The following is my impression of how the movie compares as a translation of the game.

As the credits started to roll, I sat in my seat thinking,"Damn, I'm very happy with this movie."

Perhaps I wasn't really expecting much out of it. My initial impressions after seeing the trailer and hearing a few online rumours was that it seemed closer to PARASITE EVE than RESIDENT EVIL. All I was hoping for was that it would be better than the last few really crappy video-game movies, like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and *groan* Super Mario Bros. Those took the original premise of the game, flushed it down the toilet and made some how-the-heck-do-they-come-up-with-junk-like-that pieces of trash that disappointed fans of the game. OK, so MK wasn't THAT bad, but it wasn't that great either.

RE doesn't follow the exact storyline of the game. Jill, Claire, Chris and Leon are nowhere in sight, having been replaced by Milla's character. I do not recall her ever being named in the film, but official reports call her Alice. What is nice is that the premise of the game is still intact. The rumours about the super computer gone beserk plot are true, but they've tied it neatly with the contamination of the T-virus. The new story works, and works well, albeit it may be more like an "Elseworlds" story rather than being part of the game's continuity (Then again, you never know).


The shock value of the film. Lots of small, red-herring shockers as well as implied and explicit violence. One of the most memorable scenes has got to be the one where the Ops members (STARS?) get slaugtered by the Red Queen's laser. Best scenes go to the medic's head sliding off her neck, and the way the commander gets grid-cut into human chunks. That was innovative and sick.

The incorporation of so many game elements. Nice to see Cerebus (they HAD to use him!! very well done!), the Licker, the Japanese title BIOHAZARD used in the Red Queen's scans...many of the lab sets look right out of an RE or Dino Crisis game, and even the house Milla wakes up in looks vaguely like the one in the first RE game, or at least inspired by it.

Milla naked. :-)

The set-up for a possible sequel, with the mention of the Nemesis Project, and the final shot of Milla holding a shotgun in the midst of a chaotic Racoon City. If they had named her "Jill" and given her a blue top and a black miniskirt for that scene I'd have screamed. The sequel has been confirmed, and I can't wait. More info here: Resident Evil 2: Nemesis

The CG map. A good idea that was well made use of. It not only allowed the audience to grasp what was happening where, but it reminded me of the 2D floormaps that RE games have.

The music. They say the best music for a film is when you don't remember it, but feel its effects through an emotional roller coaster. The score fit the film perfectly, blending pulse-pounding beats with alternative rock. I believe Marilyn Manson has a hand in the composition. How fitting! I'm surprised he didn't have a cameo.



The Zombies. They aren't scary. True, the ones in the game aren't particularly scary either. What's great is that the movie picked up what MADE them scary in the games: the way you don't know when they'll show up, or if they'll get up again after you knock them down. The film captured this very well, but it was rather pathetic to see how they cut costs on make-up. The initial shots of the zombies were VERY good; the half-faced zombie was exactly what I wanted to see more of. unfortunately it's obvious that they had to save CGI money to do other more important shots like the Cerebus shots and the Licker. That meant that most of the zombies ending up looking like bad Halloween trick-or-treaters. It might be explainable that these people haven't been dead for that long, so they shouldn't be that disfigured, but it's just less fun to watch that way. It's hard to make a scary undead movie nowadays, since we've all been desensitized to pale flesh and glassy eyes, so give us a bit more gore. Also, a zombie cop would be nice to see. Maybe in the next film. 

The Lickers. They were a great addition to the film, but under-developed. I liked the concept of them being able to mutate after eating human DNA, but it could have gone further. Again, maybe it's costs, but it would have been nice to see one mutate into a boss kinda character for the final scene, like maybe combining with that traitor guy to become Tyrant. The movie broke away from the generic template of having the protagonist face one final badass, like Weaver does in Aliens, and focuses more on escape rather than annihilation. Perhaps it's to leave space for RE2. Regardless, fighting a big Licker isn't exactly a really awesome thing to do.

The weapons in the drawer. I just kept thinking about it. I thought it would be game-like; that Milla would seek out the code and return to them for a fight scene. Alas, they were left in that drawer and stayed that way.

Milla's little red dress. Alright, so she isn't Jill or Claire, so she gets a new outfit. Fine and good. But even within the context of the film it doesn't make sense. She wears it just because it's laid out nicely on the bed. For what purpose? Was she going to dinner? It looks Beverly Hills chic, which doesn't seem to have a part in this movie. They could have come up with something a little more practical. And one more thing, how come she's the most scantily dressed of the lot yet survives the zombies without a single bite or scratch? you'd think that with all the exposed flesh the zombies would go after her first.

Characterization. Not much is made of the characters, apart from the fake cop. Names weren't dropped often, apart from Rain's, and we hardly know anything of the protagonists. Why was Milla after the Umbrella Corporation? Again, perhaps it opens room for development in a sequel. Not that it matters; the game characters themselves, apart from Claire, have little exposition about them prior to the storyline of the game.

My Newspaper ad. It really screwed up the show. One thing I liked about RE's movie posters is that they don't give you any hints on what to expect in the film. Which I applaud, because long have I been irked by teasers and trailers which go to all lengths to show you all their fantastic CGI so that hardly anything's a surprise in the movie. In RE you go in not knowing what to expect, except zombies and Milla. Unfortunately my stupid newspaper decided to be smart about it, and placed a composite shot of parts of the movie onto their ads, included a picture of Rain as a zombie. Great way to give away the end guys.


Overall, this has got to be one of the better films I have seen this year. Supposedly great suspense films like The Others don't hold a candle to Resident Evil. The direction and visuals it provides is just such a fresh and daring approach that you have to applaud it. It's probably the ONLY film I have seen in years where I heard girls in the audience whimpering during the violent sequences. Gotta love it when that happens.