This is a very divisive film and for good reason. Resident Evil is of course a best selling PlayStation game from the mid-90s that was a showstopper for it’s time. As either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, you were a member of the S.T.A.R.S. unit tasked with investigating an old, seemingly abandoned mansion, during the midst of a zombie outbreak. The movie, however, had very little to do with the game, and none of the characters in it even showed up. Instead, another special ops team takes on a similar abandoned mansion in order to get to the HIVE, the heart of the experimental center created by the villainous Umbrella Corporation (the same villains of the videogame series.
The film kicks off with the T-virus being stolen and the Hive being shut down and killing everyone inside to keep a contamination from happening. In the first five minutes of the film, it racks up a body count of around fifteen or so in pretty gruesome fashion. The Umbrella Corp sends in commandos to clean up (including Eric Mabius Michelle Rodriguez, and James Purefoy), who team along with the amnesiac Alice (Milia Jovovich) to get fight the zombies. They are also forced to right against the artificial intelligence that guards the hive, known as the Red Queen. Even if you dislike the film, you have to give props to the laser hallway scene, which was later used in part four of the video game series.
Despite not being true to the story of the video game, and having more in common with James Cameron’s Aliens, Resident Evil is a very entertaining film. It has also been very profitable and has just about as many sequels as the video game franchise itself. True to the fashion of the video game sequels, the movie franchise is a mixed bag. I quit watching them after the third or fourth one (they all run together after a while), but I will always have a soft spot for the original. Brutal, stylish, and fun, Resident Evil is a solid action/horror flick. It also contains one of the best commentary tracks of all time as Jovovich hits on Rodriquez the entire time.
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