Reviewed by Steve Crow
Rating: 3 Beans
n the most recent video-game to movie effort, some people in an office complex are terrified by a security shutdown, then gassed, drowned, and decapitated by elevator doors. Cut to the amnesiac Alice (Milla Jovovich - Zoolander, The Fifth Element), who wakes up in a manor. Some kind of para-military team busts in, take her and some cop hostage, and haul them down into the aforementioned office complex. They pick up another amnesiac, then prepare to shutdown the complex. Unfortunately, the computer security system, a horde of walking dead/zombie types, some skinned dogs, and a genetic mutant are going to make things difficult for them...
There's really not much to say about the plot after this. There's a not very twisty plot twist or two, and a bunch of people get killed. Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez (Fast and the Furious) get to kick some butt, and the rest of the rather forgettable cast get eaten and laser-amputated. The ending is a nihilistic finale that echoes the alternate ending to Army of Darkness.
Resident Evil isn't a bad, bad movie. But not much really happens. There are so many riffs on George Romero's Living Dead movies (and Romero himself was originally scheduled to direct) that it's kind of embarrassing after a while. The head of the squad even looks like Tony Todd from Day of the Dead, if you kinda squished him with Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals.
Milla Jovovich pretty much anchors the entire movie, but she really isn't given much to do either. Act tough, and pretend you're amnesiac. The two male leads are pretty similar-looking generic brunette pretty boys, who also look kinda like two of the soldiers. This just makes it harder to keep track of things or take any real interest in the proceedings other than in a "How are they going to die?" kinda way.
If you're looking for a decent big-budget "B" movie, you could do worse than Resident Evil. Just don't go in expecting too much, and if you're a fan of Romero you might leave with the feeling that he, and you, have been ripped off.
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