If anything, Resident Evil is true to its munch n’ crunch PlayStation origins. Unlike Tomb Raider, Paul W.S. Anderson’s latest video game adaptation doesn’t bullshit around. Five minutes into the film, the Red Queen computer system has quarantined the Hive (codename for the top-secret, underground Umbrella Corporation) after the T-Virus floats into the air-ventilation system. Anderson is no stranger to comic-book sci-fi and dopey mnemonic despair. As psychological torture chamber, the Hive is all about the stimuli-induced regression fantasy (this cornball flash-of-the-mind worked better in Anderson’s underrated Event Horizon). As torture mechanism, the Red Queen is the awesome female equivalent of 2001’s passive-aggressive Hal. No, she’s not scary, but her toys are cool (she slices and dices better than Emeril) while her yakety-yak is strangely akin to a Fiona Apple whine. The Queen is a fierce killer but she has nothing on Milla Jovovich, who can turn a corner and kick a bloody Doberman like no other. Anderson is a great interior designer, milking the film’s most unconventional chill from a wide-angle shot of bathroom marble. The film’s schlocky intro is the film’s minimalist highlight but it’s not long before the film is boggled down by the tiresome escape-from-the-Hive wind-down. Sans moral discourse (Romero this ain’t), Resident Evil may be brain dead but it’s great popcorn entertainment nonetheless. After all, what could possibly be wrong with Milla wearing Kylie Minogue’s clothes in a techno-zombie wonderland?
- Paul W.S. Anderson
- Paul W.S. Anderson
- Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Colin Salmon, Marisol Nichols, Heike Makatsch, Joseph May
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