Resident Evil (2002) Review

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With what is supposedly the final chapter in the series of Resident Evil films being released, I thought I’d take a look at them all in preparation for watching the last one. It’s safe to say that despite there being a load of computer games with decent stories the film world has struggled to adapt any into great films. I was a fan of the Resident Evil games and I think this version of the story is one of the best computer game films we’ve seen, however to be fair there’s not really any competition.

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Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Budget: $33,000,000 (estimated)

Run Time: 100 minutes

Tag Line: Survive The Horror

As I mentioned there’s not much competition in the computer game movie market despite there being a load of great source material. Resident Evil marks the first in a series of six films based on the popular video game series, each one leaves a possible sequel open. Some people don’t like this but why wouldn’t a studio want to leave each film open given that these are pretty damn successful in making money in comparison to their budgets.

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The scene is set when a voice over tells us that the Umbrella Corporation is the leading company in the world with 9 out of 10 homes having their products. But the naughty boys in charge also secretly makes weapons for the military, not just guns but some very very naughty chemical and biological weapons. They do all this from a secret base called the Hive built underneath the small town of Raccoon City.

The set up for the film is completed when a man is seen taking the T-Virus and an antidote out of the lab but before he leaves he unleashes the virus on everyone working there. Things go into melt down people are trying to escape but the AI that runs the place “The Red Queen” decides to gas everyone to death, even the ones who made it to the elevator are not safe.

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Enter Alice, awakened in a shower suffering from memory loss she really doesn’t know what the hell is going on at all. She’s soon joined by some kind of SWAT team sent to investigate what happened in The Hive. They make their way down and into the base via a weird train that they struggle to get going.

Once inside they meet a few other characters along with as you’d expect zombies. Their only option is to shut down the Red Queen and hope things work out for the best. As the film progresses Alice’s memories begin to return to her and she slowly remembers why she was there.

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The team battle against the T-Virus mutants and zombies, luckily for Alice her training kicks in just in time for her to take out a pack of zombie dog beasts. Alice is helped through all of this by Matt someone who it seems is investigating what went on here. There’s also a link to her past as well but that doesn’t turn out to be a good thing.

Everything leads to the survivors having to escape for want of a better term a Licker, something with its brains on the outside and a long tongue that lashes the crap out of people. Seemingly safe the group out runs the Licker and makes it to the electric train machine however the tricky little bastard has followed them. In probably the best scene in the film the final battle ensues on board the train as the group try to stop the Licker.

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The Good

  • Milla Jovovic is bad ass as Alice.
  • I love the fact that the main character is created just for the films, we do get to see most of the main characters and monsters from the games throughout the series.
  • The whole backstory is well explained and well implemented.
  • Michelle Rodriguez is always a good pick for the kind of role she plays in this.
  • The Licker monster and the final battle is pretty good fun.
  • Discovering what Alice remembered, her reasons for doing it and finding out how important someone getting splashed with coffee early on was to the story.
  • The Red Queen was a really good idea.
  • The ending is great it makes the sequel fall right into place with this film.

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The Bad

  • The main bad point is some very dodgy CGI, I mean sure it was 15 years ago but even by the standards back then some of it is poor, unfortunately the series as a whole suffers from some bad CGI even in the more modern films.
  • I liked the build up and backstory but I do feel it could have been fleshed out a bit more. Maybe have shown us more from the outbreak as I feel the whole elevator scene wasn’t really that good.
  • As kick ass as Alice is I’m sure there are some fans of the games that wished they’d just stuck with the characters they loved from the games.
  • The elements of tension and suspense that made the games so successful have been taken out and replaced with more action and cheap scares. That may annoy people but I liked the more action orientated approach.

This is a solid start to the series and despite a few flaws it does provide a lot of entertainment and it’s good far out weighs it’s bad. In the world of video game to film this film stands way ahead of everyone I can think of, sure I loved the Mortal Kombat film when I was young but watching now it’s pretty damn bad. If you liked the games this is worth your time, if not it’s still worth a watch for the action and for Alice.

Overall Score – 7.5/10
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2 thoughts on “Resident Evil (2002) Review

  1. Pingback: Resident Evil Apocalypse (2004) Review | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

  2. Pingback: Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Review | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

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