Video Game Adaptations: Resident Evil

Fuck I hate this film, and my sister gave me a copy for my birthday years ago on the basis that “you like zombies and shit so you’ll like this”.

Now, for some fucking idiotic reason, probably derived from my myriad character failings, I now can’t bring myself to throw the fucker out.

This pathetic excuse for an adaptation is fucking execrable. The only thing in the positive that I have to say about it (and that’s why it isn’t getting an Orangutan of Doom despite my serious hatred) is that it isn’t the worst in the series. Wow, what an accolade- that’s like being the most honest MP. You’re still bent as fuck, but just slightly less corrupt than the rest of the useless, incompetent bastards.

I thought this was meant to be a zombie film?

I suppose instead of just spewing bile, I should at least attempt a cursory review of it, although it’s pretty obvious what I think. Resident Evil, the game, is an arguable classic and one of the defining Survival Horror games. Basically, in the game, Raccoon City’s elite police unit (STARS) are forced to take shelter in a creepy mansion. Soon enough, they blunder into zombies and eventually an underground lab where it’s apparent that the evil Umbrella corporation have been monkeying around with viruses.

Resident Evil, the film, is a veritable sack of shit. For a start, P.W.S Anderson (who wrote and directed it) completely misunderstood the game. It’s survival horror, for fuck’s sake, not, Paul, a pathetic and juvenile teenage action film.

Wait, wait, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Amnesia, really? That was the best you can do

OK. The film opens with a lengthy explanation of Umbrella. Apparently basically they make everything in the world, but despite this actually only make their money from Genetic engineering and weaponry. Yawn. The film then cuts to a group of people having a shitty day at work in “The Hive” (a top secret super dooper magical fucking facility buried beneath Raccoon City). Things go heinously wrong, coffee gets spilled and they’re all killed. Next thing we know Milla Jovovich has woken up in the mansion, there’s a cryptic message, and it’s pretty apparent that she hasn’t got a fucking clue who she is. Soon enough a corp of disposable marines (led by Colin Salmon and Michelle Rodriguez) crash through the windows (which is massively stupid considering that the door is open) and drag her, some other douchebag (Mrs. Jarv informs me that he’s now gone  up in the world and is appearing in Ugly Betty), and poor old James Purefoy off to investigate the hive.

Empty Corridor. Scary.

There’s some bollocks with “the Red Queen”, the hive’s supercomputer, it turns out Alice (Milla) was actually selling them out and Purefoy was at fault for the outbreak. Entertainment singularly fails to ensue and if there’s any justice Paul Anderson will spend eternity in Hell having Satan ram large vegetables up his arsehole.

There’s so much wrong with this sack of fucking shit that I honestly don’t really know where to begin. It’s just fucking dreadful. However, the biggest flaw, by a long, long way is the writing. Paul Anderson obviously holds himself in some fucking regard, because he basically threw out everything from the game (even down to the character names- which is aggravating, because how hard would it have been to rename her “Jill”) that made it good. Instead, he decided to replace it with his genius plot and dialogue.

Finally, some fucking Zombies.

Firstly, the Plot. I’m entirely with Chilli Palmer on this one: Amnesia as a plot device is simply fucking awful, hackneyed and embarrassing. Furthermore, to compound the sin, to then have your main character involved in some asinine fucking conspiracy is just agonising, and to invent a character just for this is pointless and irritating. Did the zombies in Night of the Living Dead need some inane corporate conspiracy to be frightening? No, because that’s a good film.

Another pointless scene

Secondly, the dialogue. Now, I’ve seen working through these adaptations and particularly with Survival Horror it’s necessary for there to be some exposition. This is because of the way the game unfolds, and it is frankly impossible to have a film unfold in the same way. However, I lost count of the amount of times that exposition was integral to furthering the film. Milla actually says to Colin Salmon “what is going on” which gives him the chance to waffle on and fucking on for ages about nerve gas, defences, and the Hive. I wouldn’t mind so much, but the film opened with a fucking prologue. This happens periodically throughout the fucking film:

“What’s that big thing you’re holding”

“Oh, it’s a convenient gizmo which means that I can electrocute the computer”

“Really, that’s interesting, I thought it was a fucking toaster”.

It’s pathetic and lazy- most good films, of which this most certainly is not one, actually allow the audience to use their brains- they don’t have the characters spoon feed the fucking information out like this. It’s agonising, and as for the exchange between Purefoy and Milla at the end, it’s clunky to put it mildly. What makes it more annoying, is that the biggest flaw of the games is always shitty plot and dialogue, and somehow he found a way to make it worse.

Which brings me on to the acting. All the cast is so far above this material that it actually made me feel a bit sorry for them. They all do an entirely competent job on this woeful shit.

Purefoy counting down the minutes until shooting for Rome starts.

Basically, this is a truly, truly dismal film. The action scenes are all slo-mo wankery, the score is awful, the effects are shit (particularly the hologram effect on the Red Queen) and it’s chock full of more bad ideas than the financial sector generated in the last 10 years.

Now, we talked a lot about this the other day, and I’m not asking for the game to be vomited onto the screen. I’ve got the games for that. However, what I am asking for is at least an adaptation that bears some fucking resemblance to the game- and I don’t mean by stuffing monsters into it that appeared in the game or other obnoxious touches. It’s insulting to the fan base, and even more insulting to the casual viewer. Resident Evil is survival horror, the main characters are Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. How fucking hard would it be to actually adapt the game rather than bashing out an inane action movie that is all sound and fury, but signifies nothing and even worse lacks even the basic level of entertainment value?

The Licker, AKA Throwing a bone to the fans

Overall, I do not recommend this at all. It’s utter shit and it’s insulting to boot. I’m damned if I know how this fucking thing made money, because there’s clearly no justice in the world as it should have bombed like the Enola Gay. Unfortunately it didn’t, and the series actually managed to get worse by dumbing down further and aiming an 18 Franchise at PG13 territory.

And a brief flash of Milla’s bush did not compensate.

Rating wise, this is a clear 0 Chang film, however, as it isn’t the worst in the series it can’t possibly get the Orangutan of Doom. So, thanks to the kind folks at I’ve got the perfect picture for it- this dog understands breeding on the same level that Anderson understood Resident Evil, and it’s a nigh on perfect metaphor for the film:

Epic failure- missing the point completely

Utter shit, and I’ve still got 3 of these to go.

Until next time,


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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

32 responses to “Video Game Adaptations: Resident Evil”

  1. Jarv says :

    This should have been up earlier, but after I watched it I was forced to watch Solomon Kane to get the taste of it out of my mouth.

    And then Animal Kingdom.

    And I thought about downloading Rome as well.

  2. LB says :

    You sir, are a cunt.

    I fucking love this movie.

    I don’t fucking care who directed it, or what he did later in his career.

    I have passed out to this movie so many times it’s not funny.

    It has mint sound design and lasers.

    As well, you didn’t even bother to assign a rating to this particular missive.

    Perhaps you are slipping in your old age. It’s just 2 seconds to oblivion, as I’m sure you are aware.

    I would rank this as a solid 2.75 On the Changian Scale.

    And i want to hear not another word.

    • Jarv says :

      Nope. It’s awful.

      And I didn’t comment on anything else he made.

      The dog humping the chicken is the rating, and very appropriate it is too: The Horny Pooch of Failure.

    • Spud McSpud says :

      Jesus, Bronco. There’s so much wrong with RESIDENT EVIL I really wouldn’t know where to start. And I’m talking about from a movie fan’s perspective, as I’ve never played a single one of the games. This would be because I have two hands made up entirely of thumbs when it comes to gaming.

      The plot is insensible, the dialogue makes “hackneyed” look like a grand aspiration, the acting never rises above passable, and despite her admirable dedication to physical development, particularly in action scenes, this is the least interesting or charismatic character Milla has ever played. This mvie proves that MORTAL KOMBAT and EVENT HORIZON were flukes, and that Paul W S Anderson is the British Uwe Boll.

      Yes, I liked the laser trap in the corridor, but when a movie like CUBE can rip you off and do a set piece better (despite having a budget of about 50p) then you know you have problems. And RESIDENT EVIL has many, many problems.

      Dark and terrible confession: I own an A3 poster of this movie signed by Paul W S Anderson. This is even more embarrassing than the autograph of Jordan that I used to own – and I flogged that on eBay. Should I ever feel the urge to burn it in a working designed to rid the world of PWSA’s movies forever, I hereby pledge to film the burning and post it here on WOTM…

      • Jarv says :

        If you ever go through with that. Let me know and we’ll add my DVD to the pyre.

        Strength through unity and all that

      • Jarv says :

        There’s weird revisionism going on with Anderson films. They’re terrible anti-entertainment.

        The real problems with RE stem from the terrible writing. It’s just a truly woeful film.

      • Droid says :

        There are no good Anderwank movies (I haven’t seen Shopping). EV is a good looking bad movie.

      • Jarv says :

        Yup there’s an argument doing the rounds That MK isn’t shit. I don’t agree

      • koutchboom says :

        Well he helped get Pandorum made, so he’s not all bad.

      • Droid says :

        Thats true. I did enjoy that movie for the most part. Maybe he should stick to producing.

      • Jarv says :

        I didn’t talk about the rest of what is laughably called his filmography.

        I like pandorum

      • Jarv says :

        Also, the laser trap neatly encapsulated everything wrong with this film. The effects are bad, it’s poorly written, boring, and preceded by exposition.


      • Frank Marmoset says :

        but when a movie like CUBE can rip you off and do a set piece better

        I’m pretty sure Cube did the set piece you’re talking about first, which is yet another strike against Resident Evil.

      • Jarv says :

        A quick check tells me that Cube was 5 years earlier

      • Spud McSpud says :

        Cheers for putting me right – and not only is CUBE the earlier film, it’s massively superior in pretty much every way.

        I liked MORTAL KOMBAT, but as I told Mrs Spud-To-Be last night rewatching it on SyFy, it’s a fight game set in another dimension. I want great fights, weird creatures, backgrounds from the games – and an infectious soundtrack wouldn’t go amiss.

        Done, done, done and done. I like MORTAL KOMBAT. It’s no classic, but it’s a diverting enough time-waster, Bridgette Wilson looks fiiiiiine, and Christopher Lambert is clearly having a blast.

        EVENT HORIZON was great. But then I haven’t seen SOLARIS, or anything else it’s supposed to have ripped off.

      • Spud McSpud says :

        Deal, Jarv. Right now I’m toying with the idea of framing it and putting it above my writing desk, as an indicator of the direction I DON’T want to go in.

      • Jarv says :

        We could flog them to Frank. Valentine’s present for special lady friend

  3. Droid says :

    Wait, did you like this film or not? The review wasn’t clear.


    Yeah, this is an awful film. I’ve only seen it once and thats the way it will stay.

  4. Frank Marmoset says :

    I’m not as angry as Jarv about it, but I can’t really argue with anything in this review. This film – and pretty much the whole series – is very cackular.

    Part of me feels honour-bound to defend Resident Evil since special lady friend likes them all so much, but – sorry, love – I just can’t do it. It does get a bonus point for casting Michelle Rodriguez – as do ALL films that cast Michelle Rodriguez – but otherwise I just can’t think of anything worthwhile about them.

  5. Frank Marmoset says :

    Also, regarding the Resident Evil games – fuck the Resident Evil games.

    I so very much wanted to like those games, but god damn they were annoying. I always wanted to SHOOT the zombies; not run past the zombies, put plants in a box, rotate aggravatingly on the spot, or get the medallion to put in the painting to get the batteries to operate the whateverthefuck.

    Being surrounded by all those zombies and never having enough ammo to shoot the bastards was about as much fun as being in a fancy whorehouse and not even having enough money to get a quick hand job or something.

    • Jarv says :

      I never had that problem. Apart from code Veronica but I seem to remember regenerating zombies in that

      • Frank Marmoset says :

        I’m a simple man, Jarv. If I’m playing a game, I pretty much just want to shoot stuff. Or, at the very least, hit stuff with swords. There were never enough opportunities to shoot or stab zombies in those Resident Evil games.

      • Jarv says :

        Fair enough. Avoid silent hill then.

        When you finished 3 and Code Veronica it gave you shooting games. Code Veronica’s bonus was FPS as well

  6. Jarv says :

    What’s the consensus on the horny pooch of failure. Shall I reuse it and save the Orang for truly evil films?

  7. Frank Marmoset says :

    Seems to me, what’s annoying about Anderson is he’s making films people like us should like – mid-to-low budget genre films with space and monsters and shooting and fighting and whatnot – and he somehow manages to let us down every single time. There aren’t a huge number of directors who specialize in genre stuff like he does, and time after time all he turns in are lazy, boring, derivative films. It’s such a waste.

    Thank the lord for Neil Marshall, who’s basically the anti-Anderson. He’s in a similar position, making similar B-movie stuff, and yet what he does is usually pretty damn good. Even Doomsday, which I didn’t like, is head and shoulders above anything Anderson has done.

    • Jarv says :

      That’s a good point. Resident Evil should be right up my alley.

      The other thing is he keeps fucking up things I am interested in- alien, death race, resident evil

  8. Jarv says :

    I have since discovered that this is actually a prequel to the game. Which at least explains the lack of characters. Nevertheless the film is so tonally wrong and otherwise flawed it is still a monstrous failure.

  9. LB says :

    He he-I have at various times played video games heavily-and in this one case, I’ve never played the classic resident evil. I have beaten Resident Evil 4 on pro mode-and was halfway through RE5 (which isn’t half the game RE4 was/is) when the computer crashed.

    So…I don’t share the frustration with RE’s faulure to be true to the source material.

    So, to be fair, basically everything Jarv points out is true, and I can definitely see that defending this particular movie would result at a Pyrrhic victory at best.

    I just found it’s a good movie to pass out to-the soundtrack/sound design is very soothing.

    So there.

  10. ThereWolf says :

    I’m completely ambivalent to Resident Evil. This is the one I dislike the least – but I’ve not seen ‘4’ yet. I didn’t really care that Anderson turned it into an action flick but, yeh, it should’ve been survival horror – fewer characters, fewer plot convolutions and creepier.

    Loved the games though…

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