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Monday, 26 October 2009

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

The first Resident Evil movie annoyed a lot of the diehard fans of the game series (as well as a lot of movie fans thanks to the patchy direction of Paul WS Anderson), and thus this first sequel was stuffed with elements from the game, such as the Jill valentine and Nemesis characters, and was actually pulled off pretty well.

Still, it annoyed even more people. You just can't please the fans sometimes, I guess. For what it's worth, as I'm not a gamer I ony have the films to go on, and I enjoyed this sequel in a brainless b-movie kind of way.

Where the first film came across as a kind of sci-fi George Romero movie, this one is a pretty straight video game film, and that's where it suffers the most. As well know, most video games make rotten films. As readers of this site know, I'll sit through all kinds of crap, but video game movies are something that can either be great fun or unwatchable (believe me. I sat through 'Dead Or Alive').

Milla Jovovich is back as Alice, crossing the movie universe created in the first film with the chronology of the games (I believe this one is largely based on Resident Evil 3). The Umbrella Corporation are still up to their old tricks, and the T-Virus has escaped into the inhabitants of Raccoon City. The city is quarantined, leaving the survivors (including Jill Valentine and her badass colleagues, and the now superhuman Alice) to fend for themselves against hordes of infected zombies.

It looks a little cheap, it comes across a little tacky, and it was never going to win any prizes for a deep screenplay or direction, but by God it is a fun bit of entertainment. That's the problem a lot of people have with Paul WS Anderson- they can't always get past the idea that he's just trying to make a film that goes BANG.

This is something he does very well indeed, and when you're in the mood for something that will just hit all the right notes in terms of action and fun, you can't go wrong. If you're after social commentary, then you've picked up the wrong film.

Basically, this is about as close to playing a video game as it gets in a movie. Stuff explodes, Lickers are blown to bloody pieces, heroes and heroines swap snappy one-liners and a million rounds of ammo are spat out at growling zombies. What's not to like?

The makers put Jill valentine (played by Sienna Guillory) into the exact costume from the game, Nemesis looked cool (if a bit cheap), and Milla Jovovich blew stuff up like the pro she is, and yet people still took issue with it. Me? I like it. It's silly and camp, but it is an ideal flick for cheering yourself up. I mean, who doesn't love to see zombies and monsters getting blown up? Exactly. pass the napalm. Let's play.

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