April 5, 2002

Braindead on Arrival

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Of all classic movie monsters, the zombie has not aged well. Though vampire movies come out multiple times a year and even the mummy is cool again, lumbering corpses have not had their moment in the sun since Night of the Living Dead. But now zombie fans can rejoice since Resident Evil has made the jump from popular video game to the big screen. While any gamer can appreciate the simple thrill of rending the undead in half with a shotgun, the movie version lacks any such element of fun or shock value. One character refers to a large collection of dead people when she says “poor bastards,” but she might as well be talking about the audience for this brain-dead exercise.

The plot follows typical video game logic, establishing the presence of a sinister, omnipotent corporation that has been secretly experimenting with a zombie serum. Of course, something goes wrong and the entire staff of the corporation’s underground facility ends up dead (but not for long). A rescue team is sent in to shut down an equally sinister, artificially-intelligent supercomputer, which provides unusually helpful information to the protagonists along their journey (