Resident Evil (2002) - Paul W.S. Anderson


Bland zombie action movie with a kickass soundtrack!

Director: Paul W. S. Anderson

Producers: Bernd Eichinger, Samuel Hadida, Jeremy Bolt and Paul W. S. Anderson

Writer: Paul W. S. Anderson

Based on: Resident Evil by Capcom

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes and Colin Salmon.

Music: Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson

Studio: Constantin Film and New Legacy Films

Release Date: March 21, 2002

Countries: Germany and United Kingdom

Budget: $33 million

Box Office: $103 million



Resident Evil is an action horror movie from writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson and released on March 21st, 2002 by New Legacy Films and German production company, Constantin Films. The movie stars Milla Jovovich in the lead role as Alice. Alongside a very early 2000’s cast of Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes and Colin Salmon. The soundtrack featured late-nineties,/early-thousands rap-rock like Slipknot, Coal Chamber, Adema and Static-X among more. It’s actually pretty decent if you like metal.

The T-Virus has escaped containment in a secret underground facility known as “The Hive.” The virus turns the staff at the facility into mindless zombies and mutated creatures. The complex computer security system, known as The Red Queen, had shut down the facility and cutting it off and quarantining the virus inside. Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up in the shower of a large, dark mansion. She is suffering from amnesia, and cannot remember how she had gotten here. Things get really complicated when the mansion is raided by a mercenary team under the employ of The Umbrella Corporation. The team must get into “the Hive” shutting down the security system and fighting their way through horrific monsters before the virus escapes and infects the rest of the world

Resident Evil should be a fun movie. But these early 2000’s horror movies just don’t seem to hold up. They age terribly. The overuse of flashy editing techniques and reliance on CGI screams laziness. And it dates the film. The action in this movie is exciting but lacks any substance. Scenes seem hollow. The slower paced scenes of exposition are painfully dull. It’s a headache to try and decipher what’s going on sometimes. The action is passable, but the editing kills any sort of suspense fairly quickly.

Paul W.S. Anderson really gave this movie the Uwe Boll treatment. It’s so cheap and filled with questionable choices from a film-making perspective. The male leads all looked and felt the same. It was virtually impossible to tell anyone apart. Milla Jovovich was great, but she gave me nothing to hang my hat on. She was so bland. There are a few scenes that I kind of enjoyed. I noticed one scene with a group of mercenaries getting cornered by zombies. One of the team members were overcome by zombies and disappeared behind hundreds of hungry, clawing digits. That scene reminded me of Day of the Dead, and it felt like the filmmaker included it to pay homage to George Romero. But that was really it.

There are parts of Resident Evil that I find interesting, and others that are eye-rolling bad. I remember going out of my way to see this in the theater with friends. And I remember making up excuses to like it. But now when I watch it back, I see so many holes and issues. I appreciate what Paul Anderson was doing, but I would have liked to have seen George Romero’s script come to life. Resident Evil is perfect for casual fans of horror, but the dated effects might turn a few people off. I don’t need to issue a scary warning, but an epilepsy warning is definitely in order. A forgettable beginning to a franchise that should be rebooted.