Resident Evil: Apocalypse Review

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a 2004 apocalyptic action horror film directed by Alexander Witt, starring Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Thomas Kretschmann, Jared Harris, and Mike Epps.  It is the second installment in the Resident Evil film series, based on the video game series Resident Evil, following Alice (Jovovich), who has escaped the underground Umbrella facility and must band with other survivors including Jill Valentine (Guillory) and escape Raccoon City alive.


Positives:

  • Good performances by the main and supporting cast
  • Interesting characters
  • Great soundtrack
  • Good use of practical and make-up effects
  • Good action sequences

Negatives:

  • Unoriginal story
  • Convenience ridden story
  • Useless, flat characters

Plot:  The story goes at a good pace, throwing audiences into the chaotic events of the T-virus’ rampage, while giving a bit of exposition into the events of the first film.  The people trying to survive the city was one thing, and Nemesis trying to kill the protagonists was another.  However, the film focusing on Umbrella trying to test Alice against Nemesis was just plain stupid and should’ve been utilized to build the other two plots.  (3 out of 5)

Characters: The film does feature some great characters.  Alice (Jovovich) is cool, she’s likable; stronger as a character.  Jill Valentine (Guillory) was totally kickass.  She does a great job of pulling off the tough guy act while also being able to be sexy. Guillory was perfectly cast as Jill, not only because of her looks but because of her performance.  L.J. (Epps) was likable, he brought a lot of great humor to the cast of characters.  Unfortunately, there are many characters who feel like complete waste, especially given their video game counterparts. Nicolai (Zack Ward) is one of those characters who comes off as really cool but does not get the screentime he deserves. Terri (Sandrine Holt) was another likable character that unfortunately got the boot way too early and in the most f***ed up way. Even the antagonist Cain (Kretschmann) is a flat character and he is the “antagonist”.  Also, the film does focus way too much on Alice, to the point that nearly all of the other characters are irrelevant.  (3 out of 5)

Cast:  Good performances by the main and supporting cast.  The main cast consist of Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Mike Epps, and Thomas Kretschmann.  Supporting cast includes Sophie Vavasseur, Sandrine Holt, Raz Adoti, and Jared Harris.

Visuals: Kudos to the make-up artist who did a great job of creating cool zombies.  The CGI effects are a step up from the previous film, specifically the Licker creatures which look more realistic and better designed.  The Nemesis design is both good and bad.  Good because the use of practical does make the creature look more realistic, but at the same time it does look fake and clumsy in many scenes.  A good balance of practical and CGI would’ve made the creature standout a bit better. The action is good although it definitely takes away from the more horror based elements. (3 out of 5)

Score:  The film does have a great soundtrack.  It not only emphasizes on the horror as well as the action.  (3 out of 5)

Writing: The script does focus way too much on the character of Alice.  This is unfortunate as it does push many of the other characters into the background.  The Licker scene in the church is an example as Jill, Payton (Razaaq Adoti), and Terri struggle against three Lickers when Alice shows up and kill them all in like thirty seconds.  It looked cool as hell but definitely made the three characters seem like pansies.


The Verdict: In the end, Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a decent film.  It does a great job of expanding the threat from the first film, but ultimately becomes a cliche at its climax.  The problems mainly lay with the many of the conveniences surrounding the story and many of the useless characters.  But despite this, the film does a good job of establishing some good performances, cool characters, nice visual effects, a good soundtrack, and cool action sequences.  Resident Evil: Apocalypse gets 3 out of 5.

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