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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.74%
Worth A Look: 23.12%
Average: 21.51%
Pretty Bad: 10.22%
Total Crap27.42%

6 reviews, 150 user ratings

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Resident Evil
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by Brian McKay

"Zombies Fuckin' Rule - End of Story!"
4 stars

I love zombies. I love the way they shuffle about, moaning for brains, craving raw flesh. I love to laugh at their mindless, undead antics. Then I love to kill them (vicariously, through a playstation controller, of course. I know there's no real zombies, for chrissake! Well, okay, maybe there are, but it's still illegal to kill 'em).

well, I am pleasantly surprised to see that this was not a bad movie at all. I mean, it wasn't a GREAT movie, but at least it stayed true to the spirit of the games, and most of the major elements of the games were included in the plot, settings, and theme. There were even a few scenes and bits of dialogue that were recreated verbatim from Romero's "Dead" films (homage or ripoff, you decide). The acting, while no oscar-winners, was decent (certainly better than all that bad voice-acting in the games). Michelle Rodriguez was pretty enjoyable (though I loved the way my fellow bitchslapper Erik referred to her as "Pouty McGirlfight" - so true. She still had some good one-liners though.) Milla also did a fine job. She may not be much of an actress, but she has such a beautiful and expressive face, that such trifles as acting are easily overlooked. Plus she was half-nekkid in a few of the scenes - including a very skimpy hospital gown at the end which should please anyone who's been a fan of hers since her "Fifth Element" bandage-wrap scene.

The story, for anyone whose never played any of the games, is pretty basic. Beneath an American town called "Racoon City" (Don't ask. It must be some wierd Japanese to English translation thing), the Umbrella Corporation dabbles in genetic and viral weapons experiments from a massive secret underground laboratory. When one of their creations gets loose, a nasty little bug called the T-virus (it kills people only to bring them back as raving zombies), the lab is sealed off. A clean up crew (a.k.a. commando squad) is sent in to find out what the hell went wrong, and to shut down the "Red Queen", the A.I. that controls the lab's security functions and has apparently gone homicidal (killing everyone to prevent the spread of the virus). They find a survivor, an amnesiac woman (Jovovich) who becomes the leader of the team after their commander and half the squad get killed by the Red Queen's defenses. As they try to escape from the sprawling complex, they suddenly find themselves surrounded by legions of the undead and perilously low on ammo. They only have a couple of hours to get out before the lab is sealed up and destroyed for good.

A few new plot elements have been introduced for the film, such as the Red Queen (and Erik was right - how many fucking times have we seen a little girl with a smirking English accent playing the embodiment of evil? Let's give that tired plot device a rest, shall we?). However, they are really only a minor part of the story, and the Red Queen is nothing more than a sloppy means of getting out plot exposition.

There is a decent ammount of action, and while the first 20 minutes or so are a bit draggy, it starts to get fun once the bullets fly. The zombie people and dogs were fairly creepy, and the film actually managed to be "scary" on several occasions. Of course, I mean scary in the traditional "things jump out and go BOO" sense, not the moody and cerebral scary of a film like "The Shining" or "Session 9". But that's how zombie movies are supposed to scare you, so I'm alright with that. The only real "cerebral" activity that should take place in a zombie movie is the consumption of brains by the heretofore mentioned zombies themselves. Our heroes are not the smartest to ever grace the screen, and they have to hose through most of their ammo before they realize that one well-placed head shot is all you really need to take down a zombie. Apparently they missed the training class that every other cop and soldier in the world recieved about the "Two-one tap" (two bullets to the chest, followed by one to the forehead to make sure you target stays down).

But then, the characters in the games were fairly witless too. ("Hey, there's tons of zombies about, ready to suck our eyeballs out of our skulls, but why don't we split up? We can cover more ground that way. Yeah, that's a GREAT idea"). Fans are used to this by now, and will not be let down much. They will also recognize virtually every setting and monster from the games, including a particularly nasty "licker" boss monster that would give Gene Simmons tongue envy. And while the CGI effects for the boss monster aren't flawless, it is certainly more realistic looking, and more intimidating, than those ridiculous Morlocks in "The Time Machine".

The best part of all was the ending. Not only was it not a cop out, as most horror movie endings are, it was the pefect setup to a sequel, and in perfect harmony with the story presented in the games. At least the director did his fucking homework on the source material this time, unlike all these other sucky ass game-to-movie conversions.

The only area I was disappointed in was the gore factor. I wanted to see zombies getting their heads blown off, brains being splattered, heads being lopped off with a fire axe, zombies gnawing on intestines and tearing out chunks of flesh - the works! Instead, the film pulled a lot of punches. It shows a lot of guns firing at close range, bodies falling, or zombies lunging for throats, but none of it ever actually connects (although you do get a couple of decent, though blurry, shots of zombie-dogs' heads exploding as Milla blasts them from point-blank range). The result is lots of implied gore and violence, but really very little to justify it beyond a soft "R" rating. I know the director probably didn't want to go too Romero-esque with the subject matter, but for chrissakes, this is a ZOMBIE movie. Excessive gore is not only required, it's desired. Even the games had heads getting blown off and zombies chowing down on people (before they got all pussyfied with the Dreamcast release of "Code Veronica", at least). Oh, and one other pet peeve I had with the film - I don't mind an ass-kicking metal-industrial soundtrack in an action film. But I do mind when it drowns out half the fuckin' dialouge and I can't hear what the characters are saying. How's about tightening things up in the sound room a little next time?

Director Paul Anderson is certainly not breaking any new ground or pushing the envelope much here. He pretty much does paint-by-numbers filmmaking, as we have seen with movies like the mediocre sci-fi actioner "Soldier" (which I still liked, mostly 'cause Kurt Russell is so ripped in it and he kicks a bunch of ass). Still, Anderson manages to deliver an enjoyable product that, while light on gore, satisfies in every other department.

George Romero's masterpieces "Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead" have nothing to fear from this film. Their crown is secure as the best zombie movies of all time. Still, this is not a bad film, all and all, and isn't it about time we had a worthwhile new zombie franchise? As much as I love the "Dead" movies, it's getting hard to deny that they are over 20 years old. "Resident Evil" definitely left me hungry for the next course. Racoon City Zombie Holocaust, here we come!!!

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originally posted: 03/16/02 20:29:50
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

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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