MOVIE ZONE Let’s start from the finish: The Resident Evil movies tend to end with the survivor’s back against the wall, tons of enemies crowding in from every angle, and ace symbolic music. That alone is enough for a certain amount of points from ten, for memorability. The music creeps in like Lucifer’s talons on the icy keys of a piano made from frozen tears. I think it started off on an Alice Cooper CD.
For once I can tolerate hundreds of gunshots and cars being flipped Michael Bay-style because this is a franchise of merit with something going for it on a philosophical level. Raccoon City and The Hive and The Umbrella Corporation have an iconic historical feel by now. Milla Jovovich is for this what Sigourney Weaver is for the Alien series. And that ladies and gents is all that’s required for a franchise to stay true to itself—have the same star simply show up for the next one. The instant you get a different person in, the whole thing goes Pete Tong.
Usually, generic Matrix-like fight scenes are embarrassing, but when it’s rubber-clad Milla in computer-generated environments then they're drop-jaw impressive. The punch and pomp and panache are popping off the screen. There were too many flying bullets, far too many, even for a series you have a fondness for, and like usual the first one is always the best. After one or two forgettable ones though, number 5 (is this really the fifth one?) is back on the up.
It’s so macho at times, like many other flicks out there, that it might seem laughable. But Scarlet or Kate or Charlize couldn’t pull this off, and what it does well, it does like nothing else does. Probably because this is a computer game movie, like Silent Hill. They have something about them. Visually stunning.