Friday, August 20, 2010

'Resident Evil' moves into the neighborhood

Resident Evil (2002)
Starring: Milla Jovovich
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

If you like action flicks AND are a fan of the classic horror flick "Dawn of the Dead," you're going to love "Resident Evil."

In a future where the global trade and politics is dominated by Umbrella Corporation, something goes terribly wrong at a top secret research installation under a major metropolitan area. A crack commando team is sent in to discover what happened... and come face to face with ravenous hoards of undead and other nasty critters created by the corporation's military/health research department. Meanwhile, a young woman, Alice (Jovovich), is trying to recover her memory and learn how she might be connected to the outbreak... and if she might be the key to stopping it.

The scares are neat, the action is non-stop and well-conceived, and, while the plot doesn't really stray from the "science goes horribly wrong and now the dead walk!"-type plot, it is very well executed and there are a couple of nice twists and interesting moments.

And some scary moments, too. The infected dogs are horrifying and the revelation of who Alice is very well done and it give Milla Jovovich a chance to actually act instead of just look tough and sexy.

Even better, although I've never played the video games this film was based upon, I could see the "levels" and the "challenges" of the game play out on screen without seeming too hokey. It's nice to see something that remains true to the nature of its source material, yet still create an adaptation that works in the new medium.

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