DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
Ultra HD
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Resident Evil: SE
Resident Evil: SE
Columbia/Tri-Star // R // July 30, 2002
List Price: $27.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted August 2, 2002 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
CineSchlock-O-Rama

If you're going to haul off and make a horror picture based on a series of video games that pilfer heavily from classic zombie flicks, it figures you'd seek out the highest authority there is when it comes to the brain-eating undead. That's right, CineSchlockers, the great George Romero whose Night, Dawn and Day of the [Living] Dead are the holy trinity of zombidom. And in the beginning, to their credit, that's what money-hungry studio honchos did, but as such things go, George didn't end up directing OR writing Resident Evil (2002, 100 minutes). Probably just as well. Why should Romero cram himself into a mold that itself is enthusiastically derivative of the films of both he and his imitators? Enter director and alleged writer Paul W.S. Anderson who slathers his raucous bullet train to zombie town with so much hipster style it's easy to overlook the flick's vacuous core.

The movie: When Alice (Milla Jovovich) awakens bare-hiney on a shower floor with no knowledge of who or where she is, it's for CERTAIN she ain't in Wonderland. Or is she? While our heroine was dozing, a super-secret, subterranean research facility operated by the omnipresent Umbrella Corporation experienced a slight snag in productivity. Its HAL 9000-esque computer system, known affectionally as the Red Queen, has similarly gone schizoid and taken to gassing, drowning and hurling the 500 or so screeching employees down elevator shafts. Just as Alice manages to shimmy into a miniskirt, she's swooped up by a team of commandos who usher her, get this, through a looking glass that's actually an alternate entrance to the endangered facility by way of a private subway train. Along the way, Alice is informed she's an Umbrella operative herself, and that her unique talents will be needed in giving Queenie a much-deserved spanking. Turns out that's not so easy even though the mainframe's holographic bod is that of a little girl who yaps in a dainty limey accent. She deftly shoos the encroaching squad with a laserfied Cuisinart that dices most of them into morsels that'd fit delightfully on crackers. The survivors, however, manage to hit the right buttons to make her go night-night, yet with less-than-fortuitous consequences. Namely, ZOMBIES!!! Thus begins the run and gun (and gun some more) portion of our adventure.

Back to style, though. The flick's propelled by a relentless, devil-icious soundtrack (due in part to Marylin Manson) that even makes tough-grrrl de jour Michelle Rodriguez' wooden, "ain't got time to bleed" schtick seem genuine. Combined with Anderson's spastic-hamster editing, it also enthuses ferocity into comely Ms. Jovovich's unpleasant encounters with rotting Dobermans who meet the business end of her 9mm in slow mo. Additionally, the Red Queen's voyeuristic peepery is awful goldang COOL as 2002's answer to Stanley's fisheye lens. Let's not forget that scampering among the undead is a nasty, gnarled, mutant critter that looks like something Godzilla might upchuck, but attempts to compensate for its ugly mug with a 50-foot tongue. CineSchlockers will savor the moderate grue, but bristle at frustrating cheats that often stop short of revealing, or fail to linger on carnage Mr. Anderson says only appeals to "14-year-old boys." Feh! Let's hope he has an attitude adjustment in time for the impending sequel.

Notables: One breast. 33 corpses (plus gobs of ghouls). Elevator freefall. Multiple decapitations. Puking. Mucho CGI shenanigans. Deep-roasted beastie. Hypodermic closeups. King-sized tongue piercing. Firesuit stunts. Multiple neck snappings.

Quotables: The deceptively cutesy Red Queen calmly predicts, "You're ALL going to DIE down here." A not-so-nice guy taunts his intended victim, "Puh-lease! I wouldn't want to shoot you. I might NEED the bullets!" Caplan fends off the undead, "You're gonna have to WORK for your meal!!!"

Time codes: Milla joins the picture -- nekkid (8:48). Wanna know what's going on? This guy tells all (19:55). Fans of CineSchlocker fave Cube will go to pieces over this familiar scene (32:00). First zombie lumbers on screen (38:45). STILL don't know what's going on!? Another fella tries to explain (1:12:00). Milla ends the picture -- nekkid -- with this patch of freeze-frame pervert's delight (1:30:52).

Audio/Video: Presented in its original widescreen (1.85:1) with a transfer that falls short of perfection. Bone-rattling Dolby Digital 5.1 track that screams the praises of the flick's best asset. Well, second to a certain model/singer/actress, of course.

Extras: Lively, comic commentary by Jovovich, Rodriguez, Anderson and producer/zombie Jeremy Bolt. CineSclockers will readily identify with Michelle as she demands "more GORE" and professes her obsession with the Resident Evil games. Not that Milla can't relate. She's quick to point out her own "[email protected]#% shot" and takes great glee in revealing how she "accidentally" bludgeoned her director AND costar. Curiously, this track was recorded BEFORE the film's release, which clearly colors their perspective. Mr. Bolt's presence, unlike most producers, isn't grossly self-indulgent as he quite readily contributes amusing and informative nuggets. There's also nearly an hour divided between five featurettes. Half is devoted to a better-than-average "Making of" reel. In addition, Mr. Manson discusses his collaboration with Marco Beltrami on the flick's soundtrack. Other vignettes cover costuming, set design and a some nifty "zombie tests." Slipknot's "My Plague" music video. Trailer vault featuring this film, Formula 51, Men In Black II, XXX, Spider-Man and Final Fantasy. Motion-video menus with audio.

One wonders what Sony's saving for the rumored two-disc release it SWEARS isn't planned for 2003 (as of presstime, anyway). Perhaps an unrated director's cut to reinject some much-needed crimson sucked away by the MPAA? What of the "FX commentary" Mr. Anderson alludes to during his? And a DTS track seems compulsory given the flick's ultra-aggressive soundtrack. We shall see.

Final thought: An exhilarating audio/visual feast that values style over substance, but entertainingly so. Highly Recommended.

Check out CineSchlock-O-Rama
for additional reviews and bonus features.

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
Other Reviews:
Popular Reviews
1. Yakuza Law


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2019 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use