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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 epicfail.com 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:
Utter shit, and I’ve still got 3 of these to go.
Until next time,