Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

My journey into the past, before I actually ‘pay’ to see ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’, continues with ‘Resident Evil: Apocalypse’.  Yes, there will be no free critics screening for ‘Apocalypse’ since Sony and them have decided, as they are increasingly doing so, in releasing these movies without screening them for critics.  Truth be told, I don’t know why they screen any movies for critics in the first place anymore.  I’m glad they still do mind you, because if it wasn’t for critical screenings I’d be out grifting old ladies for their social security checks or something, but it seems like the ‘critical screening’, particularly for films like this, is a thing whose time has passed.  Why screen ‘Spiderman’ or the ‘Transformers’ or any other movie that has an audience dialed in already who could care less what a critic thinks.  And since the newspaper is no longer the main source of info, and since Ebert and that other dude show up on TV at on a Thursday, nobody seems to care what a critic thinks anymore anyway.  Keep the screenings coming for your Jane Austen’s and Woody Allen’s because certain old people and folks who don’t watch reality TV and still like read do still care what critics think.  But soon those old people will be dead and TV will consist only of off-shoots of ‘The Bachelor’, society will die and movies will only be sequels and TV show remakes.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) has returned where the original left off, walking out of the hospital and witnessing a world on fire.  Seems while Alice was unconscious undergoing this myriad of tests, the geniuses at the evil Umbrella Corporation had decided to reopen The Hive and in the course of this lunacy have set the walking dead free on the poor denizens of Raccoon City.  All is not lost for the citizens though (actually, it is) because in addition to Alice on the zombie killing prowl we have some

new cats ready to get busy.  Rogue police officer Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) has channeled Laura Croft even down to her gear, including a gun strapped to her upper thigh, to enjoy some zombie killing madness, We have two black guys in the fray this time with Police officer Wells (Razaq Adoti) and wise cracking L.J. (Mike Epps).  We know at least one of these guys, if not both are going to die.  Army Commando Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) is also on board for some zombie whacking and if Sienna Guillory isn’t cute enough for you (and she should be), the producers of this thing were kind enough to toss in the extremely comely Sandrine Holt who plays wayward TV weather girl Teri Morales and serves no other purpose in the film than to look nice, scream, and capture horrors on her little handycam.

As bad as it is already with zombies every freaking where, and the evil Umbrella Corp. locking down the city, there is also the tiny problem of Nemesis, a super Umbrella controlled zombie who we are told is Matt from the first film, and he is one bad mofo.  The only way out for our heroes is to track down the daughter of one of the Umbrella Corporations master scientist who was caught in the city shutdown as he has promised a helicopter to carry them out if they can retrieve his little girl.  Within this child, the truth will be known but will our heroes survive to tell the world? 

Though ‘Resident Evil: Apocalypse’ is bigger, with more explosions, more zombies, more good looking women, more black people, more sets and more action, it was not near as entertaining as the original ‘Resident Evil’ as far as I’m concerned.  While the original RE certainly wasn’t ‘Citizen Kane’ or anything, director Paul Anderson did place a lot more emphasis on atmosphere and did at least spend some perfunctory time on the narrative and character.  This time around director Alexander Witt went the action / explosion route which may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but even mindless action needs some kind of cohesive narrative to work.  I would almost have to say that ‘Apocalypse’ was so busy that it was actually boring.  And why did that graveyard full dead people come back to life?  Where they watering the grass with that damn T-virus zombie juice?  This and a whole lot of other stuff just didn’t make a hell of a lot sense.

The only good thing I can say about ‘Apocalypse’, and actually this is a great thing, is that you know you’re in the presence of greatness when Milla Jovovich is the least best looking woman on your set.  That’s it.  Sienna Guillory, Sandrine Holt and Milla Jovovich are hot.  They are so easy to look at it almost made this film worth suffering through… almost, but not quite.  Well, the trailer for ‘Extinction’ at least looks good, though it is unlikely Sandrine Holt will be in it, and it looks like Ms. Guillory has found other profitable ways to spend her time.  As soon as I can find six bucks under my couch, I suppose it’s time to head down to multiplex and check it out.

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