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  Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Alexander Witt, USA, 2004
Rating: 3.0
 

Posted: September 21, 2004

Remember Resident Evil? No pinhead, not the game, the movie! It had its moments of fairly decent "zombie-esque" horror, mixed with a dose of viral weaponry systems gone out of control. Yeah, I know, ain't it wacky? Lemme tell ya, if you thought things were messy in the first film, brah, they have gone totally out of control in Resident Evil: Apocalypse!

The subterranean biological weapons facility known as "The Hive" has been reopened, and -- that's right -- all the horror within its walls has been unleashed onto an unsuspecting Raccoon City above. (Yes, it's called Raccoon City. Let's just deal with it.) We're talking zombies, mutant dogs, things that look like a cross between a giant lizard and Miles Davis. We're talking some wicked doings here, people! Anyway, as the chaos spreads, the evil Umbrella Corporation (the baddies responsible for all this research gone wild) has sealed the city shut. As the infected masses gather at the gates, Umbrella decides it cannot risk letting the infection out of the city and seals Raccoon City's borders.

Enter Alice, the former head of security for Umbrella Corp, played once again by Milla Jovovich. Yeah, she had a rough time in the first film, but here she's been genetically engineered and exhibits heightened strength and refined senses -- but, sadly, not larger breasts or any bi-sexual tendencies. (Hey, I'm just stating these things for the record!) Turns out she's in Raccoon City, trapped like the rest of the rats, and helps them to fend off the zombie hordes. Needless to say, relations between her and the Umbrella Corporation are a little strained.

Anyway, Alice may not have been modified to look like Ona Grauer, but at least she's not wearing that tacky outfit from The Fifth Element. And she does deliver the goods on the action front. There's a lot of double-pistol shooting, some kung fu unleashed on zombies, and last, but certainly not least, a showdown with the Nemesis.

What is the Nemesis? I'm glad you asked. Imagine a Cenobite from the Hellraiser series, cross him with the Hulk, Robocop and the Terminator, throw in a female Bulgarian weightlifter with less estrogen (that's right, I said less) and you're in the ballpark. If Umbrella injected Alice with a few CCs of their viral agent, they dumped the rest of the bottle into Nemesis.

Anyway, Umbrella airdrops our guy Nemesis two cases to help him with crowd control. One contains a rocket launcher, the other what appears to be a shortened GE mini-gun, not unlike that used by Jesse "The Body" in Predator. My boy is around 7 feet tall, about 500 lbs, and even has a fetching leather apron with buckles (again with the Hellraiser fashion sense). I can only hope that, like Alien Vs Predator, Nemesis gets his own franchise where he throws fists with some other mammoth villain. Maybe Pumpkinhead, or Rawhead Rex, or Donald Trump.

Okay, so there's a lot of zombie shooting and explosions, and that's a good thing. But, man, who in the hell is working the cameras here? During the fight scenes, the camera is moving between shots so quickly I can't tell what is going on. I hear an occasional thud and a gasp and when the camera stops shaking and twisting, I see a dead zombie who I presume got kung-fu'd, but I cant be sure! Damn! Why you wanna toy with a man like that? If there's one thing Clemenza lives for, it's seeing zombies having their daily dose of ass-whuppin' handed to 'em.

So the elements are all here with REII -- it's good B-movie stuff -- but it could have been more. Maybe Nemesis could have picked up his game a little, throwing out some Steven Seagal moves. Or there could have been even more zombies storming the city walls (did I mention, you can never have enough zombies?). I don't know. And because I cannot adequately articulate my disgruntlement, I suppose I can't count it against the film.

All in all, this is good stuff, the kind of fare you'd expect from a film based on a video game, and with that in mind, I suppose it achieves what it sets out to do. If nothing else, the film shows us why we need to keep an eye on these shadowy corporations whose purpose is clear to no one. Wait a minute... shadowy corporation, discreet location, its purpose unclear....sounds a lot like Shaking Thr--EDITOR'S NOTE: DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WE ARE NOT ABLE TO POST THE REST OF CLEMENZA'S REVIEW. CLEMENZA'S CORNER WILL RETURN SOON. THAT IS ALL.

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

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 3.0-3.9: Close, but...
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