"Resident Evil: Apocalypse"
Directed by Alexander Witt.
Written by Paul W.S. Anderson.
Starring Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr and Mike
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 9/13/04
I went Matinee on the first
"Resident Evil", but since I'm a
big fan of the video game series started on the Playstation many
years ago, I had to check out the new sequel. The story has
transitioned quite well between the first and second flicks,
reflecting a much better use of the video game's story arc...but,
something isn't quite right.
This time around, Alice (Milla Jovovich)
starts off right where the last film ended. She wakes up in a
hospital run by the Umbrella Corporation, some diabolical
biotechnology firm that seems to like running experiments featuring
zombies, fucked-up rabid dogs and a special experiment called
Nemesis, a superhuman soldier that is designed to be the ultimate
killing machine. Alice walks out of this hospital into Raccoon
City, which just happens to currently be overrun with...yep, more
freakin' zombies, so it's up to Alice and a member of the Raccoon
City Police Department, Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), to figure
out what's going on and get themselves out of Raccoontown before
shit gets all blow'd up.
With my buddy Chi (a man who knows a thing
or two about "all blow'd up"), we caught a Matinee tonight and while
it isn't dogshit, it isn't as good as this property should have
been. It's hard to know where to begin, but in "Resident Evil:
Apocalypse", at least there's the delivered promise of "non-stop
action violence", like it says in the ratings description.
People are constantly getting eaten by zombies, blown up, shot to
death or attacked by all manner of nasties. The first
"Resident Evil" had some action, but not nearly enough; thanks to
director Alexander Witt (second unit director on a number of flicks,
"Black Hawk Down"), at least the action scenes in
"Apocalypse" do some good
work. As any action/horror film should be these days, the
effects work is solid; kills are nasty, gunfire is loud, and the
special effects are mostly done quite nicely.
Jovovich does this character well enough;
however, I always thought after "The Fifth Element" she would do
more with her film career, especially being married at the time to
Luc Besson, director of the above Bruce Willis sci-fi flick and "The
Professional." But, it was not to be;
Joan of Arc flick) was doomed, and then she began to show up in
modeling work damn near everywhere. Sure, that's where she
started, but I thought she had real talent and would do something
with it. Nope! The rest of the cast is listless, but
they either fire weapons or get killed off with above-average flair
for a genre flick like this; Guillory is either the third or fourth
person I remember hearing would take this part (Mira Sorvino and
Natasha Henstridge were thrown into the mix for a while), but she
does a decent job as Valentine. For me, I noticed only because
I remember the games, and Guillory seems to play Valentine as a much
tougher hombre than I remember her in the games. It's also
never really explained why she starts off in this movie wearing just
a miniskirt and a tight top...but, I digress.
The problems with "Apocalypse" come with the
story once again; whatever made the story in the games so good comes
unraveled in the film adaptation. The sinister workings of
Umbrella are not dealt with very well, lots of times we get suspense
kills instead of story drama, and that ending takes about four tries
to get through, thanks to one little surprise after another.
Personally, watching Jovovich whoop dat ass for 90 minutes would
have been an excellent idea, so if you are going to gas the
screenplay at least give daddy some sweet kills!
Ahh, but it was not to be. For $6, Chi
and I weren't too upset. But, "Resident Evil: Apocalypse"
could have been so much more...
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard