I’m a gamer and have covered the game industry for as long as I covered the film industry and just like the film industry I have a tendency to go my own way and be contrarian. When the Resident Evil series first launched and everyone raved about the game, I was the lone voice that intensely disliked it. And up until Resident Evil 4 (a near perfect game), I’ve never liked the Resident Evil Series. But it’s interesting that while I never particularly cared for the games, I really dug the films – which admittedly most people hate, primarily because it’s different enough from the games, but still pays homage to them. For instance I marked out to the ending of the first Resident Evil because it was an exact replica of the game trailer for RE2. And hey I just like Milla Jovovich (Alice) so sue me.
I’ll admit I don’t remember anything from the 2nd Resident Evil film, it’s that forgettable and this one will be forgettable as well. But while I was in the theater I enjoyed the ride I was on. Sure it had one of the blandest actresses in the world in it Ali Larter (Claire) who single handedly ruined Heroes for me until I fast forwarded over every scene she was in. And it also had Mike Epps as LJ who was supposed to provide comic relief but played his part too serious.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson who has made a career out of making video game films does an adequate job here. While he is despised by most genre film fans, I think most folks are too hard on him. He clearly has a love or at the very least an understanding of the source material and knows how to remain true to its origins while making the experience unique. I realize I’m damning him with faint praise but this is a zombie movie and there’s but so much you can do to make zombies interesting. This time out he focuses the story on Ali Larter’s Claire and her small band of human survivors who just wonder the desolate lands of America gathering up more human survivors of the T-Virus plague.
The setting this time out is Utah back to the home of the Umbrella Corporation and an evil Scientist Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) who is obsessed with controlling the Zombie population and turning them into slaves. To do this he needs to get Alice’s blood to perfect a serum.
What this movie lacks is a connection to all the people involved and a sense of humor. Of course if this situation was real, who would laugh in an post apocalyptic world? But I wanted at least a couple of yucks. The Cinematography in this is all drab and bland, but again, it’s a post apocalypse so the look is perfect for the situation even if it is boring and cheap looking.
Even with all the problems this film has it works because Jovovich really holds the screen and your attention. When she’s in battle mode you have no choice but to just shut your mind off and go with it. It’s a perfect time waster that won’t challenge you. And that’s ok.
Final Grade B-
EM Movie Review
by Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 9/21/07