i haven't seen a zombie movie in the theatre since the summer of 1993-1994 when i was taking a language course in taipei and one day my cousin eric chow took me out to go see return of the living 3. it was a great movie, and i remember we were eating spicy duck tongues in the dark theatre (americans have their popcorns, taiwanese have their duck tongues) which made the whole experience that much more visceral and memorable. anyway, when the zombies finally came out for the very first time in resident evil, i was so excited, i felt nostalgic.
i didn't go into the movie thinking it'd suck like the time machine. i knew from watching the trailer for the time machine that it wouldn't be a very good movie. something about the monsters being stupid and bad casting. resident evil i had more hope. it was a serious horror/science fiction movie. it doesn't have characters who are there just to provide comic relief. if you laughed, it's probably relief that somebody didn't die, or maybe they did but in a very gruesome manner.
the way the film is edited, every few minutes there's a scary moment. something jumps out of the corner, a zombie claw shoots out from nowhere. i've read some reviews that said the movie wasn't scary enough. how scarier do they want it? for me, i wasn't scared because i've seen enough horror movies to be somewhat jaded, but there were suspenseful moments in the movie that for someone with a higher sensitivity to horror would find quite scary. if anything, i'd say there was an overkill of the scary moments. after a certain amount of time, you get use to them and you can almost sense when the director is about to surprise you again.
milla jovavich as alice, the main hero of the movie: i've never been much of a milla fan. i have no strong opinions about her, although i've seen her in interviews and she's kind of ditzy, which is not reason enough to dislike her. but in resident evil, she's won me over to her side. she totally kicks a dog in the head! in a miniskirt no less. the dress she was wearing during the movie, when i first saw i thought it was kind of weird looking, all askew and dangling from one side, but the look sort of grew on me after a while. the few scenes where her secret agent training kicks in (initially she has amnesia), those scenes are awesome. there's a hungry appetite these days for girls who can kick ass, and she definitely kicks ass in the movie. my one complaint is that there weren't enough scenes of her breaking zombie necks or administering deadly headshots. maybe in resident evil 2 perhaps? and if you though her bandage outfit in fifth element was hot, wait until you see her wearing a shower curtain or two small white towels tied together by strings. if you're a milla fan, you owe it to yourself to see the movie just for her outfits!
and since we're on the subject of girls who kick ass, it's only befitting that michelle rodrigues of girl fight and the fast and the furious would be in this movie as well. does she have any other acting style other than scowling tough chick?
i must've read somewhere that it was directed by paul anderson but then i forgot about it. paul anderson i recognize from event horizon, another great movie in the horror/scifi genre. very stylish, he's very good at these kind of movies.
coolest death scene in the movie: spoiler the laser room and how it totally sliced and diced the special team sent into the hive to shut down the homocidal security ai. that scene got one the biggest reaction out of the crowd last night. people were clapping and screaming and laughing, has to be seen to be believed.
i thought this was a very well made horror/scifi movie. the fact that there are zombies and that milla totally kicks a dog in the head should be reasons enough to go see it. did i mention the outfits? did i mention that sick death scene with the lasers? if you're looking for some cinematic escapism that's slick as the coagulated zombie blood marking the floors of the hive compound, then you can do no better than resident evil. if you're into these kind of movies, you will not be disappointed.