Resident Evil (2002)

Resident Evil
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Cast: Milla Jovovich, James Purefoy, Eric Mabius, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Salmon, Martin Crewes, Pasquale Aleardi, Heike Makatsch, Jaymes Butler, Jason Isaacs
Seen on: 14.7.2022

Plot:
The Umbrella Corporation runs a sophisticated laboratory where they do secret experiments. But something goes wrong. Alice (Milla Jovovich) finds herself just outside of the laboratory without her memories, but with a man, Spence (James Purefoy). Both are quickly picked up by a military unit who are trying to get into the research facility to stop whatever is happening there that seems to have to do with a supercomputer going rogue. Whether Alice and Spence want to or not, they are along for the ride.

I have never seen anything in the Resident Evil franchise, and I decided to give it a go. If I am correctly informed, the films get better after the first. It is hard to imagine that they can get worse in any case.

The film poster showing Alice (Milla Jovovich) with a giant gun and Rain (Michell Rodriguez) in a fighting pose.

The film’s biggest draws are Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez, and it appears it knows it. Or at least it knows that Jovovich is definitely pretty, so we get her naked and in various stages of revealing dress and wet, all while being ass-kicking and awesome. In short, the film is a firm believer of “sex sells”, and sex, in this case, means a scantily clad white woman. Almost surprisingly, it barely taps into the sapphic potential with Alice and Rain (I am grateful, I’m pretty sure that my brain does better things for them than the script could have) – those two have definitely the most chemistry together.

In fact, one could go so far as to say that the tension between them is the only tension the film ever manages to create (except maybe for the elevator scene in the beginning). The action scenes are disjointed and the way they are put together feels more like a videogame than is good for the film. Some of the effects still work okay, but most feel incredibly dated now, 20 years later.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) and Matt (Eric Mabius) holding up Rain (Michelle Rodriguez).

But even when the scenes themselves aren’t all that bad and manage a good moment or two, they get significantly hampered by the fact that the plot is unclear, you never know where anybody is in The Hive or how much time is running out. Plus, the characters never come alive enough that you’re actually sad when they die. Instead you just shrug when another one bites the dust.

I don’t know if I will want to continue with this film series, but I think I will give the second film a go and see how things go from there. I do hope that my idea that the films do tend to get better is right.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) aiming a gun at a zombie dog.

Summarizing: this one is best forgotten.

3 thoughts on “Resident Evil (2002)

  1. What ruined the first one for me, more than anything else (and the very valid points that you mentioned) was the techno soundtrack, which pretty much killed any possible suspense and/or tension. The second one is probably my favorite, however, with this film series, that’s not really saying much (also, I have yet to watch the last one).

  2. Pingback: Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) | kalafudra's Stuff

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