The future of daily newspapers if corporations like Gannett continue
gobbling them up. A concert by the remnants of the Beach Boys. The fact
that Dan Burton keeps getting reelected. Any recent photo of Michael
These are just a few things scarier than "Resident Evil."
Based on an incredibly popular series of video games, "Resident Evil" is
an absolutely wretched horror film about zombies. Now, I enjoy a good
zombie flick as much as the next guy. George Romero's "Night of the
Living Dead" remains one of the most terrifying movies ever made.
Romero's sequel, "Dawn of the Dead," effectively mixed horror and
heavy-handed, but entertaining, social satire. Wes Craven's "The Serpent
and the Rainbow" took a more realistic look at the subject and the
results were extremely frightening.
"Resident Evil" has only two scenes of note, which I will describe now.
The first shows the gorgeous Milla Jovovich (best known as the
red-haired universe-savior from "The Fifth Element") crushing the head
of a zombie with her thighs of steel and the second depicts a man
getting sliced into small diamond-shaped chunks by a laser beam. Gross,
To enjoy those two brief moments, you must sit through 100 minutes of
pure tedium, with visuals ripped off from other films. I've complained
repeatedly over the last few years about movies made by technicians
rather than artists and this is one of the most blatant examples yet.
The credits list the film as being "written and directed" by Paul W.S.
Anderson. Right. "Programmed by" would be a more accurate credit.
The movie opens with a deadly virus being unleashed in some facility.
Locked in by its defense system, the staff dies. Cut to Jovovich, who
wakes up in a mansion and can't remember anything. She soon becomes a
reluctant member of a small troop of stereotypical hard-asses determined
to learn what happened within the decimated joint. Besides Jovovich, the
sole actor that makes any impression whatsoever is Michelle Rodriguez
("Girlfight") and the sole reason she makes an impression is because she
wears the same scowl and uses the same tough girl inflection every
second she is onscreen.
In between lame zombie attacks, the crew travels through a maze-like
series of hallways, encountering various opponents along the way. Yes,
it sounds exactly like a standard issue video game, except that instead
of playing it, you're watching it. The opponents include poorly
computer-animated demon dogs, some slimy reptilian thing that is
apparently very popular with fans of the game, and the Red Queen, a
personification of the facility computer that takes the form of a little
girl with a British accent. Incidentally, if any of these descriptions
sounds interesting, let me assure you that what you see in the film is
I could go on, but why? "Resident Evil" is as dead as the zombies that
trudge through it. Wait a minute, I just thought of one more thing
scarier than "Resident Evil." "Resident Evil 2."
Copyright © 2002 Edward Johnson-Ott