Ever have those moments when you wonder what on earth you’re doing with your life? I had one on Friday night.
After my diatribe about Resident Evil yesterday, you’d think things couldn’t get any worse cinematically. I’m here to tell you categorically that they can, and have. And I was too stupid to realise it. I refer to Resident Evil: Apocalypse. It’s the second in this franchise, and it’s terrible. Truly terrible. Even terribler than the first one. I should have taken the hint from the inclusion of the word ‘Apocalypse,’ but nope. Not me. Dumb as a bag of wet mice.
Alice is back in her biker boots and little else. Did I tell you she’s a product of the Hive, which in turn is run by that corporation that’s nattily called Umbrella? Well she is. Also dashing about in boots and hotpants, we have another ally whose name escapes me. There’s the token bimbo, the token hardnuts. But then we have two additions!
Firstly we get LJ, whose character bears an uncanny resemblance to Cat in Red Dwarf. Then we get Angie, the frightened little girl trying to outrun the moaning hordes. Now the cynics among you may think ‘Hmm. Didn’t Aliens use this storyline?’ You might think it even harder when I tell you they nicked a line of dialogue from that script. When Angie tells Alice her name, Alice says, ‘I like that.’ Just like when Newt tells Ripley her name.
Natch, said little girl, like Alice, is infected with the virus. As a bonus, her father is wheelchair-bound. And dies helping Alice et al.
Then we have some new monsters. Three quadrupeds that look like flayed Dobermans; you never find out what the hell they are. A weird failed experiment that looks like Ben J Grimm with bigger teeth and a bulletproof raincoat. He’s got some big boots too. The orc-like creature with the fearsome gnashes and prehensile tail from the first film also makes a not particularly welcome return.
Other than that, it’s business as usual. ‘Oh look. There’s a zombie. Let’s kill it.’ However, just to keep you on your toes there are some holes in the plot you could drive a bus through.
The high production values can’t save this film. Nothing can. Even the usually admirable Iain Glen tanks as the evil mastermind behind Umbrella/Hive. Please avoid if you value your sanity.