Back in the day, I used to get the movie novelizations for certain movies as they would usually come out before the movie did and I could read what happens in the movie. Usually, I would still go watch the movie but sometimes, I would buy the books and then not see the movie. Regarding today’s movie, this is one that I didn’t see in theaters, for the same reason as the original movie, but I wound up renting both of them one night when I was bored. Needless to say, I decided to go ahead and pick it up on DVD, which is how I come to be watching today’s movie, Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
The plot: After the incident at the Hive, and Alice and Matt’s capture, a team of Umbrella scientists open the Hive’s blast doors to find out what happened but are overrun by the zombie staff inside. A fleet of cars are sent to Raccoon City to evacuate some key personnel, including Dr. Charles Ashford and his daughter Angie but the car carrying Angie gets in a wreck. 13 hours later, Jill Valentine, a disgraced member of Raccoon City’s S.T.A.R.S. police squad, is watching the news at her home and after hearing a call come in on the police scanner for all available officers to come in, she heads to her precinct and proceeds to shoot all of the infected inside, freeing a man named LJ in the process, before telling her captain she is leaving town and suggesting he do the same. All of the ways out of the city are sealed off except for the bridge, which Umbrella security forces are in control of and screening anyone that tries to leave. Jill gets there and tries talking to her friend, Sgt. Peyton Wells, when a man collapses from a heart attack, then reanimates and bites Peyton. Major Timothy Cain, the man in charge of Raccoon City’s contamination operation, orders the bridge sealed and authorizes his men to fire on anyone trying to escape. He then argues with Dr. Ashford, who refuses to leave without his daughter, and after he walks off, Ashford hacks into the computer system to locate Angie, then begins looking through the CCTV feeds to find someone to rescue her and sees Alice walking around the deserted city. Alice, still in her hospital gown, makes her way into an Army Surplus store but collapses in pain, and begins to remember what happened after Matt was taken away and realizes that she was experimented on. Meanwhile, Jill, Peyton, and a reporter named Terri Morales make their way to a church, where they find a scared man hiding inside. Jill goes to investigate a noise and finds a priest has been feeding people to his infected sister but when she escapes her bonds and attacks the priest, Jill shoots them both. Meanwhile, Peyton, Terri, and the man see a Licker running across the ceiling but when the man runs, he is killed by another Licker. Jill rejoins the others and learns that there are three Lickers stalking them in the church but when they try to attack them, Jill and Peyton quickly run out of ammo. As a Licker approaches them, Alice suddenly rides a motorcycle through a stained glass window and proceeds to kill the three creatures. Elsewhere, Umbrella security team members Carlos Olivera, Yuri, and Nicholai are helping the Raccoon City police deal with the zombies but when their position is overrun, the three make their escape, though Yuri is bit before they leave. Cain, learning that the infection has reached critical stage, activates the Nemesis Program to kill all of the remaining people in the city and a helicopter drops off some weapons crates in the hospital for it to use. Carlos, Nicholai, and Yuri see the helicopter but when they enter the hospital, they find the crates empty, just as Yuri turns and bites Carlos before he is shot. Elsewhere, LJ heads to a building that is being held by several members of the S.T.A.R.S. unit when Nemesis, a gigantic mutated creature, arrives and attacks the building and kills all of the S.T.A.R.S. but lets LJ live when LJ drops his weapons. Alice, Jill, Peyton, and Terri are making their way through a cemetery when they are attacked by some reanimated corpses and are forced to run. As they walk down the street, payphones near them start ringing and Alice eventually picks one up and Ashford, who is watching them on the CCTV, makes a deal with them to get them out of the city in exchange for their finding Angie. Peyton thinks that they should simply find a building and barricade themselves inside until help comes but Alice tells him that a nuclear missile will be fired into the city to destroy all signs of the infection, with a cover up in place to blame a nearby nuclear power plant. As they head for the school, Nemesis attacks them, killing Peyton, and Alice yells at Jill and Terri to find Angie while she deals with Nemesis. Alice begins fighting with Nemesis but it easily overpowers her and forces her to run before it eventually disengages. Jill and Terri hotwire a car, killing a reanimated Peyton after it starts, then head to the school to pick up Angie. Inside, the three split up and LJ runs into Carlos, who had also been contacted by Ashford and given the deal. Terri enters a classroom and sees a girl huddled in the corner and approaches her only to realize that she is an infected child and as more infected children surround her, she is attacked and killed, with her camera catching the entire thing on film. Jill enters the classroom and finds Terri’s camera, and Angie, and they start to leave through the cafeteria when they are attacked by an infected dog. Nicholai saves them but when he is attacked and killed, Jill heads into the kitchen and turns on all the gas to create an explosion. As Jill and Angie run, the matches Jill threw go out before they reach the gas but Alice shows up and tosses a lit cigarette into the room, then shields Angie with a fireproof blanket as the gas ignites and kills the zombie dogs. Alice and Angie stare at each other and realize they are both infected with the T-Virus and Angie explains that her father created the virus to help her walk, but she has to have regulas shots of the anti-virus to keep her from mutating. They meet up with LJ and Carlos and leave the building, with Ashford making contact with them to tell them where their escape route is. As they head to City Hall, Alice gives Carlos an injection of the anti-virus and Jill hands her Terri’s camera, telling her to film her story so they can make sure the truth gets out there, and Alice begins telling what happened to the camera. Reaching City Hall, they take out the Umbrella security guards but when they reach the helicopter, Alice realizes that it is there to evacuate Nemesis. She tells the pilot to take off but Cain shows up, holding Angie hostage. Restraining Carlos, Jill, and LJ, Cain orders Alice to fight Nemesis, killing Ashford when she refuses. When he threatens to kill the others, Alice reluctantly agrees and begins fighting with Nemesis, eventually managing to impale it on a piece of metal. As she looks in it’s eyes, she realizes that Nemesis is Matt and starts crying and begs his forgiveness. Cain orders her to kill Nemesis but she refuses so Cain orders Nemesis to kill her but, regaining his own memories after Alice spared him, Nemesis begins attacking the Umbrella soldiers and Alice helps him. Carlos, Jill, and LJ manage to free themselves and join the fight, preventing Cain from leaving in the helicopter. When two more helicopters show up and start firing at Alice, Nemesis uses it’s rocket launcher to take them out but is killed by the falling debris. Alice and the others get to the helicopter, where Alice grabs Cain and shoves him out as they start to take off, where he injures his leg in the fall. As zombies make their way towards him, he starts shooting them but runs out of bullets when he tries to shoot himself and ends up being attacked by several zombies, including Ashford. The helicopter manages to get out of the city just as the nuke explodes, and the shockwave causes the helicopter to crash and a piece of metal is sent flying towards Angie but Alice shields her and is impaled instead. When an Umbrella search team finds the wreckage, the only thing they find inside is Alice’s charred corpse. Terri’s tape was released showing what happened in Raccoon City but Umbrella’s cover-up works and the tape is blasted as being a fake, with Jill and Carlos being wanted for questioning by the police. 3 weeks later, a group of scientists are examining a fully healed and revived Alice and she says that she remembers everything and proceeds to attack the scientist and escape. As she walks down a hallway, a security guard spots her on the monitors and alerts some more agents but suddenly every monitor shows Alice’s face and as she stares into the camera, the guard starts bleeding from his eyes and nose before he collapses. As she walks outside, she is surrounded by soldiers but a car pulls up and Carlos, Jill, and LJ, disguised as Umbrella officials show up and convince the soldiers to let them leave with her. As they get in the car, Angie pops up from the back and asks if Alice is ok, and Jill asks Alice what they did to her. As they approach a gate, the lead scientist, who was the one experimenting on Alice, calls the gate and orders them to let them go, then says “Alice Program Activated”, and unseen by the others, Alice’s eyes briefly flash with the Umbrella logo, then her view is transmitted back to the scientist’s computers.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse met with poor reviews from the critics, holding a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse has lots of action, but not much in terms of plot or creativity.” The film borrowed elements from the 2nd and 3rd games, especially the characters of Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, Carlos Olivera, and Nemesis but when the actresses playing Claire Redfield dropped out of the picture, the character would be scrapped and brought back for the third movie. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $129.3 million off of a $45 million budget.
Personally, I like this movie because it’s mixture of rather over-the-top scenarios made it feel like a video game. The acting was pretty decent, with Milla Jovovich (Alice), Sienna Guillory (Jill), and Thomas Kretschmann (Cain) doing good jobs in their roles, and Mike Epps (LJ) made for some funny comedic relief but Oded Fehr (Carlos) was pretty boring. The story was good in the sense of it’s taking over from right when the first movie ended but the plot in general felt a little weak. The special effects regarding the zombie make-up were really good and I liked what they did in creating Nemesis, choosing to use an actor in a suit to make it more lifelike and limit the special effects used. A lot of the over-the-top scenes, such as Alice’s running down the side of the building, made this especially entertaining. A fun movie to watch, even if you didn’t play the games.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5