Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Resident-Evil-2

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Less, but more.

The thing I like most about these Resident Evil films is the compelling story. It moves quickly and efficiently, and there’s always more characters to love and more mystery to unravel every time. No, it’s definitely not the best franchise out there, and it has a lot to learn in terms of acting, character development, and dialogue. It’s all a bit floosy there, whatever film you’re talking about, it’s just…there’s something interesting about the progression of the films that gets you every time. Resident Evil: Apocalypse begins directly after the first film, so does it respond well to the flaws of the first? In a word, yes.

If you recall, the first film ended with Alice waking up in a deserted hospital (the zombie movie trope). She had just battled hordes of zombies in The Hive, but because the Umbrella Corporation was so adamant about finding out what was in The Hive, they released the virus unto Raccoon City. So what happens is they shut down the city and blockade the whole place. Eventually, only a handful of survivors roamed a city full of zombies, fighting to survive. When the government plans to settle their losses and nuke the city, Alice must work with Jill Valentine and a group of survivors to find a way out of the city.

Immediately, we have a bigger playground. What’s nice about a confined area is that it can give the audience a feeling of claustrophobia, maybe even a fear of the dark, so things like sound is scary all on its own. A bigger playground, like the entire city is also cool. They raised the bar. A handful of survivors among thousands of zombies…come on. Also, Jill Valentine is in the picture, which is the main character of the video games (from what I understand), I consider that an improvement overall. Finally, the main complaint I had with the first one was pretty much taken care of here (the graphics). I complained about the Lickers looking little better than Playstation 1 graphics. Two years later, they were slicker, had better shading, they used quick shots to make it more terrifying…definitely an improvement here. You guys, all around…the movie improved on everything.

When I first saw this film, I didn’t think about this, but now I have to say Jill Valentine in this film was a fantastic but risky idea. Think about it. Jill Valentine is the main character in the games, she is essentially Alice, so bringing her into the movie automatically seems like a good plan. That is, until you’re a bit confused as to who to really root for. I mean, if Jill is here, there’s going to be that slight possibility that Alice won’t be here next time. Those of you that know the films know that’s just not true. Milla Jovovich is and will always be…the face of Resident Evil. They were somehow able to make enough room for both Jill and Alice to have equal footing, which is actually kind of crazy now that I think about it.

I keep reading facts about the games every time I watch one of these films and it astounds me. They continue to bring hugely important characters of the game into the movie. I never played more than the one game, but the idea is brilliant. The only problem is you start to get into overcrowding issues. Thankfully, we still got Alice, who is practically a superhero.

Which, btw, is the best part about this film. I do like the story progression and bringing things up a notch, but overall the movie is not as developed as the first was. The first was really nerdy with the video game references, but it had characters with more background. This film was just fun. There was a lot of action and it had a simple, but solid plot. What I like the most, though, was the ever-expanding story of Alice. First of all, the first film had Alice at her most normal. The second had her with superpowers and hints of more. It’s hard to explain, but overall, this is why I like these films so much. It’s really mysterious and Alice is a very compelling character.

The Good:

Having the character Jill Valentine was a smart move, because she was a main character in the games. They were able to put her and Alice into the same arena and still have superior focus on Alice, which was perfect. Her mysterious character development is clearly what the franchise is all about, and it’s absolutely compelling. Also – the CGI and action was greatly improved here.

The Bad:

The story itself is a bit flimsy, even if it is simple and solid. The idea is fine, but it’s filled with some bad acting and dialogue, which almost made this film feel like a B movie.

Memorable Quote:

Alice: My name is Alice (first time)

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