‘Resident Evil’ sequel explosive with action sequences, suffers from lackluster plot
My favorite live-action film of the franchise, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” has this strange blend of action, drama, intrigue and stupid. That’s by no means absolving the film of its numerous flaws, but there’s something about its absolute B-rated-ness that I can’t resist. (I may have a fondness for B-rated sci-fi flicks. Sue me.)
The sequel to the surprisingly popular “Resident Evil,” “Apocalypse” takes place directly after the events of the first. Our now-genetically enhanced heroine/kicker of all butt, Alice (Milla Jovovich), finds herself in Raccoon City, the metropolis above the secret underground Umbrella Corporation laboratory. Surrounding her on nearly every side is a swath of the T-virus-infected. Which happened because the underground facility, which had quarantined the outbreak, was opened, resulting in a much bigger outbreak. Obviously.
What follows is can only be described as “evil corporation takes over the city.” How Umbrella Corporation, the inventor of the zombie-creating T-virus was able to commandeer the city and restrict access while shooting the infected no questions asked is but too much to handle, but it serves a point only at the beginning and end of the film.
The movie’s middle section consists mostly of Alice and her companions — a short-skirted Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), a battle-ready Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and the comic relief L.J. (Mike Epps) — fighting their way out of the city while trying to locate a young girl, Angie (Sophie Vavasseur), so we can get on the last helicopter out of the city.
To say all does not go according to plan would be obvious.
Look, this movie is silly. Its premise is even harder to believe than normal, its heroine is becoming more of a psy-powered metahuman every day and the villainous corporation is beyond outrageous powerful (exemplified in later sequels). Still, watching Alice go hand-to-hand against the Nemesis? Excellent. And there are enough comeuppances to make you feel just a little bit better about humanity. Not much, though.
In the end, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” is action-packed and just a bit better than you probably expected. Maintaining enough of the game’s famous plot structure while taking the movie in its own direction, director Alexander Witt manages to entertain you enough. You may not go out of your way to watch it again, but you won’t turn into a zombie when you’re done.
Three “This isn’t how I wanted to wake up” stars out of five.