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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.65%
Worth A Look: 22.99%
Average: 21.39%
Pretty Bad: 10.16%
Total Crap27.81%

6 reviews, 151 user ratings

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Resident Evil
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by Erik Childress

"No Quality Kills?!!! Paul W.S. Anderson YOU SUCK!!!"
1 stars

Have we changed that much? Is Hollywood so afraid to bring the violence these days that we can’t even get a good blood-splatter gorefest zombie movie? Even a script with a brain deader than the walking corpses that inhabit its pages, directed with utter incompetence by a Grade-ZZZ filmmaker and populated by undistinguishable actors and models with a total of two-and-a-half facial expressions between them all can be uplifted with a little old-fashioned head-lauping and membrane munching. Resident Evil is what comes from taking John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars and eliminating the beheadings. In other words, about as bad a film you’re likely to see all year.

Horror films have always hung on the bottom of the genre ladder, partly because most of them are uninspired retreads with no thought, no imagination and nothing scary. Combine the worst of that with the subgenre of the video game-inspired flick and you’ve got a recipe for an insured crapbomb. In the bloody world of electronic carnage that is Resident Evil, you’re goal was to runaround a wasteland of a city avoiding or blowing away the inhabiting zombies looking for their next meal.

The film version acts like one of those letterboxed storypoints that introduce you to each new chapter of the game, except you can’t hit the “enter” button and skip over them. In this virtual prologue to the original game, we’re introduced to mega-capitalist Umbrella Corporation, who while in charge of health care and other vital societal needs, also dabbles in governmental viral and weapons research. With a HAL-9000-like security system in place (known as “The Red Queen”), it seems hard to fathom how someone is able to release their new strain of virus within the company, located several miles underground. This Red Queen doesn’t screw around, locking down the facilities and killing all its employees. Or so it thinks.

Turns out this new viral strain that was sabotaged was created to bring our soldiers back from the dead. (Seems a little risky considering the undead’s “need to feed” could include members of their own platoon, not to mention how disobeying a direct order would become moot.) Never mind that though because we’re sending in our best to control the situation. All 7 of them. So well trained are they that not only do they strip away their gas masks in what is likely a highly contaminated area (just so we can see their faces.) but they also drag along three civilians for the operation, one of them (identifying himself as a cop) (Eric Mabius) whom they handcuff. A blonde looker (Milla Jovovich) with “temporary amnesia” from the gassy lockdown and the husband (James Purefoy) from her “arranged marriage” are the others. What their marriage has to do with anything is anyone’s guess.

Resident Evil isn’t trying to break any new ground here. Then again, “new” is likely not a word in the director’s vocabulary. Every horror film doesn’t have to be original, it just has to bring the scares and, most importantly, the fun. Gore gets a bad rap sometimes. When used in the context of most slasher films, gore is the old standby for originiality and often serves as a distasteful way to revel in someone’s death. On the other side of the bloody rainbow, gore in the face of monsters and the supernatural can be like a hit of crack to the diehard horror fan, and its more jovial than mean-spirited because we understand we’re dealing with make-believe. In this respect, the filmmakers of Resident Evil don’t even respect its core audience.

There is not a single quality kill in Resident Evil. Not one. Nada. Every time we’re setup for any of our characters to meet a gruesome death, the film either cuts away, fades to black or we take the victim’s point of view staring down the gun barrel. A major sequence involving a slicing laser security system is completely mishandled with ultra-fake prosthetics and slow moving CGI human bits. For the definitive version of this scene, rent the overlooked science fiction gem, Cube. Even the zombies aren’t having much fun outside of some munching noises on the soundtrack. Taking into account the adage of our imagination concocting things far scarier than anything we can see with our eyes, why should we be expected to use ours when the filmmakers clearly have none of their own?

And that means you Paul Anderson! This is your second video game translation (after the horrible Mortal Kombat) and your batting average ain’t improving. (Anyone remember Kurt Russell in Soldier? Anderson was responsible for that travesty as well.) Someone please bench this guy before he gets his hands on Halo. I wouldn’t even trust this guy with Q-Bert. False alarms are about the best Anderson can do to shock an audience and there are about 14 in this film. (Swear to God, count ‘em.) Event Horizon was a unsettling (and underappreciated) little sci-fi shockfest and unless he used up all the corn syrup in Hollywood, why he decided to go with a lower blood & gore percentage that that of the actual video game, I’ll never understand. His action sequences are even reduced to cutting to people shooting, then to people falling down with no sense of place or impending doom.

Anderson is credited this time as “Paul W.S. Anderson”, as if anyone would seriously confuse him with Paul Thomas Anderson of Boogie Nights and Magnolia fame. (P.T. Anderson would have had mutations falling from the sky.) Using no more time and energy to discover what all four of his names are, I’ve concluded that the initials in the name of the hack Paul Anderson stand for “Whoopty Shit.”

He isn’t helped much by his cast either. Did Milla Jovovich marry him too? That’s the only way to explain how she keeps getting lead roles. The last time she headlined a major film we were subjected to one of the worst performances in cinema history as Joan of Arc in The Messenger. When Milla is called on to start discovering hidden truths about her character’s amnesia, she looks as if she’s surprised she can still stand upright. The SWAT team and anonymous men are interchangeable deer in the headlights and Michelle Rodriguez’s continued one-note presence has forever earned the title of Pouty McGirlfight.

Not that its my style, but I’m gonna cut right to the chase here and just give you a list of the far superior films that Resident Evil borrows from but could only dream to replicate. Get a pen and paper, write these titles down and go to the video store. "Night of the Living Dead", "Dawn of the Dead", "Dead Alive", "Aliens", "Re-Animator", "The Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn". It may cost you more to rent all those movies than to plunk down $8.50 for Resident Evil, but trust me, it’s the only way your money will be well-spent.

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originally posted: 03/15/02 12:24:50
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

2/28/21 morris campbell it sucks take a pass on it 1 stars
1/22/12 Velociraptor Awsome 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles Entertaining 3 stars
1/02/10 art A GREAT DOOMSDAY FILM! 4 stars
10/14/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
11/01/07 Luis This movie sucked. Everything about it is wrong!!! 1 stars
7/23/07 santos renteria harry pothead and THE ODER OF PHEONIX sucked ass the good part was at end 1 stars
4/23/07 Chris N The only way paul anderson will be forgiven is if he legally changes his name to A. Douche 1 stars
1/07/07 Stephen Its a good movie with monsters from the game, and on top of that a great feel. 4 stars
11/24/06 David Pollastrini great action 3 stars
5/12/06 mr.seraph i quite likes this movie... but there is deffinately room for imporvement 3 stars
3/02/06 Steven Lewis Not like the game but interesting concept. 3 stars
10/26/05 chris a reasonable effort but it lacks gore the old movies ahd that this dosnt 3 stars
10/23/05 Raul Valdez It was pretty good especially compared to most video game movies. 5 stars
10/21/05 cypress Alot better than I expected it would be, some good action scenes. 4 stars
10/19/05 Eden Nothing like the superior game, terrible in every way 1 stars
10/11/05 Indrid Cold Actually not that bad. More than a few thrills despite the MTV/video game feel to it. 3 stars
9/30/05 ShabbaRanks This should have been called RESIDENT AVERAGE. 3 stars
9/21/05 Eric Fortune I hate video game movies. 2 stars
9/20/05 Carolyn Rathburn It was a good movie, not really what I had expected 4 stars
9/04/05 Eden Awful film - the computer games were better in every way 1 stars
9/04/05 Tom Burns An entertaining movie. Some good thrills too. 5 stars
8/26/05 Termite Very, very, very, very...bland and mediocre. A zombie film with no teeth...meh... 3 stars
7/24/05 Eric This is one of the best movies i've ever seen and i can't believe anyone would'nt like it. 5 stars
7/18/05 Brandy Harrington Awful acting, direction, story, character devlopment...I could go on and on. 1 stars
6/26/05 DennyRoss Great action & cast, slick production, soundtrack & effects. But lacking in zombie factor. 4 stars
6/11/05 Manu Ginobli Fucking fuck. 1 stars
6/10/05 Indrid Cold Actually not so bad. I can see why Anderson is still given $ to make movies. 3 stars
2/12/05 J. Elaine Greenup Not scary 2 stars
2/09/05 nannette ryan I really enjoyed this movie. It was very action packed 4 stars
2/01/05 New Jersey Rules This movie was absolute shit, a disgrace to the games. 1 stars
1/14/05 Al Guy It was good as an action movie. 4 stars
1/12/05 Ron Newbold I thought I really liked it...then I watched it a second time 3 stars
11/14/04 X $ % & ! Nothing scary, except for some awful acting and lame effects. 1 stars
11/08/04 BIG EYES I WHACH 2 MUCH TV 3 stars
10/23/04 simba best thriller movie i ever seen, usually hate em 5 stars
10/03/04 albert awesome 5 stars
9/12/04 Adam Brown THIS MOVIE WAS AWESOME AND BETTER THAN THE FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/28/04 whatevr I hope the sequel is better (long shot) 3 stars
8/26/04 American Slasher Goddess Has a nice pace to it and a great score, but suffers from a lack of gore and wooden acting. 2 stars
8/25/04 Agent Sands Nice final shot, a few other good moments, but dialogue & Rodriguez naturally grow tedious. 3 stars
8/22/04 Tyrantis A guy gets scrached by a licker and becomes Nemesis? What the FUDGE? 1 stars
8/15/04 Anthony G it was ok, wtf Paul Anderson make better movies faggot! 3 stars
8/08/04 Jack One of the best video game adaptations I've seen. Decent acting and directing. 4 stars
6/02/04 :( dissapointing 3 stars
5/25/04 Scarface Stupid plot and minimal gore. Crap cash in on awesome game. 1 stars
5/15/04 Tanya Enjoyed the game full of of wonderful graphics and a great storyline!!! Movie was alright. 5 stars
3/31/04 American Slasher Goddess Wooden acting and no gore, keep it from becoming a gulity pleasure. 2 stars
3/21/04 robert the film is brillaint, you are of your head 5 stars
3/20/04 Nannette This was a pretty good action packed movie 4 stars
3/19/04 Cary Gordon I thought it was fun, if not particularly deep. 4 stars
3/18/04 Umbrella Corporation. What?... Just because we make the zombies... Okay! Okay! The sequeal will be better!!!!!!!! 3 stars
2/09/04 Whatevr Won't there EVER be a good video game movie? 2 stars
1/26/04 Eric Good cast except for the cop.It needed Ramiro's touch 4 stars
1/10/04 Robert Gravelin i loved all of it ... you never know it could happen 5 stars
12/31/03 Jason Maine What the fuck is this??!! This embarasses the awesome game! This sucks, dont watch it! 1 stars
12/06/03 john kind of boring - bad as a horror film - worse as an action movie - too slick! 1 stars
12/04/03 Heaven's Justice I liked how they started it, giving the audience amnesia, but that's its only good part 3 stars
11/10/03 Alan Layton Except for a hokey monster, AWESOME! 5 stars
11/05/03 American Slasher Goddess Wooden acting and hardly any gore, but it does move at a brisk pace and you never bored. 2 stars
10/15/03 Sammy I love the game, and (other than some falty scripting) I love the movie 5 stars
10/13/03 Gary GREAT!! Can't wait for RE2 5 stars
9/24/03 anna RE shows how to make a great popcorn flick without fucking up the source 5 stars
9/18/03 Samuel Justus great prequel to the first video game! good special FX too! 5 stars
9/08/03 Jack It's a pretty good movie for a video game takeoff; one of the better I've seen. Watch it. 4 stars
9/03/03 Charles Tatum Solid; and no, I never played the damn game 4 stars
9/02/03 Dawn Not bad for a video game movie. Just don't expect anything special. 4 stars
8/02/03 LeoH Makes the video game look like The Illiad in comparison. 2 stars
7/27/03 J Resident Evil is good. Especially the dogs, zombies, and that thing that is skinless. 4 stars
6/14/03 Alice What the hell did they do with the game! Stuck with the story damnit !! 1 stars
6/11/03 Lil The movie is okay~Check ouy the game 3 stars
6/04/03 Dan_A A decent action flick 3 stars
6/04/03 ThE DiCk This movie is fucking awesome, best movie that comes the best to any game out there. 5 stars
5/24/03 Bloody Vixen Enough to make me swear of the game! 4 stars
5/13/03 Goofy Maxwell About as evil as Marvin the Martian--"Oh no, now I must make more zombies." 2 stars
4/08/03 silvercheetah14 Good action, but should have stuck with original story. Really! 4 stars
2/20/03 Dave A stupid film, but very entertaining. 3 stars
2/16/03 scott GREAT 5 stars
2/16/03 Colin Makes the Misadventures Of HJason Vorhees Look Like Shakesphere 1 stars
2/15/03 steph a word, CRAP. 1 stars
2/10/03 FcPoliFan It's a mediocre, still interesting zombie movie. 4 stars
2/04/03 Jim No plot, mediocre acting, you call that an ending?! Still, a few decent scenes ... 3 stars
12/27/02 Gruther Milla inna shift 3 stars
12/05/02 FizzyLizzy Pretty cool film. Vicious you shouldn't even say that coz you don't even know Paul Anderson 5 stars
11/23/02 Massacree Hmmm...And this is suposed to be a HORROR MOVIE? Hell,even Scary Movie is scarier than this 3 stars
11/12/02 Susan 16/f/scotland (once again :D) OMG!!! you lot hav something in common....a bad taste in films. I total loved the RE movie! 5 stars
11/05/02 Vicious movie sucked. anderson is a hack. KILL PAUL WS ANDERSON NOW! 1 stars
11/04/02 kooler If this flick had some bigger names in it, it would've been a box-office smash. Lotta fun. 4 stars
11/02/02 Timmy D Why can't you people just accept this flick for what it is and enjoy it? 4 stars
10/24/02 Jiz Pointless cinematic sludge. Predictable as hell. And they're making a sequel! Can't wait! 1 stars
9/27/02 John McNew Occasionally funbut witless and poorly done (2 out of 4 stars) 2 stars
9/02/02 Spencer Harris That movie kicked ASS!!!the zombies were awesome.Michelle Rodriguez was so freaking HOT!!!! 5 stars
8/29/02 Hessian Better than I expected. At least you get to see Jovovich's tits. so not a compleat loss. 3 stars
8/27/02 Susan (again) :) ( The film WASN'T a disgrace! You ppl are just cant accept true talent! Paul done a great job 5 stars
8/19/02 .Choadushouse. Action scenes well done. Hot actresses. But the script blew! It's a disgrace to the games! 3 stars
8/17/02 Ross Terrible... a disgrace to the series 1 stars
8/13/02 Danielle Ophelia The filmmakers' intentions were in the right place...if their brains and balls weren't. 4 stars
8/11/02 Cleo rodriguez kicks ass,,,,, why did she have to die!! 4 stars
8/05/02 Lexy Z. Just what I wanted. Jovovich stuns as she slays. 4 stars
8/04/02 archeron Some bright points overall. Remember this is a horror film, NOT Gone With The Wind! 3 stars
7/31/02 spyguy2 Nothing special, crappy CGI, weak script, Jovovich and Rodriguez look pretty sexy though! 3 stars
7/26/02 ryan Film guy you suck assbag, it was awesome 5 stars
6/28/02 Film Guy Total Shit 1 stars
6/06/02 Sulvitheil Zombies pursued by no-less zombied "heros". Pointless film, go-nowhere ending. 1 stars
5/24/02 Jimbo Loved it 4 stars
5/13/02 Darth Haggis Next time follow the original story! This movie was stupid 1 stars
5/13/02 Dark Baron The mansion replica is great... WHY NO JILL VALENTINE??? 4 stars
5/13/02 This movie is great if you grab an ale or two whilst watching it 4 stars
4/30/02 Rod Williams An uncut version of this movie may be released on DVD. Cut for the US R-rating yet again!!! 3 stars
4/29/02 Shane Robert Myers Good but, not great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
4/29/02 David A. Really classy remake of "Night of the Living Dead!" Keep those zombies coming! 5 stars
4/29/02 Phoenix A very solid video game adaption of great video games. 5 stars
4/19/02 sdfsdfsd Obi-Wan- The movie is rated R, not PG-13. It still sucks 2 stars
4/05/02 Obi Wan Hmm,the game is Rated R, but the movie is PG13 and sucks Rosanne ass, play da game nextime 1 stars
4/05/02 Edfink Lombardo In its element, this film is excellent...Knows what it is: gory and hits the mark 5 stars
3/31/02 Film Dude Could have been so much better... DAMN YOU, PAUL ANDERSON!!! 2 stars
3/31/02 Film Guy HOLY SHIT did this suck 1 stars
3/30/02 max zhang Capcom -- Take $$$ made from movie & make next game BETTER 1 stars
3/28/02 Anus Lame assed dialogue like Anal Fantasy spolied the movie 3 stars
3/28/02 malcolm a fun gorefest, pretty much a ripoff of "Night of the Living Dead" 3 stars
3/27/02 Nyartholep Ehh. about what I was expecting. 3 stars
3/26/02 Ivory Terrifying 2D movie, but what can I say...I was only there for Milla 4 stars
3/26/02 Pinback This movie shot for being a terrifying, but forgot to load the gun. 1 stars
3/26/02 David A. Really good remake of NIght of the Living Dead. The special effects alone are worth seeing! 5 stars
3/26/02 Paul Waits Didn't do as much as the game. 4 stars
3/24/02 J. Lyons Just another zombie flick 3 stars
3/24/02 Dave MacDougall Haha....a pathetic rip-off of far superior sci-fi horror flicks! A waste of time. 2 stars
3/24/02 nick wiszynski this movie is much more enjoyable if you have played all of the video games 4 stars
3/23/02 Asina Man, EricDSnider sure is a shitty film critic....I should be writing for HBS, damnit! 3 stars
3/22/02 strider3700 zombie movies are good, but this needs more gore 4 stars
3/21/02 Nicholas Perry "I could kiss you, bitch!" 5 stars
3/21/02 TheTalkingElbow It wasn't corny like most video game to movie translations, and overall kicked ass. 5 stars
3/21/02 Nightwing It was about time!!! A fucking good video game movie!!! All the others sucks balls 5 stars
3/20/02 carlos it sucked hit i was busy though fuvcking my g/f though so i couldnt see it all 1 stars
3/19/02 n6ko craptacular 1 stars
3/19/02 Justin Simpson Was more then I expected. 4 stars
3/18/02 kishuta Fun and Enjoyable. 4 stars
3/18/02 Jasper Corrigan I have to agree with Erik. This movie sucks every ass within a 5 mile radius 1 stars
3/17/02 RazorDog If you liked House on Haunted Hill & 13 Ghosts you will like this. 4 stars
3/17/02 siro Why, oh WHY didn't they let George Romero do this???Wasn't THAT, bad but still unimpressive 3 stars
3/17/02 K y L e Not a bad zombie flick. 5 stars
3/17/02 The Bomb 69 Erik is nuts, although there were a few cheesy parts, this prequel was well made!!! 5 stars
3/16/02 MaG The bush...gotta love the bush 4 stars
3/16/02 zero182 unless you're a zombie yourself, this movie is lame. cgi licker is laughable. u r warned 2 stars
3/16/02 Superdave I'm sorry, this guy, Erik dosen't know what he's talking about, the movie rocks. 5 stars
3/16/02 GayArse JMovie sucks 1 stars
3/16/02 john better than half of that academy award winning crap 5 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee I got to see a sneak preview of this, and it was surprisingly decent with some cool gore. 4 stars
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  15-Mar-2002 (R)
  DVD: 07-Sep-2004



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