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Parents' Guide to

Resident Evil

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

An ultra-gory video game-to-movie disappointment.

Movie R 2002 100 minutes
Resident Evil Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 13+

Implied sex/nudity flag for eyes & ears under 13yo.

As for this specific property, don’t expect much…because there’s not much of anything to this film, period. Resident Evil is generally considered a horror property, but this is no horror film. The bulk it’s production complexity is in the way the team managed to deliver two scenes of female nudity without showing any body parts. Namely, shortly after the opening sequence in Alice intro 1, and at the end, after the fade-out: Alice intro 2, when they set up the sequel. *The early CGI is shockingly bad, even for the early 2000’s. (Silver-lining for parents: comical CG fail renders the gore moot to minimal, even by today’s standards. It’s mostly implied, and when they attempt to show people rotting, eaten, killed, sliced into pieces, etc, it is so poorly rendered it is less convincing than you’d expect, and certainly not horrifying, unless you spent money to see it.) There is no character development, and the script is baffling, (especially in comparison to OG source material—which is saying something). The only semblances are the zombies, monsters, a virus, and names “Umbrella” and “Raccoon City”. Everything else is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . *Sexual content* Two separate “flashback” sequences each depict a naked man & woman rolling around on top of each other in a bed. The flashing sequence combined with audible moans from the woman, imply intercourse. However, no mechanics of intercourse are depicted and no genitals are shown. *Nudity* The two intro shots of “Alice”, the female lead, are non-sexual nudity. A strange concept to some. She is shown as close to fully nude as possible. The camera even pans around her giving the viewer the feeling that they’re going to eventually get a good look—but they end without showing body parts. Second intro is at the end of the film, after a fade-out. In both shots, Alice is in a “waking up confused” situation, taking the nudity out of sexual context. However, the scenes are easily flag-worthy if you’re watching with a child or other person with whom the memory of a survey of female anatomy might linger. I don’t tend to see the female form as inherently sexual, but anyone who might will likely find these to be playboy level depictions of the actress, for no reason whatsoever except bait. They fit the concept of “Born Sexy Yesterday” like a glove. The single redeeming element I can even begin to put a finger on regarding this film is the A.I. character. The characterization of entity is lite, but she is given more substance than any other character in the film. I saw this in theater back in 2002, and cannot major regrets. However, after giving it a second viewing twenty years later, I am comfortable declaring it worethless. If source material and other adaptations didn’t exist, I would call it a “B movie”. This is an instance of snagging massive branding power for a failed attempt to compete with The Matrix…which isn’t even in the horror genre. Sadly, a quality RE film would’ve eventually been huge, had they only waited, crafted a story resembling the source material, and scripted/shot it as a horror film.
age 15+

Mediocre Adaptation of a great Video Game Franchise

As a big fan of the games this film is based off of, it was very disappointing. I'm 99% sure that the director of this film, Paul Anderson (yes I am gonna ignore the W.S. in his name) never played any of the games. Like, this film was released in 2002. By this time there were multiple games and books to at least inspire this film, but the only monsters they take from the franchise are generic zombies and badly animated CGI "lickers", in quotes because in this film the main kicker looks like absolute garbage. Also, Alice (Milla Jojovich) is the most bland, OP action movie protagonist of all time, which is a shame. Okay, enough fanboy whining. This movie is surprisingly tame in regards to violence, like a strong PG-13. There's a scene where Milla Jojovich awakes with amnesia in a shower, and you can see some side nipple. A very brief 2 second flashback where Alice is having sex with a man (no actual nudity seen, but bare backs and such). *SPOILER WARNING* In the end, Alice is half naked with just a white cloth covering her down to the thighs. If you slow down and pause the film at around 1:30:57 you can see some of Alice's..... crotchal re-- okay, I'll be blunt, you see her vagina. You have to look hard to see it though. Ah, I remember me and my friend would slow the footage down to see it back in the early 2000's. Infrequent swearing, maybe 4-5 F bombs. Overall, generic popcorn flick. 2/10.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (34 ):

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.

Movie Details

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