REVIEW: The Resident Evil franchise is as old as the hills. Well, not technically but you get the drift. Though Alice never actually appeared in a Resident Evil video game, Milla Jovovich pretty much became the face of the films over the years. Director Johannes Roberts’ latest reboot is perhaps the closest one could get to the source material compared to its predecessors. But is that enough?
The action-horror gets the eerie mood right. Through the course of a night, a bunch of daredevils must uncover what’s plaguing their dark and desolate Raccoon City. The place, once a flourishing hub of opportunities is reduced to being a creepy ghost town where people turn into flesh eating zombies. This follows the abrupt shutting down of pharmaceutical giant ‘Umbrella Corporation’. The company is involved in bioweaponry and genetic experimentation that triggers the mayhem. Can the protagonists make it through the night?
This adaptation is faithful to the games. And it delivers what it promises — unabashed guilty pleasure. You walk into the movie knowing exactly what to expect… a pulpy horror that sees a bunch of ugly zombies and creatures being slaughtered by gun wielding survivors. The set pieces are as creepy as they should be and the scares are perversely entertaining. It’s a perfect Halloween thriller with ample blood and gore, bikes, badass women and a backstory.
But there’s something amiss. What does feel a tad inconsistent is the film’s pacing and intent. The build-up is nicely done. Unhurried, it manages to transport you to a dark place. Think of Pripyat post Chernobyl. The houses, ghostly orphanage, toys, lonely nights and streets give you the heebie-jeebies. However, once the lead characters are introduced, the film turns into a B grade thriller with zero interest in maintaining a story. From arousing curiosity gradually, to jumping to feed us mindless action, the disconnect feels too obvious.
If you expect nothing more than a standard zombie movie with pulpy action, this one can qualify as entertaining. However, if you expect method to the madness, this one’s not for you.