October 28, 2010
Aztek delivers again! Even for someone like me who’s not a fan of the Resident Evil movies, this was fun to watch and kept interest. 151 minutes may be a bit too much for this kind of stuff, but it mostly worked. However, this is essentially still a movie for fans of the saga, as it wasn’t magically turned into Shakespeare or anything. It’s still gun porn and over the top, cheesy, cartoony show-off action, even after Az expurgated it of the most insulting stuff. The odd silly one-liner or sight gag that could have been cut still remains, such as the Russian soldier’s “Stay” after shooting the zombie dog, or Alice whistling at the zombies. Also, some of the most exaggerated show-off moments during the fights I’d like to see excised, yet I suppose if you’re a fan of the saga you like them.
I’m not sure extending Alice’s awakening in the Apocalypse segment was a good idea, as there’s an equivalent in the Extinction segment that’s more relevant plotwise, and one gets the impression that half the movie are sequences of Milla Jovovich awakening. It feels reiterative. I guess that was kept for continuity reasons regarding the first RE movie, but I’d have tried the total opposite: totally remove that part and the subsequent wandering, and have Alice first enter the movie (not counting “My name is Alice”) through the church window. I’d also try to smoothen the change from Apocalypse to Extinction by removing the expository narration and the graphics about the plague spreading and all that. We don’t really need that info spelled out to us, we can suppose it by ourselves, and placed at that moment the sequence screams “MOVIES CHANGE HERE”.
Otherwise, as one would expect from Az, the movie is flawlessly edited, both regarding narrative flow and technical stuff. No hard cuts, no odd transitions, excellently color corrected additional scenes (not an easy task), and great video and audio quality. Menus are well done and extras (a color correction comparison and an alternate version of Clone 87′s awakening) are interesting, althought I missed an audio commentary like the one in Silent Hill.
For Resident Evil (movie series) fans, this will be as good as it gets; for non-fans it will be a fun B-movie. I’m rating it 8/10, but I bet fans will be rating it higher. Oh, and extra kudos for using the original video game title!