Resident Evil: Apocalypse
2004
A virus is attacking the residents of Raccoon City, turning them into the undead. With the help of her colleague, Alice sets out to uncover the truth, even as she fends off an experimental weapon.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

The first "Resident Evil" movie made what I considered a mistake by rejecting the characters and stories from the video games and inventing a new scenario in the same setting. If you have the rights to the source material, you can turn elsewhere for inspiration if it produces better results, but if not, why bother? They could have filmed the scenes from the games word-for-poorly-translated-word and it would have produced a better film than the original.

Here's proof that there's more to it than that. This film continues the journey of Milla Jovovich's super-heroine, who is capable of spontaneously developing whatever talents or abilities the screenplay requires of her at any moment, but this time it steeps her tale in much more of the games' mythology. She gets an authentic Jill Valentine as a sidekick, Nemesis (catch-phrase intact) in all his uglyness as an antagonist, and numerous action sequences from the second, third, and fourth games shot-for-shot. And somehow, still, it is not enough to improve the film. There's a laziness here on nearly every level, exemplified by a screenplay that sees nothing wrong with effects without causes, such as when Milla Jovovich crashes through the window on a motorcycle for a rescue she has no way of knowing is necessary at that time or by that means.

You can stage action scenes like this and still be entertaining (I enjoyed most of them), but that's not the same thing as being good. For every superior action film and horror film released every year, there are a dozen sub-par or outright terrible ones, and this falls easily into the second lot. Its only redeeming qualities are hard work by Jovovich, some clever cinematography, and a willingness to toss a few bones to the video game fans with passing references and cameos. Otherwise, this film is an empty, poorly-lit mess with little reason to be seen.

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