There was a time when I was a very obsessive player of computergames. Just as with movies, I had a particular fondness for games that were set in the horrorgenre. It will probably not be a very big surprise that the infamous Resident Evil series was my favorite. For those that are not familiar with it, shame on you! But of course being the nice guy that I am, I will tell you a little bit of background on it. Resident Evil tells the story of the evil Umbrella corporation, that unknown to the public at large, secretly produces bio weapons. One of their biggest creations was the socalled T-virus, that turns normal people into terrible flesh eating zombies. And of course…at one point something goes terribly wrong, and the virus gets unleashed in the fictional town of Raccoon City. The third game in the series introduced a foe that for me has been the most awesome and most memorable enemy that I have ever faced in a computergame. It was called Nemesis, which was also the title of this third installment. This towering behemoth kept following you throughout the game, and always popped up in unexpected places. Needless to say, it gave me the creeps, but in a very good way.
Hollywood, as we all know, has been making movies about games for years, with mostly very unsatisfactory results. The first Resident Evil movie was a moderate succes, and honestly I quite liked it. It had that B-movie quality to it, but with actress Milla Jovovich in the leadrole as the kick ass lead character Alice, it turned into a fun action/horror film. The sequel was a film that I became very excited for, as not only would it introduce a fan favorite character from the games, it would also feature my old friend Nemesis. Resident Evil: Apocalypse picks up the story right after the events of the first movie. Alice wakes up naked on a table in an unfamiliair laboratory, but manages to escape. Once outside, to her horror she finds herself in the deserted streets of Raccoon City, where it seems all hell has broken loose. And that’s not very far off the mark. The deadly T-Virus has made it’s way to the city, and has turned most of it’s citizens into zombies. While Alice is roaming the streets, she soon teams up with a group of survivors, that include S.T.A.R.S. member Jill Valentine.
All of them are desperately trying to find a way out of the doomed city. But then salvation seems to come from a very unexpected source, namely a Unbrella scientist called doctor Ashford. He promises them a safe way out of the city, and the only thing they have to do for this is find his missing daughter. But this is easier said than done, as the group soon finds out that there are worse things than zombies out there. A thing that is the very stuff of nightmares stalks them….but a thing that is also frighteningly familiar to Alice….Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a movie that sticks closer to the sourcematerial of the games, than the first movie. It’s pretty much a rehash of the story of the third game, and with the inclusion of the characters of Jill Valentine and Nemesis it’s very familiair for fans. But what if you are not a fan, or have never even heard of the games in the first place? Is this film still worth checking out? That’s a bit of a difficult question to answer, and it probably comes down to what your taste in movies is like.
You see, even more than the first film, this is pretty much a B-movie. Some of the acting in this film is quite bad. The character of Jill Valentine played by actress Sienna Guillory, while looking exactly like her counterpart from the game, comes of the worst. Some of her lines are just very cringeworthy and forced, and just feel like they are read straight from an autocue. The same can be said for actor Oded Fehr, who plays Carlos Olivera a former Umbrella soldier. While I usually like him, he just felt very out of place in this movie and at times seemed like he did not exactly know what he should be doing. Saving grace is once again Milla herself. She is just very comfortable in her role as Alice, and quite frankly is born for playing these type of characters. Some of the best scenes in the movie are her action sequences, especially the ones where she is facing off against Nemesis. And it has to be said, they did a great job in recreating this fearsome monster. He looks exactly the same as he did in the games and this is obviously a treat for fans.
But that pretty much brings me back to my original question, can this film be enjoyed by people who are not familiar with the games? Well, honestly yes. If you don’t mind some of the bad acting and lack of a good script, there is enough action in the movie to keep you entertained. They obviously also had a larger budget for this sequel as well, which means that the look of the film is much better than the first one. Films such as these are made for a specific type of audience and if you don’t like B-movies, I guarantee that this one will not change your opinion on that. But if you are like me, and don’t mind all the aforementioned things, it is still a fun film. I have to admit that I enjoyed the first movie more. But to see Nemesis brought to life in this way, combined with the fact that Milla Jovovich once again redefines the word girlpower, I still quite enjoyed this second installment in the franchise. It won’t redefine this genre of films, but it doesn’t have to. Sometimes you just want an easy movie that isn’t overly complicated, and in that regard this one certainly delivers.
I give Resident Evil: Apocalypse a 7 out of 10 score.