Throughout the history of movie adaptations of video games, rare are those who properly represent their inspiration such as this one. Everything reminds us of the game: the zombies, the way they move, undead dogs, their sounds, the camera angles and the progression of the mission. In opposition to the game, however, we don’t only follow one character or multiple characters in succession. We follow the group that never splits. It is not a bad thing but we leave behind the solitary mission that brings the suspense to the game.
Resident Evil is more a science fiction and action film than what we could have imagined. Fortunately, the humor is very subtle and inserted into the proper moments so the tension never dissipates. A special effort has been put into the movie to reproduce this tension, once again recalling the game elements. Most of the time, a sound or a growl warns us of the danger to come. The viewer is startled less often during the movie than in the game, but these moments are still surprising.
Rare are the films that are perfect and this movie does have its flaws. For example, the soundtrack is appropriate but overused. I would have enjoyed concentrating on the tension this movie brings to its viewers but the techno/industrial soundtrack constantly brought me back to a sense of security. This must be the movies biggest flaw.
Furthermore, I have trouble imagining the events depicted in this movie as preceding the original game. It is faithful to the story but the final scene is contradictory. It depicts a memorable scene of Resident Evil 2, the game. If this movie is really a "prequel" to the first game, I must blame this one the thirst for box office success possessed by the big studios. Also, these big studios have done everything possible to show the least violence possible. Many scenes seem empty, incoherent and incomplete. Sadly, this is the price to pay to avoid the MPAA’s censorship. In my opinion, this association shouldn’t get involved in what they cannot comprehend.
Taken as a whole, Resident Evil is an excellent movie. The special effects are detailed and the makeup is spectacular. Attention has been paid to the suspense in order to bring fear to the spectator. First, a zombie walking with a broken foot, scraping is axe on the floor. Also, a zombie floating in the water behind a window in front of which the characters are talking, ready to attack at any moment. Finally, a trapped room that prefers giving false hope to its victims before killing them and all of this under controlled lighting.
It is neither Jill Valentine nor Claire Redfield that is brought to life by Milla Jovovich but we might be mislead to believe so. Her amnesic character is underdeveloped concerning everything other than why she is in this state. She brings reality to the film and does a good job incarnating her character. She utilizes martial arts but not excessively: something that I feel is lacking in the invader sub-genre.