Day #217: Resident Evil (2002)

Synopsis:

[From IMDb:] A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.

My take:

I feel like, over the years – and particularly with each new addition to the franchise – it’s become more and more cool to hate on Resident Evil. There’s certainly a degree of pervasive corniness to the movie that helps to justify some of this – but, all the same, I’m going to take a stand!

I like Resident Evil, damn it.

I’ve never really played the games*, so the movie’s fidelity to the series never mattered to me one way or the other. All I ever needed was a fun action/adventure zombie movie, and that’s exactly what Resident Evil gave me.

It also reintroduced me to Mila Jovovich (and her seemingly contractually obliged nipple flashes), and introduced me to Michelle Rodriguez, both of whom well and truly fulfilled different aspects of my desire for bad-arse female characters. Given the context, it doesn’t matter that neither of them is a particularly good actor – they beat shit up, okay?

And, of course, since we’re talking about a zombie movie, there were plenty of deaths. But rather than just having everyone get chomped up by zombies (whose creation was probably the most epic aspect of the movie, actually), we get some much needed creativity in the death department. There’s elevators, and gas, and lasers (oh my!) to go with the zombie gnashing. Some of the visuals might look a bit dated these days, but they’re still cool.

Resident Evil is far from perfect, but it at least rides the line between taking the material seriously enough and having fun with it, well enough that the end product is entertaining. Not deep, or even necessarily scary (particularly after having watched it a billion times over the years), but entertaining.

It actually pains me a bit knowing that there’s another installment coming in this franchise, because I can’t say that the Resident Evil movies improved with time.

 

* A friend loaned me Resident Evil Zero once. I got 30 minutes in before I was too much of a shaky mess to go on. Horror games just get to me, man.

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