Written by Paul W.S. Anderson
Directed by Alexander Witt
Running Time: 1:30
for non-stop violence, language
and some nudity.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse started off slow, but when Milla Jovovich finally got dressed and started kicking some ass, things picked up.
The movie picks up where the last one left off. Alice is being contained in a hospital-like setting while stupid people decide to figure out what happened with the deadly virus. Needless to say, the bloodthirsty people who were contained underground are now released, and all hell breaks loose once again. Alice, along with a new bunch of friends, must try and escape the city before a nuclear device is detonated, killing (and covering up) everything in the city. The only way to escape is with the help of Dr. Ashford, whose daughter is also trapped inside the city. If Alice and company can rescue her, Dr. Ashford will help them leave the city walls. But a large monster created in the Nemesis project is also after them. So will they escape? More to the point, who will escape, and who will never leave Raccoon City?
Yes, you read that right, I said that Resident Evil: Apocalypse got better once Milla Jovovich put her clothes on. The first half hour of the movie was a bit confusing. I was having a hard time figuring out what was happening, who was with whom, and who the good guys and bad guys were. And Milla was barely in the first half hour. Instead, a lot of time was spent introducing a large number of other characters. Some of them were interesting. I'm a big fan of Oded Fehr for some reason, so I like seeing him. And Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine was a nice addition. Although I was confused to who she was. Some kind of roughneck cop who dresses a lot like Lara Croft. At first I actually thought her character was actually an actress in the movie, shooting a movie based on the events of the first film. If that makes sense. But nope, she was a cop who happened to dress like a prostitute. Maybe she was undercover or something. Anyway, up until Milla came roaring in on her motorcycle, I wasn't enjoying myself. But when she came crashing through the window, the movie took off.
Jovovich is the only actress I can think of that can combine sheer hotness with the ability to be believable as a kick-ass babe. I mean, take a look at the picture on the right. She looks fantastic, but at the same time, I really believe she could kick my ass if she wanted to. I never got that feeling from say, Angelina Jolie, who looked great in Tomb Raider, but was still a girlie-girl. Then there's someone like Linda Hamilton in T2, who looked like she could kill someone, but wasn't nearly as attractive. Milla has it all in this movie, which was one of the reasons it got better when she took over. The rest of the cast was OK. Jill Valentine was sort of a low-rent version of Alice. A hot chick who could kick ass, but wasn't as mean spirited. Oded as the leader of the tactical team was good, although his character was always taking a back seat to someone. Even the stereotypical 'black guy with a sense of humor' character was funny, if not well acted. He added some levity to the proceedings.
The look of the movie was cool. Definitely had an end-of-the-world vibe to it. I thought the CGI was decent, but not fantastic. The dogs were OK, but the creatures were just weird looking. My biggest problem was with the fight scenes, especially the showdown at the end. When did filmmakers suddenly decide that making sure the audience couldn't see anything, was the way to go? When the two combatants lined up, we could see who they were and what was about to happen. But as soon as they started fighting, there were so many close-ups and quick cuts, you couldn't figure out what was happening. I had the same problem with The Bourne Supremacy. Things were going so fast that it was impossible to keep up. If they want Milla to be a kick ass woman, then let's see it. There were a couple of her fight scenes that the director did a decent job of letting us watch her in action, but the big battle at the end wasn't done nearly as well.
The other problem was the zombies themselves. For some reason, half the time they were shown, they were in some kind of weird slow motion, which felt to me like they were covering a bad makeup job or something. The story line of the movie isn't too important in these kind of films, I'll admit that. But if the movie was about killer zombies, then I think we need to show more killer zombies. The movie's focus was more on the scientists and the genetic mutation that was Nemesis. Maybe the filmmakers decided living dead movies had been done so they needed another antagonist, but I didn't feel like the zombies were used to their full potential. All they did was walk slowly and get shot. They didn't attack as often as they could have. And when one of the characters is in a room with a bunch of flesh eating creatures and says 'they're slow, we can outrun them' then all anticipation of what might happen is gone.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Resident Evil: Apocalypse was a so-so movie. Milla Jovovich definitely carried the day, but the story wasn't as interesting as it could have been, and the action sequences were hard to follow. The movie started off slow, but definitely picked up a third of the way in, and the action kept up till the finish. I'm just wondering how long it'll be till part three.