And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Resident Evil (2002)
September 24, 2010, 1:00 am
Filed under: Movies, Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

"I got cocaine...runnin' around my brain..."Someone really should write an informal study of the aesthetic dialectic between Japanese survival horror video games and early-twenty-first century American action movies written and directed by Paul Anderson.

Resident Evil was one of the first truly bad games of the PlayStation era, an inexplicably overrated hit that would’ve been a movie back in 1998…if the effort to get George Romero to write and direct it hadn’t miserably failed. “Differences over the script.” So what did they do? Hire the director of Mortal KombatEvent Horizon and Soldier.

With a filmography like that, Anderson really should go down as either one of the last truly Bad directors of twentieth century Hollywood, or one of the first of the twenty-first. Not just your garden variety hack, this one: I’m talking “Bad” in the Woodian sense of an artist whose ambitions far exceed his talents, resulting in muddled, half-crazy films that nevertheless bowl you over with their over-the-top ineptness. {More}



Event Horizon (1997)

"When the moon hits your eye like a big, black-hole generator..."Watch enough of these films and you begin to see man-shapes moving behind their curtains. After ninety minutes of alright-if-exceedingly-cheap Horror Movie you begin to notice odd things…besides the walking corpses. Characters appearing and disappearing with no real logic or explanation; the consistent jump-cutting away from gorier shots which, up until this point, the film’s been not-at-all-coy about; a half-assed, utterly pointless non-ending, because no one had the balls to do like The Blob did back in the day, and have their “The End” title card morph into a giant question mark. These are the signs of a film that’s Missing Something. About thirty minutes worth, as it turned out.

These are the scars of a bad test screening and mandated-from-above reedits, the kind honest directors live to regret in their old age. Paul Anderson is something else, and what else should we expect from the man who gave us Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil: They Picked Me After George Quit? {More}



Mortal Kombat (1995)

Plenty of critics dismiss the Mortal Kombat video game franchise as nothing more or less than gory, juvenile escapism. You know: crap. Plenty more go on to dismiss the very idea of a movie based on a video game. How can you blame them? Look at Street Fighter. Look at Double Dragon. Look at the anime version of Tekken if you can find the damn thing. Should I mention Super Mario Brothers? I could’ve brought that thing home and really given myself some ammunition for a good rant…but no. Instead, I’m gonna pick on this defenseless little excuse for a movie. Brainless monument to corporate synergy though it may be, Mortal Kombat has managed the strangest of hat tricks and become the high water mark in the perpetual kiddy-pool of video game based movies.

Which is amazing when you stop to consider it. Beat ‘um Up games like MK, by their very nature, are short on plot and long on action. A Character (you) is magically whisked from one flashy arena to the next and must hit an opponent until he/she stops moving. Repeat. In this respect, many reviews of this movie are correct: it is slavishly faithful to its source material in terms of both structure and style. Consequently, Mortal Kombat is light years away from being a good movie. Many of the things that made the video game so poplar are either truncated or forgotten in the haze of this (presumably) franchise-launching production. {More}