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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.53%
Worth A Look: 15.53%
Just Average: 9.71%
Pretty Crappy: 25.24%

6 reviews, 67 user ratings

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Resident Evil: Apocalypse
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Aims low and misses."
1 stars

Look: I am far from a cinema snob. I seem to recall saying nice things about 'Jason X,' 'Anchorman,' and other appeals to the base corners of our nature. And I know when to scale down expectations, such as when approaching a horror film based on a video game.

The first Resident Evil film (2002), which I recently caught up with on DVD, was dumb as a box of hair but a serviceable Saturday-night beer-and-pizza flick. It certainly didn't hold a candle to the zombie films of George Romero (who was once slated to direct it), but it moved well enough, and in Milla Jovovich it had a heroine not unpleasant to regard. Resident Evil made money, so now we have Resident Evil: Apocalypse, which doesn't even hold a candle to Resident Evil. George Romero could direct a birthday-party home video scarier than this.

Not that I expected groundbreaking horror. You go to a Resident Evil flick for the action -- specifically, Milla Jovovich vs. zombies. Problem number one: Milla doesn't really get into the game until halfway into the proceedings. For the first half, we're following a motley crew of survivors who've been locked into Raccoon City with hundreds of zombies -- two super-special cops (Raz Adoti and the comely nonactress Sienna Guillory, who plays video game holdover Jill Valentine), a comic-relief black guy (Mike Epps), and a whiny TV reporter (Sandrine Holt). Presumably other humans are kicking around the quarantined city, too, but they must be hiding really well.

Just when things are looking bleak for our four default heroes inside a church -- which has become a haven for three vicious mutants with tongues long enough to make Gene Simmons insecure -- in rides Milla, on a motorcycle, through a stained-glass window. She dispatches one of the mutants, I think, by entangling it in the flying motorcycle and shooting at the gas tank. Which brings us to problem number two: You can never be quite sure what's going on. In The Five Obstructions, filmmaker Lars von Trier challenges his mentor to remake a short film in a variety of ways, including one variation in which each shot is only half a second long. RE:A's director Alexander Witt (a former second-unit director) and his trigger-happy editors must've taken their inspiration from that challenge.

So the action -- what we're there for -- is incomprehensible, and the story -- what we're not there for -- even more so. At least the first Resident Evil took a minimalist video game structure, with its characters proceeding through identifiable levels. Here, the overdue plot motor kicks in when a brainiac (Jared Harris) offers Milla and the gang a way out of Raccoon City in exchange for rescuing his daughter. They're on a timetable, too, because the city is due to be nuked by government/military/corporate powers (in this film there's hardly a difference) at sunrise. So we enter the Escape from New York level of the game, complete with a towering nemesis, appropriately named Project Nemesis, who looks like a cross between Swamp Thing and Eddie, the crazed critter on all those Iron Maiden album covers.

Milla faces off against Swamp Eddie on orders from the bad guys, with the editors working overtime to convince you that a 115-pound former model can wipe the floor with a genetically-engineered hulk. (We've just seen her take out a dozen armed guards, but she apparently can't take out the four or so guards forcing her to fight Swamp Eddie.) The zombie dogs from the first film return briefly, in a pathetic swipe from Jurassic Park's raptors-in-the-kitchen scene. The brainiac's little girl may or may not be the human prototype for the taunting holographic girl in the first movie; the sequel never stops to tell us.

At least Resident Evil paired Milla with Michelle Rodriguez, who brought her sullen Latina brio to the party. This film brings in Jill Valentine, apparently quite a popular character among fans of the game, and though Sienna Guillory looks just like her, it would've been nice if the filmmakers had eschewed physical similarity in favor of an actress who can act (not to mention one who's even faintly plausible as a tough cop).

This is also one of those movies that don't care about the millions of lives lost in Raccoon City as long as our heroes get out unscathed and ensure yet another sequel. And, yes, the ending leaves things wide open for a 'Resident Evil: Post-Apocalypse,' or whatever they wind up calling it.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10710&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/03/07 22:14:29
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User Comments

1/21/12 Velociraptor Great Movie 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles A step back from the first 2 stars
10/15/07 beau ps2 games of this are way better!!!!!!! but i like milla jovovich in this!!! 2 stars
9/23/07 Nicholas Maday I love Milla, but this was pretty bad. Better than Ultraviolet, but still pretty bad. 2 stars
1/06/07 Stephen Besides the monsters it strays too far away from the game, and thats why i think it sucks 2 stars
6/15/06 Michele ok 3 stars
6/04/06 mary great 5 stars
5/01/06 Jack A terrific sequel 5 stars
3/01/06 Steven Lewis total crap compared to the first film. 1 stars
12/06/05 Steve Newman What a load of Tosh 2 stars
10/25/05 chris fox (the god) good 4 stars
10/23/05 Raul Valdez A good sequal. 5 stars
10/18/05 Eden And i thought the first one was bad 1 stars
10/10/05 Wisamane Wow the plot suckkss! HAHAHAH what a stupid movie, The ZOMBIE WAS HER BOY FRIEND HAHAHAH!!! 1 stars
10/10/05 Indrid Cold I didn't turn it off. Yes, that's the best compliment I can give to it. 2 stars
9/07/05 Tom Burns I love this movie. A superb sequel. 5 stars
9/03/05 Eden Why was this made? 1 stars
8/25/05 Termite Slighty better than the original, but that's not saying much, now, is it? 3 stars
8/22/05 Sofa King A video game zombie movie for the learning disabled! w00t! IT SUCKED! 1 stars
8/18/05 ES So many impossible stunts (ie church window jump on motor cycle) and bad acting make crap 1 stars
7/24/05 Jake Fun to watch, wouldn't ever care to see again 3 stars
7/17/05 Brandy Harrington Rancid shit! Why do you people like this trash? 1 stars
6/25/05 DennyRoss All I hear are generalizations and beefs about the director. I loved this flick!!! 5 stars
6/10/05 Manu Ginobli Garbage. 1 stars
6/09/05 Indrid Cold Barely watchable 90 minute-long music video. 2 stars
4/30/05 Jim Hot chicks in miniskirts kick zombie ass 4 stars
4/11/05 Morten I liked it. And to all the people posting anon, grow a spine :p 4 stars
4/02/05 fhf one of the shittiest movies, ever. 1 stars
3/11/05 ELI driest zombie ever made. WHERE'S MY BLOOD??? acting was funny too 2 stars
2/22/05 lol This movie was absolute shit, a disgrace to the games. 1 stars
2/15/05 Rock-steady goddamn she has huge nipples(i'd still fuck her) 3 stars
2/11/05 J Cool sort of, but a horrible adaptation to the game RE3 3 stars
2/11/05 Bobby da Squid An unoriginal yawnfest 2 stars
2/01/05 tatum Cheaper than the original, and really clicheed 1 stars
1/04/05 Joe England Say what you will, at least the first one wasn't riddled with COUNTLESS plot holes. 2 stars
12/25/04 Phil Brosgol A clunky, boring, steaming pile of excrement, seasoned with paper-thin characters. 1 stars
12/16/04 Etheridge Hoogendijk This gets bad ratings; SHAUN OF THE DEAD mostly awesome. But I could hardly tell them apart 3 stars
11/16/04 Gooey 2wice the shit 1 stars
11/04/04 Duncan if i was angry as tyson and stupid as homer,i would love it 1 stars
11/01/04 Deviant better than the first, inspired me to buy 3 of the games the next day 4 stars
10/20/04 Naka Nope! 1 stars
10/17/04 Samuel It was decent, nothing special. 3 stars
10/13/04 Pial PEOPLE FOR GODSAKES it's a video game to movie franchise what do you expect a oscar winner? 5 stars
10/08/04 Geo I Hate you P. W Anderson! 3 stars
10/01/04 Neo First one definitely better, this is a total failure 1 stars
9/30/04 Deuce Richter F u all in the pants! Its a decent movie 4 stars
9/26/04 Dreamless It's like THE GAME,you can't make a "braveheart" out of everything. 4 stars
9/26/04 Laurian Awesome Nemesis, great turn of events! First half was ok, second half of the movie ruled! 5 stars
9/24/04 joe lopez the best movie i have ever seen 5 stars
9/20/04 American Slasher Goddess Slightly better then the first one, but that's not saying awhole lot. 2 stars
9/19/04 Derek Horrible. The Nemesis's mutations arent shown and he doesnt kill anyone with his tentacles. 1 stars
9/16/04 Kyle Wellcome First ones better, but this one isnt that bad. 4 stars
9/15/04 Kris couldnt even throw me a twat shot 1 stars
9/14/04 CP0 Not bad, much better than Original. Good action and pretty much wraps up Summer. 3 stars
9/14/04 nick2k well...at least it was better than the 1st one. 2 stars
9/12/04 Matt Holland Mediocre. Period 2 stars
9/12/04 mr mason retarded but sooooooo awesome at the same time. Boneheadedness maximus! 4 stars
9/12/04 Vicious Ws anderson is most at fault for this, he must be destroyed to prevent further atrocities. 1 stars
9/11/04 y2mckay haha! Eric is a funny guy. But it's still worth a look for Milla's shot-glass sized nipples 4 stars
9/11/04 Gruff Well paced, no glaring holes, very athletic 4 stars
9/11/04 Ajax What a terrible, terrible movie. But Milla Jovovich is SO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL! 2 stars
9/11/04 Galadie trash, just like the first. 1 stars
9/11/04 Tyrantis Dude, WTF is up with the Nemisis/Alice kiss scene? As if I didn't hate Alice enough! 1 stars
9/10/04 KingNeutron The action sequences were too blurry to follow; but Milla was good. 3 stars
9/08/04 Ray AWFUL 1 stars
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  10-Sep-2004 (R)
  DVD: 17-Jan-2006



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