ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  alexander witt

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  sci-fi

LENGTH  -  94 minutes

RELEASED  -  10 september 2004

DISTRIBUTOR  -  columbia pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  resident evil 2

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $50,000,000
resident evil: apocalypse - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from resident evil: apocalypse at

buy the dvd from resident evil: apocalypse at

alice wakes up in the middle of raccoon city, a city of the dead, now she must escape before umbrella corp's newest creation, nemesis, finds her.

the character of jill valentine wears exact same outfit she wore in the third "resident evil" game.


picture from resident evil: apocalypse

picture from resident evil: apocalypse

picture from resident evil: apocalypse

picture from resident evil: apocalypse


two out of four possible stars

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a different breed of movie from is predecessor, and the film is the poorer for it. Although the first installment of the "Resident Evil" series was hardly a stunner, it was still full of intrigue and creativity regarding character and plot. Hollywood science fiction continuously brings in healthy box office, but Apocalypse falls too far near the "normal" to really hold the audience's interest. This is much more of a hit and run movie than a science fiction film full of strange inventions and mythical "what ifs."

This film is very much a race to the finish in that the characters spend most of the film running away and tangling with various baddies in order to escape. There is a thin thread of mystery running through the film, regarding the mental state of Alice (Milla Jovovich's character), but the serious of flashbacks just doesn't hold enough allure and fascination to sustain the full length of the film. It's almost as if the filmmakers decided to really play the film as though it were a videogame, like the very popular series on which this film is based.

Though despite that inattention to detail as far as script creativity is concerned the casting of the film seems to have been carried out with an intelligent hand, with several solid supporting performances from the gun-toting cast. Sienna Guillory plays "Jill Valentine," a character from the video series, and is presented almost as a character who could have a spin-off series of her own in the growing genre of female-led action movies. Co-star Oded Fehr will hold less of the audience's interest in his similar role, though this is due more to his poorly written character. The writers should have done more with him.

Other supporting performances are suitable for the genre, with Mike Epps bringing some needed humor to the picture in an unapologetically cliché role. Epps seems to have been content to work with what he was given and when he gives the audience a few lines of off-beat humor, the jokes are always a success. But beyond the reasonable performances from the cast, it's not as though the actors were given any really beefy drama with which to work. Apocalypse is much more of a smash and grab without a lot of talk between the smashing.

And there's a lot of smashing. People getting shot, zombies biting people's necks off, various machine gun fights, Kung Fu inspired fight choreography...and tons of running. It's a fight fest from beginning to end, but perhaps the filmmakers were more intent on making the film a horror film than a science fiction film. Often there is an element of intelligence associated with science fiction films, but this film is much more emotional in its approach to the story. Milla Jovovich's indestructible powerhouse, "Alice," kicks a lot of zombie butt throughout this film while being constantly reminded through flashbacks of the human experiments she underwent.

While most of the flashbacks seem to be the same few minutes of footage played over and over again, the rest of the film is competently shot and the blood and gore is shown in its finest light by the talented make-up department (the "Nemesis" creature/monster is very well done). The soundtrack is appropriately filled with various heavy metal tracks and Jeff Danna's score blends well into the action oriented landscape. The well done technical aspects of the filmmaking shouldn't be a surprise on a picture with a mid-level Hollywood budget.

Apocalypse will should generally be considered a weaker film than the first Resident Evil, though in the world of sequels, this realization doesn't count for much. The question that should more concern the filmmakers is why indeed a sequel was warranted. The first film wasn't exactly a smash success. Its box office was very respectable, though like the recent film, The Whole Ten Yards, one wonders if Hollywood has simply run out of new material to conquer or even remake.

Though in defense of the first film's budget (35 million), that film did eventually make its money back through ticket sales alone (not including marketing costs). This sequel's estimated budget is around 50 million, so it will probably make its money back as well. Perhaps simply breaking even is enough these days to warrant a sequel, though if filmmakers (and specifically, the writer) had put more emphasis into the characters of the film, this sequel could have equaled the first in its creativity (thereby grabbing a much larger audience, perhaps) Suffice it to say, the filmmakers here have done exactly what is to be expected of a sequel and if zombies are your game, this film ends with, "We're Going To Make Another Sequel," written all over it.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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