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Review Resident Evil (2002): Bad as the adaptation of the videogame but quite adequate as action flick!

genre: action, horror, science fiction

Finishing Resident Evil 5 inspired me to re visit the movie franchise.  Now the game franchise itself has strayed away from the original in being more action titles than survival horror I wanted to make sure if my first assessment of this film was fair. What were my thoughts on the first Resident Evil movie? I remember liking it but that I was disappointed for the fact that it wasn't anything like the original games. Now I have changed my opinion slightly. So let us go into it.

The film is very different in tone and the zombies and other monsters were hardly scary or menacing. The original game and it's sequel were true survival horrors where you had no clue what was out there. Once you did find out you had no idea when they would strike. When you did know you had to figure out a way to dispose of them. Not all creatures could be put down with your gun. Often you needed specific weapons or items to deal with them and most of the time you needed special codes or keys to get access to those weapons or items. You were constantly put on edge. There was a constant sense of dread you were subjected to with consequence that you had to thread real lightly and be vigilant at all times. And the game was filled with genuine scares to the likes rarely seen before in videogames at that time. Unfortunately the film is not approached as a survival horror. Paul W.S. Anderson who also directed Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon went a different direction. That is why this film has failed as an adaptation of the game.

But as a film it actually is pretty decent. It does build up some tension and suspense very effectively by keeping some aspects of events a mystery. It manages to surprise you in parts in many different ways especially with one laugh out loud moment  that is so ridiculous you can't take it seriously. It involves actor Colin Salmon (Limitless, Arrow, London Has Fallen, Criminal). Then we get to the moment we all have been waiting for and right away you notice the major difference. Instead of old school zombie horror you get served action, action and more action. It is from this moment the suspense and tension has been eliminated and Resident Evil has become  a fully fledged action flick. Is that a bad thing? That depends on your expectations. If you were hoping for some horror goodness then I can understand that you will be disappointed. However the action that is offered is quite stylish and entertaining. There are many badass moments featuring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez. In particular Michelle steals the show every scene she is in. She managed to put a smile on my face every time. 

Overall it's an entertaining action flick that is loosely based on the video games. And you really have to take the term loosely as broad as possible otherwise you run the risk not being able to enjoy the film for what it does offer. Granted it's not that much but fun enough. In this day and age that is all I hope for.

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