A roommate once watched “Resident Evil” and rebuffed my teasing by saying it was surprisingly good. Or rather, surprisingly, not bad. For a video game movie and a zombie flick that was more concerned with conspiracies than zombies, yeah, it struck a pretty good tone from the films. I watched it myself, and concurred.
Unfortunately for my girlfriend at the time, it led me to drag her into “Resident Evil Apocalypse,” a mish-mash of apathy that went through more cuts than an emo video on MTV. I read that Milla Jovovich went through an insane amount of martial arts training for that film, hours every day for months. And it shows. She executes some wonderful moves throughout that you simply cannot see because every .02 seconds, the camera’s POV jumps worse than a Taco Bell commercial.
The plot itself was ridiculous for too many reasons to list years later. The one intelligent character, the only one acting like a competent adult, was basically ordered to her death by one of the supposed heroes. That was pretty much the point the film decided to lick my eye with sandpaper.
You might say I deserved what I got, after all, it’s a sequel, a video game adaptation, and a zombie flick. What’s the point if not mindless violence?
Oh, but I disagree. As mentioned, I LIKE mindless entertainment sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with it. The problem is too many purveyors of such material mistake mindless with stupid, and they think either one entitles THEM to be mindless. When “Jackass” is stupid, it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, and those guys put a lot of work and pain into their idiotic stunts and pranks. It takes commitment to pound one’s body like that. When your multi-multi-multi-million dollar film does it, you’ve skimped on the two parts of the film that ought to work regardless of your budget: writing and acting.
So what’s the one good part? Milla Jovovich. She’s a whirlwind of seething death amid some of the most horrendous material ever. Just like in “Ultra-Violet.” And she’s the one element of “Dummy” that won’t put you to sleep. Every movie she’s in is awful except, what, “The Fifth Element”? I have yet to see her do a bad job amid half a dozen terrible movies.
And that is why I will be seeing “The Fourth Kind” on DVD.