Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Starring:
Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr
Directed By:
Paul W.S. Anderson
Grade
D-

I honestly thought that there was no way that the second movie based on the Resident Evil videogame series could possibly be worse than the first film. With all the fanservice and content pulled straight from the videogames, I figured that Apocalypse couldn't help but be better, because one of the things that I felt was missing in the first movie was a more direct tie to the games. Now that I have it, I can't help but wish for something else.

The story picks up right after the first film - Raccoon City is suffering from a massive breakout of virus-created zombies who all have a nasty habit of biting, and eventually infecting, other people. The evil Umbrella Corporation comes in and seals off the town, leaving the survivors, including the superhuman Alice (Jovovich), S.T.A.R.S. officer Jill Valentine (Guillory), Umbrella soldier Oliviera (Fehr) and the daughter of an Umbrella scientist, to fend for themselves.

I would go into real depth with the story if there was any real depth there to be found. Apparently, someone in a place of power at the studio listened when fans cried out that the Resident Evil movies should be more like the games. Here's a suggestion for those people... SHUT UP. Seriously. Have you people paid any attention to the Resident Evil games? If you actually sat down and watched all the story sequences, you'd be ashamed for wasting that much time. The story for the games rarely made much sense and was filled with plot holes and mediocre plot devices. By the time Resident Evil 4 came out, Capcom figured out that the story wasn't the game's strong point and just made it as small a part as possible.

Yeah, the movie drops tons of fan service. So much so that it pisses away any attempt at providing an interesting story or even some sequences that don't just reek for poor execution. Yeah, you'll get to see the lickers and the Nemesis and fans finally get to see Jill Valentine in her hugely impractical outfit onscreen. Lots of familiar names are dropped for the sake of the fans.

When it comes to special effects, I have to hope there wasn't a lot of money spent, because what we're given is piss-poor. The CG is obvious, the zombies are Thriller rejects and the main monster, the Nemesis, looks like someone bought a rubber mask from a Halloween store and slapped it on a bodybuilder. But, of course, everything looks and sounds like Resident Evil, so it must be all right [insert tons of sarcasm].

Resident Evil: Apocalypse ends up proving something I long ago stopped trying to convince myself otherwise: Milla Jovovich just can't act. I let things slide in The Fifth Element and The Messenger, but in this flick, it's just obvious that she just isn't that good. Or maybe it's just the poor direction as just about everyone is horrible, even my own fave, Oded Fehr (The Mummy).

I have to wonder how Anderson continues to get money to make these films. Does he go to the studios and say "At least I'm not Uwe Bowl (of House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark infamy)" and they throw tons of money at him? Either way, only people who have absolutely no taste in good cinema will enjoy this. You can reassure yourself that it's fanservice all you want, but it proves to be the worst kind of fanservice that points out all the bad points the source material suffers from.

- - Vane

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