it’s Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes or anyone else give good performances. The best thing I can say about the acting is that it certainly sounds like a Resident Evil game with how emotionless and flat the line deliveries were. Looking at the material they were given, I can’t really blame the cast for their at best mediocre performances.
Paul WS Anderson’s direction of Resident Evil feels very much like its from the early 2000s. It’s definitely more action than survival horror but the action is not so overblown to the level of the later films either. None of the scares work, there’s a bunch of fake jump scares and a bunch of real jump scares that all fail to leave any form of impact. There is also a complete lack of effective tension. The action sequences are fine and entertaining enough, probably the best part of the whole movie. When there are digital effects used, they look very fake, embarrassingly so and really stick out in a bad way.
While it’s no Bloodrayne, Resident Evil is not a good video game movie and not a good movie in itself. It just feels really mediocre and dated, the acting wasn’t good, the effects were bad, you just don’t care about what’s going on, the best part was the action, and even then the action wasn’t all that great. I suppose if you are the least bit curious, give Resident Evil a watch, but don’t expect anything more than a potentially ‘okay’ video game movie. I might check out the sequels but I’m not expecting much from them, if this is the best in the series, I can only imagine what the future movies are like.