Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Guilty Pleasure Movies

Recently, I had a discussion (albeit a drunken one) over whether or not you should feel bad that you like a certain type of song. I argued that you shouldn’t and put forward several suggestions deemed worthy of being ashamed of. Most of my suggestions were pop music. I posited that you should never feel bad for liking whatever songs or bands you like. With music, everything is fair game.

With films though; yeah, you should feel bad if you like awful ones.

And I do.

My guilty pleasure film, or rather franchise, is Resident Evil and all its sequels. I’ve seen and enjoyed them all, even though deep down…actually not even that deep down, I know that they’re terrible. In fact, the second one (Apocalypse) is probably one of the worst films I’ve seen, and perhaps one of the worst films of all time, and films 3 and 4 (Afterlife and Extinction) are just about passable. Yet I love the series.

Here are some of the problems with the series:

- It’s not very scary, which you’d think would be a pre-requisite of a horror film.
- Most of the acting is…not great.
- Despite being an ongoing franchise there is no coherency between films, besides “ARGH! ZOMBIES!”
- There is nothing original in them at all.
- Every scare is telegraphed a mile away taking away any shock value.

I should point out at this juncture that I’m not a rabid fanboy of the Resident Evil game series; I’ve played them and liked them but, as you may have guessed, I don’t really care that the movies don’t follow the games at all, which is why it isn’t on my list of problems. In fact, I quite like that they’ve taken the basic premise of the series (the T-virus) and ran with it in a completely different way to the games. In the films, there are nods to the games, most notably by adding in the game series’ most memorable monsters, such as the lickers, the Nemesis and the Executioner, as well as having characters who have been in the games (Leon and Clare Kennedy, Jill Valentine) but these are just recognisable elements of the franchise as a whole and not really anything else, like George Lucas sticking Chewbacca in Sith even though it’s beyond pointless.

However, I can’t help but love them. Milla Jovovich is a fantastic action movie babe, and eminently watchable in each film, even though all she has to do is look good and shoot guns which to be fair she does with aplomb. The villains ham it up a lot, and are a lot of fun because of it, especially Afterlife’s Albert Wesker. The series always has awesome final shots (the standout being the end of the first film, which pulls back through an entire decimated cityscape). The action, for the most part, is really quite good, notably the shootout in the ruins of Las Vegas in Afterlife. There are some really cool little touches, the laser grid moment for instance in the first film. And in possibly the franchises greatest moment there’s a point in the first movie where the heroine, Alice, kicks a zombie dog in the face. It’s enjoyably batshit bonkers, and is the epitome of brainless cinema.

And I bloody love it for that.

But I feel so bloody bad for doing so.

In fact, I'm fairly certain that I have a copy of the first film in my collection. I've never seen any opf these films in the cinema, but you can bet that the second the forthcoming fifth film in the series comes out, I'll damn well wait for the DVD. I should feel ashamed.*

*(...but I don't)

Cheers, JC

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