"Resident Evil: Apocalypse" is superior to the original film, and is among the better of the video games adapted into action features (see: "Tomb Raider," "Mortal Kombat" et al.). Its pace is riveting and the narrative is closer to that of the actual game; it even looks a lot like the game. Not that any of that makes it more than another among noisy genre films full of clichés from both the gaming and movie worlds. But for diehard fans of either it more than fits the bill. Starring Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Thomas Kretschamann, Oded Fehr, Jared Harris, Sophie Vavasseur, Sandrine Holt and Mike Epps. Directed by Alexander Witt. Written by Paul W.S. Anderson. Produced by Paul W.S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt and Don Carmody. A Columbia release. Rated R for non-stop violence, language and some nudity. Running time: 94 min
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
"Resident Evil: Apocalypse" picks up pretty much where the original film leaves off. The evil Umbrella Corporation has released a virus in Raccoon City that animates the dead; get bitten and you'll become a zombie in about an hour or so. Alice (Milla Jovovich), the hero of the titular video game and the previous film, escapes from Umbrella Corp.'s subterranean laboratory to find herself in a city that has mostly been abandoned. The corporation has evacuated essential personnel and sealed the city, leaving behind several of its own forces to the hungry hoards. Among them is Officer Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), another dangerous lady from one of the sequels in the "Resident Evil" game series; the young daughter of its chief scientist (Jared Harris), Angie (Sophie Vavasseur), a girl who is the key to the viral epidemic; and a creature called Nemesis, a human from the original film who has mutated into a monstrous bio-weapon. The idea is to set Nemesis on Alice, who is herself a bio-weapon of sorts. Basically what we have is "Night of the Living Dead" meets that episode of the original "Star Trek" where Captain Kirk has to fight that giant lizard.