RESIDENT EVIL

Director: Paul W.S Anderson
Screenplay: Paul W.S Anderson
Producers: Paul W.S Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich/Michelle Rodriguez/Eric Mabius
Year: 2002
Country: UK/Germany/France
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 100 minutes

Flicking through the channels on my television the other day and what do I see? Resident Evil. Based on the games, which I am a big fan of, Resident Evil doesn’t exactly stay true to the games.

The film follows an amnesiac Alice, and a Umbrella Corporation military unit, as they attempt to escape a secret underground facility, known as The Hive, is now overrun with zombies.

Quite an entertaining movie but the fans of the game may find it disappointing as this doesn’t necessarily stick to the games. In fact, the things that this movie and the games have in common is the T-Virus, zombies, the monsters and Umbrella, not the story. The story is quite good and made sense but there were a few plot holes. The story wasn’t so well-thought but W.S Anderson’s twist on the Resident Evil universe works to an extent. While trying to make the movie his own, it felt like it was driving away from the Resident Evil universe and started being its own movie (which isn’t really such a bad thing). The music added the tension and added more ‘oomph’ to the action scenes which fit the movie quite well. ‘Resident Evil’ didn’t exactly have you waiting for more but at the same time, it didn’t make you turn it off. There were two or three scenes that were kind of boring and pointless but other scenes were well-executed.

One thing I couldn’t really fault was the acting for some of the actors. Milla Jovovich being the star of the movie and Michelle Rodriguez following close-second were brilliant. Their on-screen ‘friendship’ made it entertaining to watch and also the scenes between Milla Jovovich as Alice and Eric Mabius as Matt was also good. I couldn’t say much for the others like Colin Salmon and Martin Crewes who were just average. The special effects and make-up in the movie were done brilliantly and added such a dark and cold tone. The design of the monsters were done well as were the make-up for the zombies.

The movie ended quite well and wasn’t exactly predictable like some of the scenes in the movie was. The ending wasn’t exactly so shocking that you would remember it but for a movie that was above average, it ended well and it felt like it went smoothly with the movie.

It’s an okay movie to watch, nowhere near perfect but still entertaining. While Paul W.S Anderson shows that he could potentially be up there with the great zombie filmmakers, I don’t think he’ll beat George A Romero as King of Zombie Movies just yet. As a game-to-film adaptation, this isn’t disasterous but it’s no Silent Hill.

RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE

Director: Alexander Witt
Screenplay: Paul W.S Anderson
Producers: Paul W.S Anderson/Jeremy Bolt/Don Carmody
Starring: Milla Jovovich/Sienna Guillory/Oded Fehr
Year: 2004
Country: UK/USA/Canada
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 98 minutes

So after watching the first Resident Evil (see review below), I had to see the sequel and it’s not a bad movie but there’s plenty room for improvement. For all of the people who haven’t seen Resident Evil, watch it before watching this otherwise you will not understand some scenes.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse follows the first Resident Evil movie with Alice, who has escaped the underground Umbrella facility. She must join other survivors including Jill Valentine and escape Raccoon City, before it is too late.

After watching the first, I thought that this sequels would get worse but to my surprise, this sequel is actually better…but not by much. The story is more-or-less the same as the first one (we need to get to point A to B by this time, fighting zombies along the way) but it’s a little more stronger. The action sequences and explosions were good to watch but in some of the scenes felt like it was there to impress thirteen-year-old teenagers to keep their attention. I also noticed it follows the games a lot more in Apocalypse than it does with Resident Evil which is a plus since Resident Evil hardly followed any of the games. Gamers will be glad to see Nemesis, zombie dogs and Jill Valentine return on-screen and will also be glad that the design and make-up for Nemesis was superbly done. Yet again, Milla Jovovich was spot-on as bad-ass Alice as was Sienna Guillory who played as Jill Valentine and Mike Epps who added a little humour to this zombie action movie as L.J. The characters were done well but they wasn’t done well enough that you would care about what happened to them.

The visual effects were done quite good and the action scenes were executed very well, especially the scenes in the church and the graveyard which showed great camerawork and special effects. The music wasn’t very memorable and didn’t fit some of the scenes well like the last movie although the theme tune was good.

The ending in this movie, for me, isn’t much of an improvement from the last but it’s good enough for a mediocre movie series. The start, middle and end felt like it was going at an average pace which is a good thing.

Better than the first but not by much. It’s an enjoyable action movie that shouldn’t be taken seriously. Paul W.S Anderson is improving a little in the movie series but he still hasn’t pulled something special out of the hat just yet.

RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Screenplay: Paul W.S Anderson
Producers: Paul W.S Anderson/Jeremy Bolt/Robert Kulzer/Bernd Eichinger/Samuel Hadida
Starring: Milla Jovovich/Ali Larter/Ashanti/Oded Fehr
Year: 2007
Country: UK/USA/Australia
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 95 minutes

I’ve now watched Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse which were both good movies in their own way. Resident Evil: Extinction, however, is the odd one out in the series as this isn’t even remotely good.

Resident Evil heroine Alice, along with a group of survivors from Raccoon City, attempt to travel across the desert wilderness to Alaska to escape a zombie apocalypse.

The story lacks a lot of everything, I could even go so far to say that there is no story at all as it is yet again pretty much the same as its last two movies. It has nothing to do with the games whatsoever so Resident Evil gamers will definitely find this movie disappointing. There were one or two great action sequences which kept you awake such as the fight in Las Vegas and the crows but otherwise it is yet again to impress the younger audience. The last two had something to do with the games but this one didn’t, it just threw references at you just to remind you that the movie is Resident Evil such as Claire Redfield, Albert Wesker and the Tyrant from the first Resident Evil game.

The acting was above average except for Milla Jovovich who managed to brighten up this dull and boring movie a little. Ali Larter who played Claire Redfield was average as was the rest of the cast. There are so many problems with this movie but one of the main problems is that you couldn’t care for the characters at all, not even for Alice. Resident Evil: Extinction has made a silly twist to the story of the movie series and has an even sillier ending. The start of the movie was surprisingly promising but in the end, disappointed. Everything about the movie could have been improved, even the make-up and design for the zombies but the worst case for this is the Tyrant near the end of the movie, it wasn’t anywhere near scary or believable.

Catch it on television. It’s by far the worst in the series, it wrecks the movie series entirely and what’s worse? There’s a fourth one on the way. Don’t worry, George A. Romero, you are still the King of Zombie Movies.

RESIDENT EVIL: DEGENERATION

Director: Makoto Kimiya
Screenplay: Shotaro Suga
Producers: Hiroyuki Kobayashi/Haruhiro Tsujimoto/Hidenori Ueki
Starring: Paul Mercier/Alyson Court
Year: 2009
Country: Japan/UK/USA/Australia
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 95 minutes

After watching the below-average Resident Evil movies, I prayed that the next Resident Evil movie would actually have something to do with the games. Fortunately for me, and probably many Resident Evil gamers out there, my prayers were answered.

Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy, two of the rare survivors of Raccoon City from the video games (shock!), are drawn into the intrigue as the airport in Harvardville comes under attack by a rogue warrior seeking revenge for the death of his family at Raccoon City. And as if the zombies created by the T-virus weren’t enough, the deadly G-virus is also released and creates a new rampaging mutant.

Basically a must buy for fans of the game series and the movies and a must watch for those who like zombie movies. I loved how the movie kind of felt like an hour and a half cutscene from a game, it added a really nice touch. The CGI is actually quite impressive for a straight-to-DVD release and I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who would agree to this. The original voices of the characters from the videogames, I felt, made the movie more original although there were two or three times where the dialogue was just mediocre. The plot and story were great and easy to follow and the flow and timing of the movie was just right. The ending wasn’t rushed at all and I felt that the movie-length was okay, it wasn’t too long or too short. Some of the characters in the movie are quite good and yet there are one or two who you couldn’t really care about. The music was quite good and yet again felt like it came straight out of the games (in a good way).

Overall, it was a great movie but it’s basically one for the gamers. Resident Evil fans (movie or games) would probably adore this movie but if you’re not a fan of any of the games or movies, chances are you might not like it. This reviewer is a fan of the games (not the movies though, eurgh!) and this reviewer gives Degeneration two thumbs-up.

Degeneration shows Resident Evil fans how the movie series REALLY should have been. Roll on Degeneration 2!

Reviews by Dazz Camponi

About The Author

My name is Darren Camponi and I run a website called Darren Camponi which can be seen here: http://innersanctumreviews.wordpress.com/

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