Resident Evil Apocalypse

2004 has been the year of the Zombie film. from the remake of “Dawn of the Dead”, to the upcoming “Shaun of the Dead”, the walking dead have been big business at the box office. In the new film “Resident Evil Apocalypse”, the Zombie genre takes a few new twists with the inclusion of the evil corporation and science going horribly wrong.

Picking up where the last film ended, the underground compound of the Umbrella Corporation has been destroyed by a virus that was unleashed in an accident causing the dead to reanimate and go on a rampage of carnage and destruction.

Alice (Milla Jovovich), was one of two survivors of the first film and finds herself waking in an empty lab with her last memories of her and the other survivor being removed from her and detained by agents of the corporation. Making her way to the surface, Alice discovers that Racoon City has been evacuated and barricaded by the company trapping some survivors inside the ravaged city.

At the same time, a group of survivors has taken up refuge in a church, they are headed by police officer Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), who is watching over a fellow officer who has been bitten by a zombie and a reporter who sees the tragic events as the key to her career success. Alice soon meets up with the group and they battle the strange manner of creatures who surround them as they attempt to make their way out of the city.

A combat team headed by Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), is also trapped in the city and they soon meet up with Alice and the other survivors. It is learned that Alice has been enhanced by the company and her amazing strength and agility are by design of the company. It is also discovered that an unstoppable creature known as Nemesis is on the lose and is destroying everything it encounters. As if this is not enough to worry about, Alice reveals that at dawn the company will destroy the infected city with a nuclear device and blame it on a faulty reactor. Faced with legions of the walking dead, Nemesis, and the coming nuclear blast, the survivors are in a severe situation. A way out arrives when a scientist informs the group that if they recover his daughter from a nearby school, he will direct them to a helicopter and out of the doomed city. What follows is a race against time as the team must battle the odds to survive.

Although slow and predictable to start, the film does gain speed and the last 20 minutes of the film are very entertaining and set the stage well for a potential third chapter in the series. The FX in the film is interesting if not ground breaking and the action is well staged and interesting. The action is not bad though nothing spectacular though Jovovich gives a very energetic performance. The film does have a few chills in it as people at my press screener people in the audience jumped on more than one occasion. The script by Paul Anderson is better then the first film in the series though Anderson chose to direct “Alien VS Predator” instead of this film, and despite its early missteps it is an improvement upon the original film and should delight fans as it is a worthy new step in the series.

3 stars out of 5