The Umbrella Corporation is a multinational giant that has products in almost every household on Earth. While publicly innocuous, Umbrella is conducting experiments of the illegal kind in a secure underground facility called The Hive. When a virus they were working on is unleashed, the "Red Queen" - the sentient computer controlling the facility - kills everyone inside, but the virus turns the Hive scientists into zombies.
A team of commandos is sent to find out what happened in the Hive - where they will face an angry computer, undead beings and a genetically altered creature, "the Licker," that was made just for killing - and clean up the virus before it takes over the world. The commandos take an amnesiac couple along for the ride and find (surprise!) that they hold the key to part of the mystery surrounding what happened. That about sums the plot up, and it does not sound all that bad, does it? Read on, fellow moviegoer.
One of the major problems a movie based off of a video game (like this one is) typically faces is that it may only appeal to the gaming audience. Which, even though growing at an exponential rate, is only a fraction of moviegoers. It would be a huge surprise, though, if even that fraction were to proclaim itself satisfied with this flick.
Resident Evil is loud, gory and stylized, but what director Paul Anderson hasn't done is make it terribly involving. While the screenplay is almost non-existent, there is no way to judge anyone's acting because the few words to come out of their mouths do nothing to distinguish them from the zombie hordes they are battling. The "Resident Evil" story seems to have been constructed from looking at the screen shots on the back of the game box. You know, give the kids something to recognize. Look there's the scary dogs, and there's Milla Jovovich in a mini-skirt, and it all ends on that cool train ride while tongue-lashing monsters come at our heroes from all sides.
Since the audience is given no real reason to care for the characters, when they are fiercely attacked, you think to yourself "Why am I scared for them?" The only real reason to root for the characters' continued mortality is the mere desire for the movie to come to completion. There is
no real intrigue or goal that you sense in the outline of the plot, and the character development is dismal at best. When I say there's no character development, I'm not kidding. The movie stars Milla Jovovich, and we never even find out her name. I guess they assume we know it from the game.
The movie serves up some good, solid scares, though. Unfortunately, the tension always disintegrates immediately under the ensuing techno-rock soundtrack. Horror movie or music video, make a choice. The ending however manages to elicit a distinct creep- factor. Otherwise, the movie's scare tactics are dated and predictable. Most of the scares can be foreshadowed; the silences are too silent, the rock music too creepy to be real.
My suggestion would be to watch a Mithun movie or even something B-grade like Jaagta Laash. In short, do what you have to to satisfy your zombie cravings, but let this "Resident Evil" movie rot on the vine. Somehow, I do not think it will be in theaters more than a couple of weeks anyway.