Volume 95, Issue 88

Wednesday, March 20, 2002
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Bad Religion older than God and twice the punk

Funky rodent warms the Ice Age

Outside the Box

Not even Milla can save Resident Evil

Not even Milla can save Resident Evil

Resident Evil

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez

Directed By: Paul Anderson

Two stars (out of five)

By Christopher Hodge
Gazette Staff

If there's one thing lacking in movies today, it's a good zombie flick.

Not since the campy 70s classics Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead has there been a decent movie dedicated to our vacant-eyed, shuffle-stepping fiends.

Resident Evil, a movie based loosely on the video game series of the same name, is the most recent movie to attempt (and fail) to revive the undead horror genre.

The movie features supermodel and Fifth Element star Milla Jovovich as a government agent who, along with her sidekick Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious), must escape from an underground research laboratory before a super computer unleashes a deadly virus on the rest of humanity.

Gone are the days of rubber zombie masks and make-up as the digital revolution has done away with the classic zombie persona. Resident Evil is not so much a horror film as it is a collage of slick, Matrix-inspired camera sweeps, digitally-rendered super monsters and, of course, no shortage of close-ups on Milla as she runs around the research facility in a red mini skirt carrying a gigantic machine gun.

Director Paul Anderson, who is also responsible for the movie adaptation of the video game Mortal Kombat, relies too much on slick computer-generated beasts to carry this movie.

The original video game was terrifying because one was never really sure whether or not a zombie was lurking around the next corner until you blindly ran around it, while the movie adaptation has the zombies bursting through doors.

The list of bad movies inspired by good video games is becoming embarrassingly long. Tomb Raider, Double Dragon, The Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat 2 are just a few that have attempted – and failed – to cater to both the gaming community and the movie-going public.

Resident Evil will ultimately fail to live up to the expectations of the loyal fans who soaked up the original game. It's long, silly and without a good fix of ritalin, it's painfully difficult to sit through, much like the video game.

Although the zombies in this movie could run circles around the breakdancing zombies in Michael Jackson's music video "Thriller," Resident Evil was dead long before it ever had a chance to be undead.

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