"Well isn't this one big family reunion? Chris and Claire Redfield, you've really become quite an inconvenience for me."
Director: Paul WS Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Wentworth Miller
When I first saw the trailers for this movie I was amped to see it, but then I started thinking about it. Sure I do like the Resident Evil movies but am I willing to pay $20 to see it in 3D, it’s filmed with the same tech Cameron used for Avatar yet it is just a cheesy movie. Obviously you can tell where the decision fell otherwise this would be a very shot review. At the end of the day I am glad I went to see it but not because I think this is a good movie. Confused yet? Good. Buckle up because this may be a bumpy ride.
Story wise it picks up where the third one left off, Alice (Jovovich) using her army of clones attacks the main Umbrella Compound in Tokyo. There she wrecks havoc with Chairman Wesker (Roberts) just managing to get away. With a final confrontation Alice is made human and her clones are wiped out. Yep that’s right folks three movies worth of character development thrown out in 5-10 minutes. I know that having Alice as this super being makes it hard to create a threat that the audience will believe in, but surely there was some other way of doing things. Anyway 6 months later Alice is looking for her friends, instead she stumbles upon more Umbrella shenanigans, more survivors, and of course more zombies/monsters to kill. While I just complained a little about the story I guess it’s not what we are really here for, but it must be said there are plenty of plot holes and large coincidences that in the end reek of lazy scriptwriting. Sure this movie is not supposed to be a brilliant piece of art but come on just a little effort. Then again Anderson knows what the people want; we want Milla Jovovich kicking the butts of many many police recruits, sorry zombies.
So you like action huh? Well I will admit this movie does deliver and when the action hit I was glued to the screen. While short I loved the Wesker fight, I also dug Claire (Larter) going toe to toe with big axe hammer giant man (at least that’s my name for him). There is also plenty of slomo gun play that I just felt the urge to get home and watch me some John Woo. Hmm maybe a little too much slomo gunplay actually, it does head into the almost fetishistic overload. But still the action looks good, unlike most action movies these days I actually could tell what was going on and most importantly I had a good time watching the action and never felt like the scenes were over staying their welcome.
Or course I’ve saved the best till last and that’s the 3D of the movie. After watching the dreadful conversion of Alice in Wonderland and not being overly impressed with the 3d of Toy Story 3 (sure it looked pretty but it would have looked just as good without 3D), I must say this movie proved to me that Avatar wasn’t just a fluke. Especially in the opener to the movie which focuses on a crowd in Tokyo walking through the rain, such a simple shot yet it looks fantastic. There are times when the 3D just seems pointless but it was a good movie to look at. What this movie really did for me is make me appreciate 3D in film and hopefully soon a 3D movie will come along and combine this gorgeous look with an awesome plot. Some effects were dodgy but they were few and far between.
Just quickly you may wonder why I haven’t touched on the acting. Well that’s because there isn’t much to touch (okay that sounded wrong). Basically people rock up and do a fine enough job, Milla as always is great as Alice but I wish she would branch out to some genre other than action. Wentworth Miller and Shawn Roberts were terribly underused and in Miller’s case it seems that he was just thrown in there for fan service. Which brings me to the last gripe so to speak. I understand nerds/geeks/klingons can be an unforgiving bunch, always prone to complain about stupid things (rant: For the love of god who cares if Emma Stone is playing Gwen Stacey, there is this thing called hair dye which can fix your stupid problem fan boys. Oh and in this case she’s a natural blonde anyway so shut the hell up. /rant), but maybe instead of trying to appease the fans of the game by throwing in random references that don’t really help the story you should concentrate on the story first. At the end of the day people will enjoy a well made movie rather than a movie full of game references.
I must say this review has gone on longer than I thought so it’s time to wrap it all up. If you’re a fan of the other three Resident Evil movies then you should like this, just sit down and turn your brain off. I also think that people who are after a fun 3D action movie could do a lot worse the only problem comes down to price. If this was a standard ticket price then I would say go for it, but 3D prices really start to stretch the worth. Still I now know that 3D is more than just a once off thing, it can be used effectively to create some stunning visuals you wouldn’t normally be able to get. So come on Tron Legacy.