Thursday, July 14, 2005

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

A Film Review

Copyright Dragan Antulov 2005

In 2002 Paul W. Anderson wrote and directed RESIDENT EVIL and thus proved that a video game could be adapted into successful film. Its success was sufficient enough to warrant a sequel, RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE, directed two years later by Alexander Witt.

The film begins almost exactly when the last ended - with Alice (played by Milla Jovovich), former security agent of Umbrella Corporation and the only survivor of the deadly T-virus outbreak in Corporation's secret underground laboratory, waking up and finding that the disease has spread to Raccoon City. Corporation evacuates its top officials and scientists, including Dr. Charles Ashford (played by Jared Harris) before having town sealed and leaving entire population to the mercy of virus that turns them into carnivorous zombies. A small group of survivors, which includes disgraced policewoman Jill Valentine (played by Sienna Guillory), is contacted by Ashford who promises that he will guide them to safety if they find his daughter Angie (played by Sophie Vavasseur). The group, which is joined by Alice, agrees but its soon becomes apparent that they would have to deal not only with zombies, but also with the fact that the zombie-infested town allowed Umbrella Corporation to test all kinds of nasty weapons on human targets.

RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE had bigger budget than the original and this reflected in more spectacular setting - entire futuristic city instead of isolated lab - as well as deadlier weapons, increased number of explosions as well as in the increased bodycount. But the Paul W.S. Anderson's approach to screenwriting remained the same, thus depriving the film of any originality in the plot or characters. Shallowness of the content is, on the other hand, somewhat compensated with the interesting production design and energetic direction by Alexander Witt. Just like in the original, Jovovich, this time teamed with Sienna Guillory, continues to prove her ability to play action heroines and two actresses make a formidable duo. Because of that RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE is watchable even in scenes when uninspired script gives some atrocious lines to Mike Epps' comic relief character. There are times when the film, just like the original, shows that it could be something more, especially in the scene when survivors take shelter in the church. This and other wasted opportunities aren't reason why RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE shouldn't get recommendation. But, most importantly, with high levels of graphic violence, plenty of foul language and occasional nudity, this film will satisfy the audience that likes that sort of entertainment.

RATING: 5/10 (++)


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