Have you been outside lately? It's miserable, like blast furnace miserable. The full casualty count isn't in, but we stepped over at least a dozen collapsed bodies this afternoon when thermometers stopped working when they hit 108. It's a perfect excuse to stay indoors.
Presenting: Stay Indoor Saturdays, Complex Video Games' summertime solution. What we're doing is taking one of the many, many horrible video game to film adaptations, pairing it with a meal to share with friends, and revisting what made said film such an unwatchable cluster-fuck. For our maiden voyage we're revisting 2002's Resident Evil. Capcom's zombie thick commentary on unchecked corporate power has spawned five films all starring Milla Jovavich, and share only the thinnest of similiarities with any of the titles in the video game series.
What better pairing than a mountain of sushi handrolls? Resident Evil, Biohazard in Japan, has enjoyed a nearly two decade run of titles that have been met with critical success (RE4), and less favorably recieved releases (RE6). The 2002 Resident Evil film is remarkably bad. It cant' even be granted 'so bad, it's good status', honestly it's amazing that four more films were made after this.
Most glaring is the overall feeling of cheapness in the film. I kept expecting to see a boom mike to wander into frame. There are a few obvious nods to the RE games: zombies, The Umbrella Corportaion, the Licker, zombie dogs, the T-Virus, but they all seem cursory; existing in name only. The rest of the film is inhabited by generically handsome types that all speak in vaguely, non-descript European accents in a nearly uniform monotone.
The whole thing feels like a Rob Zombie music video, but at least a Rob Zombie video has the decency to be blessedly over in three minutes. Resident Evil's brisk 90 minute run time feels sludgy, like the film has run twice that. Extras, geometrically square jaws for men and impossibily proportioned waistlines for women, deliver lines with all the finesse of an embarassing celebrity pitch during the opening of a baseball game.
The movie seems like it's entirely composed of setup. It never really hits any kind of rythm that a viewer can get in sync with. Also, noboy makes a sentence that lasts longer than half a dozen words. It's painful how monosyllabic the dialogue is.
Michelle Rodriguez co-stars, playing the same character she plays every time she's on-screen, making herself unlikeable in record time. Her first words in the film are 'Blow me' which bookend nicely with some of her last lines as she been bitten by zombies more than three times, 'When I get out of here I'm going to get laid'. Oy.
Zombie fans were dissapointed, Resident Evil fans were dissapointed, and video game fans in general were dissapointed. One of the few highlights of the films is Milla Jovavich's tasteful side boob and its three seperate appearances. They manage to make it on-screen before any of the paper thin plot points are served up in easily digestable, expository bite-sized pellets.
The movie is one dimensional in the worst possible way and the only thing that saved the entire experience was a nearly endless pile of freshly sliced salmon. Save yourself an hour and a half and just watch the trailer above. Want to learn how to make sushi handrolls? It's way easier than it looks.
Photo credit @Erik_Erikson