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Resident Evil: Apocalypse
(R, 90 min.)
Wide release

Thursday, September 16, 2004
Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Yawn of the dead

Most scary-creature movies start out slow and allow the viewer to enjoy the anticipation of the horror to come. Resident Evil: Apocalypse throws you into the middle of chaos immediately, and if you haven't seen the original (2002's Resident Evil), you're likely to be lost for a while. That may be simply because director Alexander Witt and writer Paul W.S. Anderson (Alien vs. Predator) know their target audience well. They understand that pre-brain Playstation 11-year-old American males only care about explosions and chases and big-breasted women, so why should they bother giving these films beginnings, middles and ends?

Not that it matters, but the story has to do with a virus that is killing people and then bringing them back to life. ("The Dead Walk!" screams a newspaper headline.) Eleven-year-olds have likely not seen the quality films that have dealt with the living dead, so they may not notice how little the writer develops the idea, and how the director turns his back on every opportunity to creatively exploit the situation. (We don't even get the pleasure of clever body mutilations.)

The virus, of course, winds up being the result of a nasty, biomedical research conglomerate, and Alice (Milla Jovovich), who looks like a model but is actually a highly trained human weapon, is determined to get a pack of human survivors out of the city, which has been sealed off by the bad guys.

Fans of the first movie will recall the environmentalist Matt (Matthew G. Taylor), who makes an appearance here as an evil, mutated monster. His romantic eyes, though, are still alert, and when he looks into Alice's come-do-me face, it winds up he's not such a bad monster after all. It's nice to know love can pay off even in a video game.--Anthony Del Valle


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