Resident Evil Screen 5 articles

Resident Evil

2002

Resident Evil Poster
  • As in Romero's Dawn of the Dead, a vague social message is buried in the gore—corporations are bad. And like Carpenter's Halloween and The Thing, Resident hits the ground running and never looks back. But after an hour of propulsive pacing the shock value wears off, and all that's left is pop-up carnage.

  • Like the recent “Queen of the Damned,” “Resident Evil” seems conceived more out of a desire to provide lip service to fans of the underlying source material than to make compelling entertainment. Anderson’s zombie shenanigans are as empty as “Queen of the Damned’s” vampire theatrics.

  • 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?

  • In between all of its jump scares and its modestly budgeted mayhem, there are moments of real elegance, sinister low angles and overhead shots that continually orient the viewer within the space of the Hive and the secret train tunnel leading to it. This is the kind of stuff Manny Farber—the quintessential B-movie connoisseur of American film criticism—used to call “termite art”: unpretentious filmmaking that produces something akin to art through sheer, single-minded industriousness.

  • For all its high-concept trappings, Resident Evil was remarkably close to the kind of B-picture “they just don’t make anymore,” its seamless fluidity in retrospect suggesting a near-Walshian exercise in forward momentum, abetted by well-judged reveals of background story via sudden memory flashes amidst an apocalyptic scenario taking place in an amnesiac, corporate-controlled wasteland.

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