Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)


Yes, the sequel to the successful Resident Evil has finally been released, and although it had its fare share of problems, it still manages to be highly entertaining. This time 'round Paul W.S. Anderson passes the director's camera to first-timer Alexander Witt, who previously served as director-of-photographer for various big-budget flicks over the years including Pirates of the Caribbean and Gladiator. So is this a good thing? Yes and no. There are some moments where I felt the directing could have been better, like for instance the annoying slow-motion shaky-cam technique that was used when a number of zombies would walk from an alley or what-not. The first time is okay, but a second time is going a little too far, especially with the length of time we had to view it. I know I would have gotten a headache if I starred at those shots for another 15 seconds.

So let’s get to the plot; the story takes place immediately after the events of the first movie, where the dumbass scientist guys decide to reopen "the hive" to see what possibly caused the shutdown. Of course this gives all the trapped zombies an opportunity to escape and it doesn't take long before the whole city goes under a state of emergency. We then follow where Alice wakes up from her chair (the scene at the end of the film) to discover the city (or what's left of it) has been plagued with the zombies from the hive, leaving the streets empty and the buildings in ruins. We are then introduced to various other characters that we follow throughout the movie -- Jill Valentine as a the tough no-questions-asked cop; Carlos Olivera as a member of an elite special forces group along-side his Russian buddy Nicholai Sokolov; L.J. played by comedian Mike Epps to offer the film it's comic relief.

We are also later introduced to the little girl that was modeled as the "Red Queen" from the first movie. She was met with an unfortunate accident that left her alone in the zombie-plagued city. This leads Dr. Ashford (creator of the hive) to seek aid from the remaining survivors in the city to find her. Apparently the "big wigs" behind it all plan to nuke the city in order to stop the virus from spreading, so the good Doctor promises a free helicopter ride out of the city before the bomb drops, only of course, if they find his daughter. This is pretty much how all the lead characters we were following in the beginning of the film meet.

Oh did I leave out someone? Ah yes, Nemesis -- probably the coolest and most important character (aside from Alice) in my opinion. When we are first introduced to Nemesis you know this guy is gonna do some damage. Once I heard him utter the words "S.T.A.R.S." I immediately flashed back to me playing the Playstation game and running like a bitch through the hallways, hoping he wasn't behind me. The look of Nemesis stayed pretty true to the game. I was worried that they'd change his look, but all they did was add a rapid-fire machine gun, and kept everything else the same. He even brandishes his notorious rocket launcher.

This movie, like any big-budget action-oriented flick, has its ups and downs. It is very entertaining, but due to needing to follow various characters later on in the film, I felt we were introduced to too many characters in the beginning. We'd go from one character to the other, which I supposed was necessary for the plot, but I think it could have been done a little differently. I also didn't like how they made Jill Valentine such a badass-type character. It was just too over-the-top and felt actress Sienna Guillory was trying too hard for the character. I did, however, like how they used Jill's original costume in the game, although it obviously wouldn't be the thing to wear when you go out to fight the undead. The biggest problem I had with the movie had to be the ending. For those of you who have seen it understand what I mean. I thought it was a little half-assed and it seemed like they gave the viewers too much to think about -- the events just seemed jumbled together.

Now let’s go on to the good -- there's a lot of good zombie action, although there wasn't much for gore, which is rare for a zombie flick. I guess director Alexander Witt didn't wanna get too far into the stereotypes. Bah! I also liked the cool ass-kicking the group (especially Alice) did in the graveyard scene. Not since Dead Alive and Versus had I seen martial arts used to take down zombies. Speaking of Alice, I also thought it was an interesting twist that they enhanced Alice's abilities by making her stronger and faster; a better killing machine; Interesting touch.

So obviously the good outweighs the bad since I gave the movie an 7-rating. Although I did like it, I still think the original was a little better. Either way, this was still a very entertaining movie. There was talks of another sequel even before this movie was released, so it's no surprise to me that original writer/director/producer Paul W.S. Anderson is already discussing possible plans to end the series as trilogy. You can read more on that here.

A highly enjoyable zombie-action ride. Has some plot-holes and other imperfections, but if you don't pay too much attention to the little things and just sit back and relax, then you might find yourself enjoying it like I did.
A highly enjoyable zombie-action ride. Has some plot-holes and other imperfections, but if you don't pay too much attention to the little things and just sit back and relax, then you might find yourself enjoying it like I did.