Wednesday, November 25

Resident Evil (2002)

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Video games adaptations are quite rarely considered as “great” movies. Too many comparisons are made, people usually have their pre-conceived ideas of “how” the movie should be done, which basically means that a movie based on a video game has a very slight chance of Oscar nominations of any kind. Fans of the game usually check out the movie, and most of them aren’t happy with what’s been done to the original concept. Is this what happened with Resident Evil?

I was a fan of the Resident Evil video game. I like horror, I like creepy stuff and I like video games in general. So Resident Evil is definitely my kind of video game. Just like many curious people, I was wondering “how” the finished product would appear on a big screen and I must say that I was very surprised! The results are impressive. The Resident Evil original storyline is very well reproduced and respected. The characters are a little different but that doesn’t really matter because your mind is much too focused on the “events” that occur (compared to the video game).

“Movie”-wise, Resident Evil is also a great picture, even for the people who didn’t play the game. You get a very good mix of action, horror and fantasy at the same time. This is the kind of movie that isn’t perfect in anything, but everything is still very good. Good actors, good direction, good music (with a Marilyn Manson score?!?), good scenario. But nothing is “great”. Milla Jovovich does a pretty good job in this movie but I can’t say the same about Michelle Rodriguez. Jovovic is believable, while Rodriguez is a walking cliché. Mabius is okay, but hey, we’re not talking about an Academy award winner here…

What can I say about Paul Anderson? He hasn’t done too many movies. A few bad ones (Soldier, Mortal Kombat; yes, another video game!), and a decent one (Event Horizon). We could see in Event Horizon that Anderson was “able” to scare people and he has shown it again in Resident Evil, with a few scary scenes. Not enough, but less is better than nothing.

Now for the big flaw: The horrible computer animated creatures. Okay, I’m a little tough now, the dogs looked good, but the “licker”, a classic monster from the original video game, looked AWFUL! When you can clearly see that the monster was superposed to the film negative, I guess that you can say without a doubt that your movie loses some credibility.

Resident Evil is still a really good movie. Lots of good action scenes and a very powerful suspense. This last element is the key to a good scary movie. Resident Evil didn’t bring anything new to the horror genre, but it proved that video game adaptations can be well done. Most of my friends didn’t like this movie but I guess I did, since I’ve been waiting impatiently for the DVD release. I guess this film is just one of those “cool to watch over and over again but for no particular reason” movies.

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