An act of sabotage releases a deadly virus (it kills you and turns you into a flesh-eatingzombie) inside the Hive, the underground R&D headquarters of the Umbrella Corporation.Descending into the Hive to find out what went wrong is a team of security operatives,accompanied by Mila Jovovich, who is a apparently another security operative, but is currentlysuffering from amnesia. It isn’t very long before the team is attacked by hordes of zombies, andtheir numbers dwindle alar…ingly. The race is on to escape before the Hive seals itself off,trapping them forever.
Based on the hit video game, Paul W.S. Anderson’s film kick-started the recent wave offlesh-eating zombie movies. Very little flesh is actually eaten (for the sake of an R rating), andthis is hardly the artistic zenith of the new batch (that laurel would go to either 28 DaysLater or Shaun of the Dead. Nor is this Anderson’s best film (which remainsEvent Horizon). However, Resident Evil stands up rather well to a secondviewing, and Anderson propels his story through solid action sequences pumped up with adriving score. Jovovich’s get-up may be a tad ridiculous, but she has a good steely-eyed glare,and makes a perfectly credible action heroine.
If you want DTS, go to the Superbit release. Here you’re limited to 5.1. This isn’t a badthing, as the audio is first-rate. I might have wished for a slightly stronger bass line, but theexperience of the music is still that of big, bad, menacing sound on all sides. Similarly, thesurround effects are enveloping and constant, going a long way toward giving the movie itseffectiveness.
What a fine picture we have here. The blacks are profound, but the contrasts are strong, sothe picture is never murky, no matter how dark things get. The image is always extremely sharp,and there is no grain or edge enhancement. The flesh tones are excellent, and the colours have afabulous steely quality. No surprise, really, given the attention lavished on the previous releases’transfers.
This release eliminates the making-of featurette (no loss), the Train video and the zombiemake-up test from the Special Edition. Other featurettes are kept, as is the chaotic commentaryby Anderson, co-producer Jeremy Bolt, Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez (the latter two takeover and keep things silly and loud). Considerably more technical and sedate (though withpauses) is the new, second commentary by Anderson and FX supervisor Richard Yuricich. Thereare now ten featurettes, with self-explanatory titles: “Playing Dead: Resident Evil from Gameto Screen,” “Scoring Resident Evil,” “Storyboarding Resident Evil,” “Costumes,” “Set Design,”“The Creature,” “The Elevator,” “The Laser,” “Zombie Dogs,” and “Zombies.” These aren’t badat all, and are much better than the usual making-of featurette. The alternate ending (verydifferent, and not quite completed) is provided, along with intro and wrap-up by Anderson. Thereare filmographies of the cast and crew, the laboratory scene from Resident Evil:Apocalypse, and a handful of related trailers. The menu’s main screen is fully animated andscored.
Double-dipping may be shameless, but this is triple-dipping. Nonetheless, the package is apretty satisfying mix of bombastic horror/action with a lovely transfer and plenty of extras.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries
- Alternate Ending
- “Playing Dead: Resident Evil from Game to Screen”
- “Scoring Resident Evil”
- “Storyboarding Resident Evil”
- “Set Design”
- “The Creature”
- “The Elevator”
- “The Laser”
- “Zombie Dogs”