Resident Evil

Rated 3.0 Unlike last year’s bloated, yawn-inducing Tomb Raider, this video-game-to-celluloid adaptation has a clammy, nightmarish glaze and tightly coiled sense of tension. This science-fiction cannibal zombie adventure does not dislodge George Romero as czar of the Living Dead but does implant Paul Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon) as a possible franchise horror director. The story about genetics experimentation and corporations that think they are above the law offers a balanced blend of high-tech conspiracy and low-tech flesh munching. A crack commando squad has three hours to invade the Umbrella Corp.’s subterranean laboratory complex (known as The Hive) and neutralize a super-computer that has apparently run amok. The gruesome action borrows Cube’s slice and dice laser and The Matrix’s combat special effects while bloodied Dobermans from Hell and rotting humans chomp at the gorgeously stone-faced Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element), the ever-pouting Michelle Rodriguez (Girlfight) and their male entourage.