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Continuing the story from the original, Resident Evil: Apocalypse again stars Milla Jovovich as Alice. After escaping the underground facility known as ‘The Hive’ in the first film, we now find a similar story unfolding above ground. Trapped in Raccoon City, which
has been overwhelmed by the undead, and sealed by the Umbrella Corporation to contain the epidemic and cover-up their involvement (sounding familiar yet?!). Alice finds herself and a few others with a rescue and escape mission. Alice is more kick-ass than ever (and the reason why becomes clear as the film moves on). She is joined by another hot, gun-toting chick in the form of Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), a S.T.A.R.S operative who is also trapped in the city. With these two gorgeous women flying about the screen, shooting everything in their path, most of the target audience (teenage boys) are already onside and loving it! Sadly though, to anyone else, it is almost like watching someone playing a shoot-em-up on their Play Station.
There are too many quick cuts - I’m pretty sure that the editing team popped out for a sandwich and left a toddler playing with a pair of scissors! The big fight (and I won’t say any more than that!) is spoiled because of it. Had it been filmed from a different angle using long shots, it could have really kicked ass, but instead it’s wasted. Writer Paul W.S Anderson passed over the director’s role to Alexander Witt this time, big mistake! The flow of the film was nowhere near as good as in the original Resident Evil and even the lighting was below par. Anderson didn’t get it all right either, the writing is unimaginative, with the exception of the obligatory wacky black guy, who is ever-present in such films, and who manages to inject some much needed humour, the dialogue is nothing special. We have the introduction of a mutated warrior by the name of Nemesis, the slow, unstoppable, Terminator type. This could have been an awesome addition but so much was lost in that editing booth!
The Zombies are intimidating purely because of their sheer numbers, but with Alice and Jill on the case, they are an easy kill. There is no real fear, unlike in the wonderful Romero Zombie movies, and what fear there is, is lost in translation, so the audience don’t ever really feel it. I love the character of L.J. played by Mike Epps who, as the comedy element, has the best lines of the film and kept me smiling. I thought that the cast in general did a satisfactory job with the material they had been given, which wasn‘t great. Resident Evil: Apocalypse is not a bad film; it has great elements of action and a good plot running in the background somewhere. We even manage to find out why the T-Virus was invented (and it isn’t as sinister as one might think).
Resident Evil: Apocalypse isn’t as good as the original, but on the plus side, it builds up the story nicely and leaves us wide open for a sequel. And I’m pretty sure the next one will be better…….
RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE (2004). Director: Alexander Witt. Writer: Paul W. S. Anderson. Cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Thomas Kretschmann, Sophie Vavasseur, Razaaq Adoti, Jared Harris, Mike Epps, Sandrine Holt, Mathew G. Taylor, Zack Ward, Ian Glen.
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