- Directed by Alexander Witt
- September 10, 2004 (US) / September 23, 2004 (Germany) / October 6, 2004 (France)
Picking up at the end of the last film, we find Alice in Raccoon City which is quickly being overrun by the infected and now it is a race against time to escape the area before a nuclear bomb is dropped.
The action is much more over the top here in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. A good example is when Alice (Milla Jovovich) finally joins the action by crashing through a stained-glass window in a church where some of the new characters are hiding and wiping out several of the licker creatures. She pins one with a cross and blows up another by launching her motorcycle into it and then shooting the gas tank. Difficult to swallow in reality but fits right in with this film universe.
Alice has gone from being a very competent fighter to being a superhuman fighter. Apparently being infected with the T- virus has not turned her into a monster but rather into a superhuman fighting machine.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse introduces a new (to the movies) set of characters that Alice must team up with in order to save Angela Ashford (Sophie Vavasseur) who is the daughter of Dr. Charles Ashford (Jared Harris) who is the scientist behind the T virus and escape Raccoon City before it gets nuked by the Umbrella Corporation in order to cover up not only what they have done but also to eliminate the viral threat.
Alice’s new comrades are Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), L.J. Wade (Mike Epps), Sgt. Peyton Wells (Razaaq Adoti), and reporter Terri Morales (Sandrine Holt). Of this group near as I can tell only Valentine and Olivera originate from the games. The performances of Guillory and Holt are pretty wooden. This is usually a good indication that the character is among the first to die. I was a little surprised they lasted in the story as long as they did.
The Resident Evil films are zombie movies. There is no getting around it but near as I can tell they never called them “zombies”. Not once in this film at least. I appreciate that. I am not against using the word “zombie” in a zombie movie but I have seen some lesser films that have used that word like a baseball bat to drive home what’s going on.
These movies are pure fun. They are not meant to be serious movies. They are comfort food. Largely movies have forgotten how to do that. Everybody wants to be a critical darling and get a high Tomatometer score. So long as the audience loves you who cares what critics think? I understand the irony in that considering I am reviewing a movie which makes me a critic, but I try to approach these as someone who wants to just enjoy a movie and not as someone who is analyzing it. I hope that makes sense.
Sometimes having fun and just enjoying yourself is necessary in a movie experience. Entertain the audience. Give them a good adventure or a good action film. Make the characters entertaining and worth caring about. Everybody now wants to make their movies and do something more than what they actually are.
There are moments when this movie for some reason feels a little cheaper than the last film. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but it looks like there were abrupt cuts in budget. You might not notice this on your first or second viewing but if you watched it a few times like I have you will pick up on it. Anybody else notice it?
The dialogue is snappy and there are plenty of good one-liners. And unlike the last film they do not wipe everyone out in the end. The bulk of the heroes make it through. I don’t need everybody to survive but if you’re doing a film series then you can’t wipe all but one out at the end of each movie. People need to carry over into the next film. The next film is when you can wipe people out from the previous film.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a very good successor to the first. It’s not deep cinema but it is entertaining cinema. If you are looking for a brief bit of escapism this is a watch it!