Written by: Paul W. S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Thomas Kretschmann, Jared Harris
Zombie-creating viruses contained in a facility only impact a distinct few amounts of people. This can be controlled or at least the Umbrella Corporation would want you to think that until it reaches the surface and creates absolute mayhem. This setting sets the stage for Resident Evil: Apocalypse as the virus has made it out to Raccoon City and the zombies continue to multiply.
With the T-Virus making it out to the surface, the Umbrella Corporation attempts to contain the spread within the city limits of Raccoon City. This leaves those stuck behind the walls trapped with the already-existent zombies growing in numbers. This leaves Alice (Milla Jovovich) having to utilize her empowered abilities to try and get out of this situation.
Moving away from the self-contained story of the first film, Apocalypse opens up the floodgates to demonstrate what this zombie infection does on a much wider scale and does so to somewhat middling but highly entertaining results. In bringing the fight to the surface this feature also ushers in the definitive shift of this franchise as a whole from trying to center on horror to action also featuring zombies and other undead creatures. It becomes more about how Alice can kick a serious amount of zombie ass and set up quite the matchup with the famous Nemesis.
Alice taking on Nemesis ultimately becomes the draw of this feature as the machine gun-toting giant of a zombie serves as the ultimate test for Alice in what will reign supreme as the Umbrella Corporation’s crown jewel. The introduction of the antagonist definitely has some shining elements in displaying this grotesque and destructive figure wreaking havoc amongst all of these zombies. However, when it comes to the actual fighting between the creature and Alice, the feature resorts to a level of quick-cut editing that will remain synonymous with this film series to a negative degree. Seriously, that final fight sequence becomes quite difficult to watch, which is unfortunate considering the stakes involved and the surprisingly emotional twist making itself evident.
With over-the-top action comes some ridiculous characters to introduce with none other than Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) making her introduction to these films. As much as the ridiculousness can be attributed to the performance, most of it arises from her attire. Just by looking at her, you can see her wardrobe wanted to emulate how she looked in the games, and my goodness it sticks out in a hilarious way. Picture this, you have all of these police officers in their gear and uniform befit for a zombie apocalypse and then you have Jill Valentine running around in short shorts and a tube top. It makes no sense tactfully or for what the character represents other than they really wanted her to look like she did in the video games, which should be a negative but absolute lack of shame makes me admire the move if I’m being honest. Guillory certainly gives a performance in the film and she delivered those lines and that’s all I’ll say.
With all of the many valid issues ailing this film, this feature like all of the Resident Evil films knows how to have fun, which ultimately serves its purpose. It knows nothing about this should be taken seriously, especially when you have a ridiculously cartoonishly evil corporation like Umbrella bandying around still trying to get some research done while causing this disastrous event. Their aspiration for innovation will not rest even if they cause a potentially world-ending apocalypse and will not stop tweaking things in the hope of finally conquering this virus for their benefit. Elements that would certainly be a negative in this feature get my begrudging respect in a way that remains inexplicable.
By no means a good film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse moves this franchise to the more entertaining side of the spectrum throwing away essentially all horror and trading it in for some mediocre action. It brings the zombies out to the surface and wreaks havoc on a city becoming ground zero for the eventual spread in the later films. Despite all of its issues, the film has an entertaining factor allowing me to be soft on its errors no matter how glaring they are.