Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) 1 brain1 brainhalf brain

Alternate Titles:

Biohazard 2: Apocalypse

After my disappointment in Resident Evil, I was prepared for another big let-down with the sequel, but I felt it was my duty to see it and review it, all the same. I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised: Resident Evil: Apocalypse does not suck.

Even though Paul W. S. Anderson, who directed and wrote the first film, also wrote this one, the direction was turned over to Alexander Witt, which may have been the source of most of the improvement. Of course, to give Anderson his due, the writing was better too. There is actually a story line other than "We're trapped with zombies and must get out," and the characters, although still somewhat ridiculous, are much more interesting than those from the first film.

Milla Jovovich returns as Alice, except that the evil Umbrella Corporation from the first film has been experimenting on her, so that now she has superhuman strength and speed. We also get to meet Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), a cop who must have been undercover as a hooker when the zombies broke loose, judging by the way she's dressed, Terri Morales (Sandrine Holt), a reporter trying to capture everything on her camcorder, L. J. (Mike Epps), a small-time crook who knows how to take care of himself, and then some interchangeable Tough Guys with Guns.

The zombies have escaped from the Hive and are shuffling into Raccoon City, so the Umbrella Corporation is forced to quarantine the city. One of the scientists who started the whole mess uses surveillance cameras to find survivors in the city who can locate his daughter and bring her out safely. He notices Alice and company and promises to get them out in exchange.

The film is cheesy and at times nonsensical, but it's fun to watch. The effects are great, which was pretty much the one thing the last film had going for it, and Witt doesn't try to make you think you're scared by sticking sudden, loud noises into the film. Maybe that's why it works better, since Witt treats it more as an action film than a horror movie. Go see it for mindless fun.