Though the trend of what most critics refer to as “video game movies” produces a lot of garbage, that is, films with minimal storylines on painfully low budgets, Resident Evil once again raised the bar in both that genre and the often-ridiculed “zombie film” genre as well with the introduction of this film in September of 2004.
It has become the target of incredible amounts of harsh and seemingly unfounded criticism though, especially in the light of the fact that it achieved the highest amount of box-office sales among films in theater at that time and managed to hold that position through the week. It has been called everything from “an utterly meaningless waste of time”, to “Resident Evil: Atrocity” by numerous “professional” reviewers.
In the opinion of this reviewer, however, they’ve overlooked that fact that in its own right, Apocalypse is a great film that caters to a generation hungry for “fan service,” not stuffy, moral-ridden storylines that do little more than make father proud and mother cry.
In all honesty, Resident Evil: Apocalypse was a far better film than I expected to see. After watching the first movie, the idea of a sequel seemed almost nauseating, as the second installment in a series is, seemingly by default, worse. Luckily, as in the case of Aliens, Terminator 2, and Shrek 2, there are exceptions to this rule and Apocalypse is most definitely one of those. The storyline is innovative, the soundtrack is all that could be asked for, and even perhaps more.
The cinematography is both heavenly and disturbingly realistic at the same time, and the cast is both experienced and quite photogenic. Milla Jovovich delivers a stunning performance as Alice, outshined only by the suave and sexy Sienna Guillory in her role as S.T.A.R.S. member Jill Valentine.
Complimented by the talents of both British actor Jared Harris and Israeli-born actor Oded Fehr, as well as the appearance of Resident Evil 3’s (the game, not another sequel… yet!) own “Nemesis”, a genetically engineered killing machine that director Alexander Witt managed to capture in utterly breathtaking accuracy down to the last detail, the film is severely underrated by the mainstream news media and begs for mercy in the form of a decent review.
In comparison to the first film, this piece was phenomenal; sure, the rotten zombies rising from centuries old graves was corny and went against the film’s original premise of semi-realism, Alice’s bike-ride through the church window reeked of Terminator II, and “LJ’s” almost stereotypical actions were far less than impressive, but in all, they were small prices to pay for what amounted to a greater whole and a decent, if not impressive contribution to an under appreciated market.
This film is rated R