starring Milla Jonovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crews and Colin Slamon
written and directed by Paul W.B. Anderson
You might remember Milla Jonovich from The Fifth Element, in which she co-starred with Bruce Willis. She was the red-haired “fifth element” who returns to the world every 5,000 years to save it. I know that she has made other films, but Biohazard is the first time I have seen her in a speaking role.
Biohazard is based on Capcom’s videogame “Resident Evil.” When you know this, the story makes more sense - a group of people trapped in a maze while fighting monsters in their effort to stay alive and to escape. For extra excitement, the maze in this film is underground - an underground bio-weapons research lab. (It reminded me of the underground laboratory in the film version of Michael Crichton’s book, The Andromeda Strain. Putting things underground is a popular way of hiding them as well as protecting the unsuspecting population from unspeakable horrors - like rotting bodies in their graves. Underground stuff is really scary because it represents things that we cannot see - the unknown and the unseen, which is precisely the same fear utilized in Steven Spielberg’ famous movie, Jaws. (The scare factor in Jaws resides more in fear of the unseen than it does in fear of sharks.
A global medical research corporation (in the future, I guess) has been conducting research for military applications and the employees at its facility know nothing about it. The employees only think that they are working for a very successful pharmaceuticals company. Then, when the biological agent leaks into the air the lab’s security system completely shuts down and seals off the lab from the outside environment. Then it kills all the people trapped inside - just as insurance to help prevent any contaminant escaping. A highly trained, crack demolition team is sent inside to deactivate the mastermind computer that is running out of control and protecting itself by protecting its lab with built-in security systems. These include booby-traps designed to identity, isolate, and exterminate any intruders - which is exactly the situation presented by the infiltration of a crack demolition team.
Inside, the demolition team discovers more than it was told. It discovers the real, secret research going on in the place - bio-chemical agents to re-animate the dead, like zombies. Because they are zombies they cannot be killed a second time, and are remarkably resistant to most injuries. This makes them ideal military tools, if they can be controlled, organized and driven with a purpose. In this way Biohazard is also like another horror movie, Night of the Living Dead. It is a contemporary high-tech zombie movie. I think zombie movies are becoming more popular.
It was okay for a couple hours of diversion at home. But I wouldn’t bother going to see this film in a movie theater. I think the premise was okay, but it could have been a lot scarier. I hope the film studio doesn’t make a series of it.