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Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Frank's Take)

02/11/2004. Contributed by Frank Ochieng

Buy Resident Evil: Apocalypse in the USA - or Buy Resident Evil: Apocalypse in the UK

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Director Alexander Witt takes over this elaborate gory gaming gimmick by ushering out the second installment Resident Evil: Apocalypse. The labored formula remains the same regarding a curvy and calisthenics cretin-kicking cutie leading the charge in eliminating some serious zombie butt.

Regrettably, some things never change when it comes to serving up a double dosage of a kinetic clunker that had an inexplicable following the first time around. In March of 2002, Resident Evil hit the big screen in full banal blaze under Paul W. S. Anderson’s delirious direction.

Now two years later, director Alexander Witt takes over this elaborate gory gaming gimmick by ushering out the second installment Resident Evil: Apocalypse. The labored formula remains the same regarding a curvy and calisthenics cretin-kicking cutie leading the charge in eliminating some serious zombie butt.



Bouncy and boisterous babe Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich is back in frantic form as sexy Alice, the high-heeled horror-thriller heroine out to splatter some walking dead waste along the way. Much like the original RE showcase, Apocalypse generously takes an overextended measure in the way it fosters its eye-popping visuals by offering crafty creature feature prototypes and animated special effects that heighten the chaotic allure of this dank and dreary sci-fi/horror spectacle.

Witt doesn’t concentrate so much on the techno-trickery that was so evidently over-the-top in the first serving of Anderson’s silly-minded and super-charged showcase. Instead, he establishes more of a satirical surge in the Big Brother-ism of corporate control in a society of cynicism and corruption. Although rooted in nonsensical mayhem that doesn’t necessarily elevate this misguided movie in the otherwise colorful zombie-bashing genre, Resident Evil: Apocalypse has its moments where it does overshadow its predecessor in some areas of intrigue and overall campy chills and thrills.

As many already know, the Resident Evil movie series is based on the highly successful and sensationalized video game of the same name. With Jovovich as the treasured trigger-happy tart making mincemeat out of the freaking flesh-peddlers, the T&A factor is definitely in full swing as the action balloons into rapid-fire ridiculousness. What makes Resident Evil: Apocalypse so ardently inconsequential?

Probably the fact that its presence on the screen doesn’t quite match the ambitious and rollicking relevance that is highlighted in exceptional zombie mode. The fascinating and refreshing manner of well-done hellion hits such as 28 Days, Dawn of the Dead, and the bawdy yet brilliant British import Shaun of the Dead certainly spins some creepy creative circles around the devoutly derivative Apocalypse.

In the first edition of Anderson’s RE, we were taken into the caustic colony of Red Queen, that outfit’s body of defense. Of course Red Queen was instrumental in being aided by a renegade computer system that insisted on making haywire mayhem for Jovovich’s Alice and her tireless teamsters. Actually, an uncontrollable virulent virus that leaked out profusely in the underground colony known as “The Hive” was responsible for the countless roaming deadly corpses that our heroic commandos previously combated.

This time, Witt’s Apocalypse finds our determined combatants in Raccoon City where The Umbrella (a greedy and gamy economic corporation) rules over its weary citizens with a relentless iron fist.

The nightmarish Umbrella has no qualms in subjecting its surrounding residents to the bio-weapons testing at the urgency of immediate profit. The ill-advised experimentation of the bio-hazard aftermath ominously produces what amounts to be expendable victims being exposed to unpredictable viruses hence creating the treacherous trafficking of flesh-feeding beasts. Like any salacious organization that attempts to cover up its naughty nuclear-induced indiscretions, the unscrupulous powers-that-be decide to handle their mistake-prone disaster in shoddy fashion.

Alice and her ferocious but fatigued fellow fighters have a full plate to deal with in terms of challenging the zombie-making goof-up as spearheaded by the undesirables at Umbrella. However, things become more involved when muscle-bound mutant soldier-of-fortune fiend Nemesis complicates everything as a formidable force among demonic dalliances being considered. The unrest of threatening-looking vermin is non-stop and the courageous crusaders must stop the havoc before it spreads well beyond its critical means.

As a follow-up frightfest to Anderson’s giddy offering in 2002, Witt’s script isn’t as tediously sketchy and numbing as the grueling goings-on in RE part one. The atmospheric overtone for the film has the gumption for promoting its ribald rationale. Avid horror hangers-on won’t be disappointed by the existence of furious firepower, extermination of morbid monsters, bombastic butt-busting beauties that possess “generous assets” so to speak, and the spotlighting of overzealous zombies looking to snack vehemently on human cuisine. However, the feisty energy and revolving recklessness cannot overcome the absurdity and superficial aspect of this unfocused hedonistic horror show.

For what it’s worth, Resident Evil: Apocalypse will cater to the undiscriminating fanboy that appreciates the savory style of a shotgun-carrying harlot marching over dispersed dead bodies while wearing provocative loose-fitting wardrobe that wouldn’t properly cover a department store mannequin.

Whether enduring the laughable demon dogs, grating accents, the obligatory corporate creeps or exaggerated situational confrontations, Witt’s disjointed venture into a loud and hysterical hogwash of gaudy gore will be dismissed by a majority not willing to swallow this monster-mashing mishap in its entirety.

Frank Ochieng

(c) Frank Ochieng 2004

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