Monday, 25 February 2013

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)





















Jill Valentine and three other people are holed up in an abandoned church trying to escape the ever growing army of zombies within Raccoon City (one of the stupidest names for a city ever!). They are in a battle against a group of Lickers and almost out of ammo, things look bleak.

Suddenly a bright shines through the huge stained glass window...Alice blows through the glass mounted on top of a motorbike. She lands perfectly, informs the survivors to take cover and proceeds to blow away all the Lickers one by one in an eye shattering display of slow motion action enough to give any fanboy a hard on. At this exact moment the franchise dies, this is where the Resi Evil film franchise loses the gritty grown up 'Aliens' clone formula of the first film and enters the realm of hyper martial arts and lots and lots of slow motion action.

The character of Alice has been experimented on since the last film, apparently, which now gives her superhuman strength, speed and agility. This in turn takes the character and the film into the world of 'The Matrix' and absurd action set pieces.

Don't get me wrong the film isn't entirely bad, the atmosphere and visuals of the film are decent whilst the abandoned Raccoon City is created very well. You do get a great sense of dread from the deserted city, it feels dangerous and eerie with a really nice dark tone.

The film is still pretty adult I must say, there is plenty of blood, some gore and quite a few jump in your seat moments. The general survival concept is along the same lines as the first film with a small band of people trying to escape the City, its a solid idea which works. The problem is the inclusion of Alice who drags the film down utterly with her over the top macho invincibility.

The inclusion of Nemesis was of course required by all Resi fans and he is faithfully created, amazingly, although a bit rubbery. Not being a fanboy myself I just don't get why the Umbrella Corp would release this huge monster simply to kill the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members. Was this some kind of field test? and the fact they planned to nuke the City wouldn't that somewhat negate their precious creation? On top of that they make Alice fight this big guy for no real reason other than to have an exciting finale fight in the film...oh and something about seeing who is stronger, err why??? All that work just to have him fight Alice?!

The problem as said before is quite simply the character of Alice and the fact we have to follow her around from one superhero sequence to the next. On top of that you have the pathetic alpha female rivalry between Jill and Alice (and both actresses) as both compete for sexiest zombie killer. Jill wins purely down to her ridiculously skimpy outfit which is obviously in there just for the teen male audience. Because of course most special unit cops wear tight hot pants and a tight vest when in terror situations...wait this is a serious film?

Its a brave attempt which literately just keeps its head above the waves and manages to be a reasonable film. Shame about all the slow motion crap but this is what happens when Jovovich is in a film. The film is basically let down by stupid action sequences which vomit on your suspension of disbelief, had these bits been more sensible or relatively realistic then the film could have been pretty solid.

5/10