Due to a severe illness in our immediate family, we had to take an unexpected hiatus, but things are better now. In between hospital visits, we managed to watch ALL FOUR Resident Evil films. We’re actually currently on a quest to fill up the holes in our pop culture/geek knowledge. We watched Repo! The Genetic Opera and Superbad. Now we’ve covered all the Resident Evil films to date. Fight Club, Firefly (or anything by Joss Whedon, really), and The Big Lebowsky are all in the ever growing queue, just to give you an idea of how much catching up needs to be done here. But in the meantime, there’s Milla.
Milla Jovovich is amazing to me, personally – not that her acting is going to win her any Oscars, but she does get to act, in some pretty fun movies to boot, and she also sings, designs clothes, gets paid to wear clothes, and is a mom. That’s just cool. There’s some girl power for you here on International Women’s Day (OR MARDI GRAS TO THE REST OF US WHO STILL KNOW HOW TO HAVE FUN – sorry, the lack of Mardi Gras love here in SoCal was a pet peeve of mine today.)
Anyhow, there were lots and lots of zombies involved. As well as lots and lots of Milla’s in the fourth movie, which has what is now one of my favorite movie openings ever. The first movie was fun, even if it didn’t feature any major characters from the game. The general ideas were there, the mansion was cool, Michelle Rodriguez kicked ass (still love her from “Lost”), and it was a decent completely silly video game movie. If you never played the games, you probably won’t like it, so I’m going to forgive Ebert his awful review of this one.
I’ll also forgive his review of the second one, even if it was my favorite of the first three. The fact was, most of the awesome of RE: Apocalypse was in going “Oh, I totally remember that from the game! Squee! She’s wearing the right Jill outfit!”, which would totally be lost on someone who’s never played the game. As an added bonus, we recently played Dead Rising 2, and I’ll be damned if that game did not just totally steal half that movie, right down to the Asian newscaster. We came up with our own drinking game while watching the movie, which probably deserves a post on its own. A Southern accented good ole boy shooting zombies from behind a couple signs on top of a building? Take a shot. A kid infected with the zombie virus that has to get her antidote meds every few hours? Take a shot again. And so on, and so forth. (I’m really serious. If you’ve played Dead Rising 2, go watch RE: Apocalypse and you will totally see what we mean.)
On to number 3! RE: Extinction was my least favorite of all 4 movies. It was okay, and some of the action scenes were really cool – like when the crows attack or some of the massive zombie fights at the end, but the Mad Max feel just didn’t work for me. Also, I’m getting tired of movies (and games for that matter – I’m looking at you Fallout New Vegas), that have other cities like LA and Washington DC mostly intact post-apocalypse, but then Vegas is reduced to one tiny portion of the strip. Have these people been to Vegas? It’s HUGE. And surprisingly developed and urban (and suburban, for that matter.) It has MILES of streets and buildings, some of which rival the size of the strip. It’s a pet peeve, I know, but still, it takes me out of the movie. Especially since in RE: Afterlife, LA is practically untouched, other than the lack of people.
Now, RE: Afterlife, was awesome. The beginning was super cool, and while the story lagged at times, and made almost no sense in others (for some reason certain characters are still wearing the exact outfits they were wearing the day of the first zombie attack years later, and in perfect condition. Where is that Hollywood producer dry cleaning his suit in a prison? Seriously?) Anyhow, ignore some of the complete nonsense, the action sequences are wicked cool – especially the fight scene between Claire and the Executioner in the prison shower. And there was a huge amount of nods to Resident Evil 5, and we finally get Chris Redfield! Woo! If you have played RE5 (which was a fun game, even if the last hour or so basically sucked), you will totally understand what is up with the freaky Chthulu zombies and you might even be inspired to yell at Claire to shoot at the red barrel that is in the prison shower for no good reason to kill off the Executioner zombie, and you will be delighted with the fight scene with Wesker. If you have not played Resident Evil 5, well, this might just be the most confusing zombie movie of all time. The movies just don’t have the 30 or so hours to explain everything the games have. They do their best. I liked them. I understand why alot of critics wouldn’t though, and there’s not much else to say.
Now go eat some King Cake!