Can you believe it has been 14 years that the Resident Evil movies have graced our screens? 14 years that husband and wife duo Paul W. S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich have gone into Raccoon City looking to stop this damn T-Virus. Given the title, do they finally accomplish it?
I’m sure there’s a story to the latest Resident Evil (RE) movie, it’s probably in there somewhere, and if I could be bothered, and you were really that interested, I might even attempt to tell you what it is.
The fact is you could simply read about any of the past five RE movies and you’d get the idea. The plot hasn’t changed, the characters haven’t really changed, we don’t even get a change of writer or director (all films have been written and directed by Anderson bar Resident Evil: Extinction which was directed by Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, Teen Wold TV Series).
That’s not to say I’ve anything against the movies per-say. In fact, I’m a big fan of Milla Jovovich I just wish she’d do more work away from her hubby as, how I can put this delicately – oh yeah, I can’t – he doesn’t bring out the best in her. Luc Besson did with The Fifth Element, Anderson doesn’t with the RE series or, say, The Three Musketeers.
Here she’s back again as Alice, trying to save the world from the seemingly indestructible Dr. Isaacs, played by Iain Glen (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Iron Lady). She must to go back to Raccoon City (of course) and faces zombies and flying things and Isaacs many times over. Many, many, many times over.
There is some good, the sets and CGI are brilliant. Crumbling cities, a world in chaos, that’s all quite well done. It doesn’t short change you on the zombie or gore front, I’m struggling here.
The bad, well, let’s put to one side that we’ve seen it all before, it’s terribly directed. Jovovich is a capable actor and a capable fight-scene actor and yet during all the fight scenes, in fact in pretty much every scene, Anderson employs shaky cam, weird angles that miss half the action and there’s a constant adrenaline rush feel to the whole thing.
The latter point is not to be underestimated. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt nauseated from the pacing or camera work of a film until now. He jump-cuts through fight scenes and other action moments, speeds up film at other times, I’ve no idea why? It doesn’t add anything and it’s not as if this film is about something fast like, Formula 1 or MotoGP. I can’t even say he does it for the ‘timer’ element of the film as it’s deployed before we even discover that nugget of information.
There are a few other characters that attempt to join in and help Alice achieve her goal. I’ve watched the film and know nothing about them, that’s how much we get to learn about them. Each of them is treated like the Star Trek character, you know, the one who gets beamed down to the planet with the main characters, yep, he’s dead.
Ali Larter (Final Destination, Heroes) does return to help out her old chum. We also get to see Fraser James (Law & Order: UK, Holby City), Eoin Macken (The Night Shift, The Forest), Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black, John Wick: Chapter 2), William Levy (The Single Moms Club, Term Life), Rola (a model) and Shawn Roberts (XXX: Return of Xander Cage, I Love You, Beth Cooper) but they’re all just fodder really.
I don’t know if this is the final Resident Evil movie or not (as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s left open), I hope it is, it feels like it’s more than run its course.