A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In sci-fi thriller RESIDENT EVIL, a huge corporate conglomerate operates a mysterious underground research facility called The Hive. When something goes wrong with a devastating virus experiment, the governing computer system (think 2001's Hal the computer with the voice of Alice in Wonderland) shuts everything down, including killing off all the people. Two amnesiac security officers are brought down into The Hive by a team of commandos. And the rest of the movie consists of the group being confronted by various booby-traps and being chased by various mutants and zombies.
Is it any good?
The definitive comment about this movie was made by my friend, who walked out of the theater with me and said, "The computer game is more realistic than the movie." At least, I think that's what he said. My ears were still ringing from the highest decibel audio track I can remember. OK, no one was going in expecting insights about the human condition or Oscar-worthy performances in a movie based on a CD-ROM. All we hope for is some cool special effects and fight scenes. But even on that level, Resident Evil is a disappointment.
For the record, I can accept forgoing insight, characterization, and even dialogue in a movie like this. But it's not OK to forego stunning visuals, clever plot twists, and a sense of humor, and here Resident Evil falls short. What it does have is undead humans who look like rejects from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, mutant vampire Dobermans who look like they they've been turned inside out, some laser beams that slice into people in a really gross way, and, on the plus side, a literally kick-ass performance by Michelle Rodriguez.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how people should respond if they believe that their organization is doing something wrong and about the kinds of controls our society establishes to keep private organizations from getting out of control.
If you've played it, how does Resident Evil compare to the video game it was based on? What is similar and what is different? Does the violence have the same impact in the movie as it does in the game? What are some other movies based on video games?
- In theaters: March 22, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: December 17, 2002
- Cast: Eric Mabius, Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich
- Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: gross violence, language, and brief nudity
- Last updated: October 29, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love video games
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch