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Only ‘Evil’ thing about this film is having to watch it |

Only ‘Evil’ thing about this film is having to watch it

| Friday, March 15, 2002 12:00 a.m

If you want a good scare from “Resident Evil,” go out and rent the video game – skip the movie.

It’s the kind of movie that telegraphs its every scare, leads you nowhere you weren’t expecting, and doesn’t bother to give any of its characters a hint of personality.

For example, all the main characters spot a corpse, comment on it for a while and walk away. The camera lingers on the “corpse” for an abnormally long period of time. The camera moves slowly in. Closer it comes to the corpse. Closer, closer, closer. Focusing in on its face now. Linger a little more.

And then …

Its eyes pop open!

Are you scared yet?

Of course, most people who go see “Resident Evil,” based on the game of the same name, already are familiar with the game and its background story. The evil Umbrella Corp. creates bio-engineered weapons which, of course, get loose, resulting in the creation of your basic zombie people and undead dogs. There’s also a thing called “The Licker,” a neither-man-nor-animal beast with a long, stretchy tongue it uses to catch its victims.

Apparently, a virus gets loose inside Umbrella Corp., and the Red Queen, the computer charged with running a tight ship, appropriately locks down the underground facility before any of the workers can get out, spreading the virus to the rest of the world. But the Red Queen also kills all the people, who are then reanimated by the virus, although it leaves them with no intelligence and no resemblance to human beings other than that they like to eat. Think of “The Living Dead” series, and you can imagine all of the zombie scenes. There’s not a thing new here.

Only two characters are worth noting. The first is the heroine, Milla Jovovich (“The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”) as Alice, who apparently was one of the above-ground guards of the site, although for some reason she and the other guards were overcome by some kind of toxic gas that knocked them unconscious and stole their memories. The other is Rain (Michelle Rodriguez, who won critical acclaim for her role in “Girlfight” in 2000), a tough commando who spends the entire film glowering at the camera and all the other characters. You begin to wonder whether she’s even physically capable of moving her eyes in any direction other than upward, in a withering glare menacing from underneath her brows. The men are almost interchangeable, and no one utters a single memorable line.

The music is loud throughout – the score is by shock-rocker Marilyn Manson.

References at the end of the film hint at a sequel.

Isn’t there a virus out there that can stop this thing before it spreads?

‘Resident Evil’

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez
MPAA Rating: R, for strong sci-fi/horror violence, language and brief sexuality and nudity

Categories: News
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