Predictable dialogues, uninteresting characters, boring fast-paced sequences and a poorly delivered premise make Resident Evil: Apocalypse a soulless sequel.
Just a couple of hours after the T-virus outbreak occurred in a secret underground facility known as The Hive, the Umbrella Corporation sends a special team to investigate. There, they find people who have mutated into flesh-eating zombies and, as the dangerous virus escapes, the police have to secure the perimeter of the contaminated city and put it into quarantine. Alice, the main character of the story, has survived, but the movie also features some characters from the video games, like Jill Valentine and Carlos Olivera. Doctor Ashford, who works for Umbrella Corporation, asks Jill, a cop, a reporter and Alice to help him rescue his daughter who is trapped in the enclosed and deserted city. The doctor proposes a deal: if they rescue his daughter he will help them escape the city before the military uses a nuclear weapon to “sanitize” the place.
The director doesn’t waste a minute and the first scenes of the movie are extremely fast-paced. On the first five minutes you’ll witness Nemesis violently murdering a group of scientists, a violent car accident and Jill Valentine killing zombies. Although many fans may think that this provides the film with a nice change of pace, this is actually not that great. The introductory scenes aren’t strong at all as they occur at a frantic and almost violent pace, providing no details about the characters. A clear example of this is the scene in which a woman is attacked by a group of undead. This doesn’t add anything meaningful to the story and even though some may argue that this was done to show the humanity of the soldiers that try saving her, in the end, is just another excuse to show another ridiculous and stereotyped action sequence in which we see an infected woman committing suicide as she doesn’t want to become a zombie.
The different planes and filming sequences are terrible, as this just seems like a new opportunity to portray the movie as if it was a video game. The results are appalling and completely detract from the experience creating contrived moments that aren’t memorable at all. Interaction between characters is also artificial and their performances definitely leave something to be desired. Dialogues aren’t deep or well-delivered and most actors don’t utter more than two sentences in a row as there always seems to be something interrupting them. In the movie you’ll see one action sequence right after the other, then a shooting and finally a ludicrous fight. Then, this formula is repeated until the end.
Additionally, the special effects aren’t well done at all and even though the games have always had many fantastic creatures (dog zombies, lickers, bosses and so forth) their inclusion in the movie is more than questionable. The diverse costumes used in the film don’t look like the ones from the video games and you’ll probably find better costumes at a comic or video game convention. In addition to this, this sequel lacks the amateur vibe the first movie had, making it dull, soulless and terribly uninspired.
Moreover, the director seems to be enamored with clichés of the genre. These represented a huge problem in the first movie, but at this point their inclusion is not only unforgivable, but also unbearable. Arguably, the best scene in the movie is when there’s a group of trained S.T.A.R.S. (members of the local police,) who are locked up in an ammunition shop and shoot everything that moves. For a second (at least before Nemesis showed up,) this looked like a situation that was likely to happen under those bizarre circumstances, but are later on ruined in favor of making more references to the source material.
One of the secondary characters is constantly used as comic relief and even though his jokes aren’t really funny, at least it’s something unexpected in type of movie. Still, most of the characters we never even get a chance to meet. We don’t know their motivations or where they come from. What we do know is that they have one thing in common: escaping the infected city before sunrise. Unfortunately, it’s still really hard to care about those characters that don’t make it to their final destination.
As usual, the film makes many references to the source material making it even less accessible to those who aren’t familiar with it. You’ll see (and hear) references to characters, logos, institutions, bosses and many other elements that were taken directly from the video games. Music is anticlimactic and definitely a momentum killer, like its prequel, Apocalypse includes some really unsuitable techno-like compositions that are used during the fights.
In conclusion, Resident Evil: Apocalypse is simply a train wreck. The premise is extremely silly, interaction between characters feels artificial, its pace is absolutely detrimental and the shameless inclusion of many clichés makes it even more forgettable. Ultimately, the film is really difficult to recommend even to fans of the franchise.