Horrorible Review: “Resident Evil”

Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!

Resident Evil movie poster

Resident Evil

As we all know, there are requisite aspects of zombie films, like use of social media, a sweeping social message, and an everyman (or woman) thrown into the fray and made to be heroic.

Well, you can forget all of that if you’re watching Resident Evil. There is no social media, not even a radio off in the distance. The message is Business Bad, which most people accept so readily they may not recognize it as a Message, and there are no ordinary people among the characters though there is some effort to disguise this at first.

This movie is based on a very popular Capcom game, and if you played it at all you will instantly recognize places and monsters in the film and you will also experience a frisson of anxiety on seeing them.  Because it’s drawn from a game, the plot is simple.  An evil company called Umbrella has been tinkering a little, actually a lot, too much with nature and has made both enemies and some dangerous stuff that of course gets out.  If it didn’t there would be no movie, now would there? A badass (looking) group of mercenaries sweep up some stray people in a mansion and take them below the house to a massive laboratory complex.  Their mission is to shut down the artificial intelligence called the Red Queen, which sounds very adult but is voiced and holographed as a young English girl.  That’s actually creepier than you might think.

Due to someone breaking the evil blue double helix of evil early on, the place is not only booby-trapped, but full of mouthy dead people. There is a long, kinda dull lead in to the G.I. Joes (and Josephine) actually getting to the action, though the driving, pulsing, loud music works hard to let you know it’s time to be on edge.

It’s a pretty film, both setting and cinematography-wise, with a lot of pretty faces both male and female and some pretty awesome monsterage that are mostly well rendered for an early cgi film. The map of the lab complex looks like an inverted umbrella, and many areas are so sterile they seem as anti-human as a pack of zombies. The game aspect is not obvious, as it is with Dead Rising, unless you’ve played it, making it a much stronger movie.  This, and the kick ass badness of the beautiful hero played by Milla Jovovich are probably what propelled this otherwise standard action flick into the franchise realm.  Every couple of years they dust off Ms. Jovovich’s butt kicking ways and fire up the AI for another round.  The next one is due out in 2017.

The zombies are interesting in that they are characters we meet while they are human.  We see them suffering in all manner of horrible ways before they die and come back, which is unusual for zombie fiction both in film and print.  In my experience, that always makes a strong story.

It’s a strong series of fun movies, and I recommend you check it out if you haven’t already.  They’re different from your average zombie film, mostly because the zombies are the least of the monsters, and the action not so much about a hero rising to the occasion but about watching a badass woman kicking monster butt.

LINKS:

Resident Evil – Trailer

CFR: In Addition: I adore these movies and they scare the heck out of me and I LOVE watching “watching a badass woman kicking monster butt” as much as Mildred. 🙂 Squee! I did a review of the last movie this series and you can find it here. Squee!

Oh and did you notice anything about last Monday, November 30th? Just wondering.

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