Resident Evil – Apocalypse picks up where the original left off,
in a city on the verge of zombie-based annihilation. It’s up to
Alice, played by Milla Jovovich, to guide and protect a cast of
quirky sub-characters through the teeming mass of undead.
Horror fans won’t be disappointed, there are plenty of classic
zombie moments – the shambling horde, the bulletproof nature of
zombies, the creepiness of cannibalistic corpses. This could be
seen as dedication to the genre, or as a lack of innovation. The
dedication to zombie movie traditions are so by-the-book that there
is little in the way of innovative terror.
What makes this sequel different is the element of action –
explosions, gunfights, and one particularly random motorcycle jump.
If Resident Evil were taken as an action movie, it could be
considered more successful. Certainly the more memorable and crowd
riling scenes seemed to belong in an action movie, instead of what
is generally considered a survival-horror genre. While this mesh of
action and horror is entertaining, it leaves the horror a little
high and dry. How can I be scared for her safety when the heroine’s
combat skills would make Rambo weep bitter tears of envy?
Thankfully, the nigh-invulnerable Alice is accompanied by a
nigh-delicious cast of extras. Some are very entertaining and earn
their time on screen, but there are several whose deaths are so
predictable you could set your watch by them. I mean honestly, who
says, “Let’s split up,” without knowing, somewhere deep inside,
that they will soon be literally split up?
The deaths can be predictable, but that doesn’t always stop them
from being scary. The special effects on the undead make them look
frightening without making them needlessly stomach churning. The
movie is enjoyable and well arranged visually, with the exception
of some fights near the end, when it looks like someone tried to
supercharge the action by jiggling the camera.
Goal number one of a horror movie is to be scary, and Resident
Evil most of the time manages this. Goal number one of an action
movie is to explode things, and there are pyrotechnics aplenty. It
avoids being painfully bad, and even manages to be rather
entertaining, which is better than expectations for what could have
easily been a B movie. Final verdict? It may be ahead of the pack,
but it’s still a zombie.
2.5 / 4
((I assume this number means “Not awful, but not wow.”))
Resident Evil – Apocalypse
Run time – 1 hour, 34 minutes