Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Resident Evil (But It's Not a Resident of This Blog)

I keep intending to say that I saw Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse last Friday because 1) I wanted a break from thinking; 2) I misremembered the date for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; 3) I had seen Resident Evil on TV earlier that week. My brief review:

Obviously, the RE movies are not going for prestige-piece awards, but for simple, straightforward video-game action. I think they both succeed very well in this. The chief flaw in the first movie was an occasional cheesiness to the special effects (I mean beyond the cheesiness one would expect from a non-horror zombie movie). RE2 avoids this, I think; however, it substitutes another flaw in its place. In RE Jovovich's character, Alice, does surprisingly little for an action heroine; in RE2 her action is the real center of the movie. But the actual scenes I found to be way too fast and chaotic: it was very difficult at times to tell what was going on. One reason slow motion special effects have become so popular in action movies is that they allow you to have, as far as the imaginative participation of the audience is concerned, extremely fast action sequences in which the audience can clearly see at every moment what is going on. RE2, surprisingly, never uses slo-mo for any major fight sequence. It would have been improved by a judicious use of slo-mo. Another weakness is that it's a bit talky for a cinematic video game. But other than that it's an enjoyable pause from anything serious. (If you're expecting any profundity from a movie based on a video game and called Resident Evil: Apocalypse, I'm not sure what to say to you.) The ending sets up for a sequel, and I've heard that it's in the works (condional on this one doing well). I'll go to see it, of course, although I expect the usual deterioration that comes with the Third Movie. As long as they keep showing Jovovich's eyes, I'm sure I can bear it.

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