Resident Evil – France | Germany | UK | USA, 2002 – reviews

‘Survive the horror’

Resident Evil is a 2002 French-German-British-American action horror feature film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson (Monster Hunter; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; Event Horizon; Mortal Kombat) .The movie stars Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, and Colin Salmon.

Plot:

A commando team must break into “the hive,” a vast underground genetics laboratory operated by the powerful Umbrella Corporation. There, a deadly virus has been unleashed, killing the laboratory’s personnel and resurrecting them as the evil undead. The team has just three hours to shut down the lab’s supercomputer and close the facility before the virus threatens to overrun the Earth…

Reviews:

“On its own terms, Resident Evil updates the zombie genre with an anti-corporate message while still scaring its audience and providing heart-pounding action.” Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

“ …Resident Evil is just a bland and rather terribly acted bit of horror hogwash that you could stand to miss. As a video game movie, as a horror film, as a science fiction film, as an action film, Resident Evil is just a Z grade bit of fodder for the pre-teen sector who will be convinced they’re seeing groundbreaking cinema while watching what is really just a pale copy of much better horror films that have been out for years.” Felix Vasquez, Cinema Crazed

“Despite a promising setup, pic never really goes anywhere, instead immersing viewers in a kinetic onslaught of flesh (namely, that of Milla Jovovich) and flesh-eaters (most of the rest of the cast).” Scott Foundas, Variety

“Basically this is mindless entertainment that has less shambling zombies than expected (but enough to please), some okay action sequences and one really cool moment involving a laser defence system […] It’s a better video game adaptation than most (director Anderson did Mortal Kombat; which was pretty good) but could’ve been better.” The Video Graveyard

“Face it, as out of place as Milla Jovovich looks strolling around a compound full of flesh eating zombies dressed-up for a Vogue photo shoot, not only does she look damned hot when she starts doing Hong Kong wall-walking or twists a zombie’s neck with her thighs, but the incongruence of her costume adds a nicely humorous twist to the events.” A Wasted Life

“In many ways Resident Evil is more akin to Gothic horror than a science fiction film. It follows a number of the conventions of the former: opening in an abandoned mansion, which the main character explores, frightened by every sound and shadow. Most of the settings are dimly lit and shadowy. With zombies and mad dogs, it focuses on horror archetypes.” Alain Silver and James Ursini, The Zombie Film: From White Zombie to World War Z, Applause Books, 2014

Cast and characters:

  • Milla Jovovich … Alice
  • Michelle Rodriguez … Rain Ocampo
  • Eric Mabius … Matthew “Matt” Addison
  • James Purefoy … Spence Parks
  • Martin Crewes … Chad Kaplan
  • Colin Salmon … James “One” Shade
  • Ryan McCluskey … Mr. Grey
  • Oscar Pearce … Mr. Green
  • Indra Ové … Ms. Black
  • Anna Bolt … Dr. Green
  • Joseph May … Dr. Blue
  • Robert Tannion … Dr. Brown
  • Heike Makatsch … Dr. Lisa Addison
  • Stephen Billington … Mr. White
  • Fiona Glascott … Ms. Gold
  • Pasquale Aleardi … J.D. Salinas
  • Liz May Brice … Olga Danilova, The Medic
  • Michaela Dicker … Red Queen
  • Jason Isaacs … Dr. William Birkin / Narrator

Filming locations:

  • Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Raccoon City)

Running time:

100 minutes

Box office:

The film grossed $40,119,709 domestically and $102,984,862 worldwide.

Sequels:

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) was followed by Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016).

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