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Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse /

Rated: R

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Mike Epps, Oded Fehr, Jared Harris

Directed by: Alexander Witt

Produced by: Paul W.S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Samuel Hadida, Bernd Eichinger, Don Carmody
Written by:
Paul W.S. Anderson
Distributor: Screen Gems


Milla Jovovich in Screen Gems' Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Sienna Guillory in Screen Gems' Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Thomas Kretschmann and Milla Jovovich in Screen Gems' Resident Evil: Apocalypse

     Mark my words: just because a so-called director strings together a few sketches, captured on film, that contain dialogue schemed by a so-called writer does not mean that he has made a movie. This is especially true when that man’s name is Alexander Witt and the supposed motion picture is Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse. I want to slap him in the face. Hard.

     Yes, some of the sketches in Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse are campy, fun, enjoyable. But that doesn’t mean that they amount to anything. The sense of disparity in the making of this film must’ve been extraordinary. Rarely does it resemble anything near coherent; I feel ashamed that I was actually anticipating its release, originally. 

     The concept of the first film in the series was promising, but it ultimately turned out being exactly like this second installment. But, it did have its fair share of great scenes, and I was admittedly excited to see if Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse could revive the series, holding onto the positive elements of its predecessor and tossing those that detracted from the final result.

     Unfortunately, Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse is even more nonsensical than the original, and has an embarrassingly simple plot, despite its numerous holes. The series was based off of a video game, and it shows. While I have not played the source material, I could easily see why it would be exhilarating. Killing zombies serves as good fun when one is in control, but it takes mastery for me to be elated by the subject, when pursued on film (think of the Dawn of the Dead remake).

     In the series’ opener, a group of people found themselves stranded in the Umbrella Corporation’s headquarters. There, a mysterious T-Virus was unleashed, turning many of them into zombies. Mila Jovovich’s Alice was among the bunch, and the only one to make it out alive. In Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the infected area is opened up, and the public, on the streets of Racoon City, is exposed to the virus. This time, thousands of people become zombies and, once again, Alice and a few other survivors must find their way out of the mess. Promised the last exit helicopter ride by Umbrella Corp.’s Dr. Ashford (Jared Harris) if they can rescue his trapped daughter, Angie (Sophie Vavasseur), and take her with them, the group scours her school’s grounds and battles off some really ugly creatures, in the process. Despite an abundance in action, nothing much else happens, throughout the entire ninety-three minute duration of Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

     There is a surprising, good-old-fashioned ending twist, but its ineffectiveness comes as more of a shock than whatever relevance it bears in the thin plot-line. But, I suppose anything that had me remotely engaged, in the film, I welcomed.

     Even though I was wrongly optimistic enough to express hopefulness towards Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse, I dread the thought of a third installment in the series. Even with all of the critical uproar generated as a result, Hollywood still, unfortunately, realizes that special effects and interjections make for a successful movie. This abominable failure makes me wish that, for once, success wasn’t measured with dollar signs in mind.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews (9.12.2004)

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