RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE
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Like the original RESIDENT EVIL, RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE, starts off with a long winded narration by Alice explaining what happened in the previous movie and what she is going to do now. Is this wasted the same as before? Yes. Because, same as the last flick, Alice (Milla Jovovich: RESIDENT EVIL, THE HOUSE ON TURK STREET) repeats this exposition to her fellow survivors: And then has flashbacks which accomplish the same thing as the introductory narration. In fact, she has those flashbacks repeatedly.
In fact, she has those flashbacks repeatedly.
In fact, she has those flashbacks repeatedly.
After some exposition / narration that goes on for far too long, we see Raccoon City, in its death throes and falling apart. Here and there, ala 28 DAYS LATER and DAWN OF THE DEAD , damn quick zombie types are coming out and attacking people (then later one of the actors mention that they can outrun the zombies because they move slow - and then they do, until they don't). People are trying to leave. But the Umbrella corporation has locked up the entire city and is controlling who leaves through a single exit point. The TV news across the city is reporting the uproar but, apparently, The Umbrella Corporation, fiendishly large German business that it is, can even control TV signals - possibly through the use of their satellite communications equipment. Pretty stupid for all these communication companies to filter all control of their broadcast through a single monopoly agency, but its happened before and it's happening now in real life, so there you have it.
In a police station, a bunch of cops are trying to control and contain a number of deranged citizens. A pouting, posing chick who dresses like Laura Croft from the Tomb Raider video games, struts into the station, strikes a vogue, and starts shooting the zombies one by one, which sends the living and the undead into a frenzy.
"You've got to shoot them in the head," She says. Apparently, she's been watching George Romero movies. Her name is Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory: SUPERSTITION) and she is a rogue cop who has been fired from the force for doing things - her way ("You're THROUGH, McGonnigal!"). Rogue cops in the real world tend to be racist, sexist, vicious thugs with a badge who abuse their authority to beat and kill innocent people (Ooh! gimmie some of that "thug love"). But in movies they are always transformed into heroes.
Jill gives up on her hapless fellow cops, who always follow the rules, and makes it her way to the only exit.
There she meets up with her ex-fellow cop and a TV reporter with a charmingly small news camera. A zombie nearly makes it out of the city and a very evil German man, Major Cain (Thomas Kretschmann: THE STENDHAL SYNDROME, BLADE II) orders the wall closed and the people to disperse or else the armed guards will fire upon them. Oddly enough, even the cops, who always follow the rules, turn away grumbling instead of arresting these clowns. Mental note, never move into a city that has a massive wall built all around it. It's fishy! The citizens of Raccoon City are trapped, and Merry Mishaps sort of, kind of occur.
Milla Jovovich may not wind up having these two movies define her acting career the same as, say, that SPECIES chick, Natasha Henstridge, but what is defined is her incredibly poor ability to act. And this is odd, you know, because if you've seen her in other movies like Chaplin and He Got Game, you might think that she's a pretty good actress. What's more, the woman is multitalented. She is a musician - both composer and singer - who has made music for films like UNDERWORLD and was the costume designer for Mona Lisa Smile. So what goes wrong when she is in a RESIDENT EVIL movie?
Well, how about the director? RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE is Alexander Witt's first shot at directing a movie. Yet the man has been a camera man, director of photography, and second unit or assistant director for decades, helping to helm such films like, CUJO, BLACK RAIN, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, HANNIBAL, BLACK HAWK DOWN, THE BOURNE IDENTITY, and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: Curse of the Black Pearl. Since 1989, he's worked alongside Ridley Scott on every movie that man has ever made. Finding a better mentor would be damn near impossible.
Yet Witt did make some obvious mistakes here. If there is one thing that fighting movies have taught us, even as an audience, is that the fighting must be clear. The action of a fight must rely on the actors, not stupid camera tricks.
The top movie, as of this writing, two weeks in a row in the U.S., is HERO, which is even subtitled for crying out loud. And yet, even though wire flying and special effects are often involved, no cheesy camera tricks are employed to "enhance" the action of the fight. And by that I mean, in RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE, we get the same stupidity in a fight scene that audiences endured with THE BOURNE SUPREMACY. Blurred split second close-ups; a camera that is moving so fast around the two people fighting that you would think they put your 6 year old cousin Timmy in charge of the home movies again.
After I realized how it would be (there are naturally a lot of fight scenes in this film) I groaned every time another one prepared to start. Suddenly the camera is tight on the shot, then its out, then its blurred; it's up somebody's nose. If my drink was still full halfway through the movie, I would have thrown the damn thing at the screen. Such godawful crap doesn't even require the actors to fight at all. They can stand there eating egg salad sandwiches while the director fields such dumbass shaky camera crap and adds in the "oof's" and "thuds" later.
You know why audiences love fight scenes in THE MATRIX movies, HERO, Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon, and Jackie Chan movies (to name a few)? Because they DON'T f*cking hammer on the side of the camera or shake it to "enhance" the freaking fight scene THAT'S why! And you know why good directors don't do that? Because it DOESN'T enhance the freaking fight scene, THAT'S WHY! And you know what it looks like when a director does that? IT MAKES HIM AND HIS FREAKING MOVIE LOOK LIKE A WASTEFUL PIECE OF SHIT! That's what!
Another scene involved some mutants (lickers) that were so fast they could almost dodge bullets. Too fast to get a bead on, that's how fast they were. Faster than you could get off a second shot. But slow enough to get hit by an ambling, rider-less motorcycle coming at them from the opposite end of a church.
There is also the cemetery scene where the dead in their graves - who clearly have been dead far too long to have been bitten in the last few hours - rise up and attack. Remember how the movie made it clear that zombies get shot in the head? Everybody does that right up until the EndBoss shows up in a leather dress. Then everyone forgets to do that and shoots said EndBoss thousands of times in the chest, which is clearly ineffectual, but they keep doing it anyway and nobody thinks to shoot him in the face.
There were also ridiculous scenes where the heroes/victims are trapped and it's impossible to escape. They are doomed. Then, out of nowhere and for no reason, another hero smashes through the glass or what have you to perform an instant - just add hack cliché - rescue. So bad it's funny for a few times. After that it just gets stupid.
And speaking of stupid, Kelly would like to jump in with a
Continued at SCIENCE MOMENT/Resident Evil: Apocalypse
There were other actors in this flick, but the screenplay by Writer/Producer Paul W.S. Anderson, wasn't written for the audience to feel anything for them so why should I try? Instead I'll avoid adding insult to injury by not mentioning their names. Paul was supposed to direct this as well, but he wisely jumped ship at the last minute to direct the superior ALIENS VS. PREDATOR, leaving his girlfriend, Milla, holding this puke bag.
This movie will waste your money, your time, and your evening.
RESIDENT EVIL: THE APOCALYPSE gets 1 Shriek Girl.
KILL THIS MOVIE BEFORE IT BREEDS!
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