Billy Summers: Latest ‘Resident Evil’ a lot of action
Director Paul W.S. Anderson (“Resident Evil” Movies, “Event Horizon,” “Death Race”) has added another chapter to his “Resident Evil” saga. As usual, it’s all about the Beauties.
Although there is some testosterone crawling around this movie, all the major players are attractive females. Let’s face it: The “Resident Evil” films are basically the 21st Century version of a cinematic “Girls with Guns” calendar.
Star Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil” movies, “Ultraviolet,” “The Fifth Element”) returns as Alice, hot superhero with the beautiful eyes. I swear I have been watching this girl act all my life; she HAS to be in her 60s.
Featured less than she deserves in this installment is Michelle Rodriguez (“Avatar,” “Lost,” “Girlfight”) returning as Rain Ecampo. I became of fan of this beauty as she kicked butt in James Cameron’s 3-D masterpiece, “Avatar.”
In any other action flick, the red-hot blonde, Sienna Gillory (“Resident Evil” movies, “Gunless,” “The Time Machine”) would jump to center stage, but, here, as villainess Jill Valentine, she is pretty much background eye candy until the battleground finale, where she stands out.
The newest sweet in the candy jar is Bingbing Li (“1911,” “Showtime,” “The Forbidden Kingdom”) as assassin Ada Wong, who runs around in a formfitting oriental sarong that comes second only to Kate Capshaw in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” for its sexiness.
I don’t really know what her function is by being inserted in this movie — but, who cares? When you are at the beach and an extra bikini clad girl wants to play beach volleyball, do you really complain that it’s three against two?
As for the second-tier performers, Boris Kodjoe (“Undercovers,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” “Soul Food”) returns as Luther, a hunk of an action hero if there ever was one.
Another actor playing tough for the guy team is a personal favorite of mine, perpetual second banana Kevin Durand (“Robin Hood,” “Lost,” “Dark Angel”) being very personable (as always) as Barry the Mercenary. He stands out among the “Good Guy 1, 2, 3…” set, and almost steals each scene he is in.
Aside from all the chicks in rubber and leather fighting gear, this is just a giant video game, which is no surprise, considering it is based on an entire series of them. There is so much CGI special effects inserted in this movie, that I was surprised when the Powers That Be allowed the real Alice to be filmed practically nude in one scene.
As for the ugly part of this movie, it’s in the CGI sets. The players are carried through a video game style series of scenarios that resemble a virtual “Westworld,” reaching from Moscow to Washington, D.C., to a suburban setting right out of “The Stepford Wives.”
While I and most of my generation manages to not waste what’s left of our lives on video games, I can see the allure. This movie is a lot of fun, if not taken seriously, and could get to be habit forming, for those who don’t know how to “get a life.”
In any case, I enjoyed it for what it was, although I think the franchise is running a little thin and it would be nice to if Alice would find her way out of the Umbrella Corporation’s rabbit hole and stop the madness.
But, if the ending of this version is any indication, it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon…
Billy Summers is a freelance photographer who also reviews films for the Putnam Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.