Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) - Special Edition

Genre(s): Action / Horror
Sony || R - 94 minutes - $19.99 || December 28, 2004
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-01-08


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Alexander Witt
Writer(s): Paul W.S. Anderson (written by)
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Thomas Kretschmann, Sophie Vavasseur, Razaaq Adoti, Jared Harris, Mike Epps


Theatrical Release Date: September 10, 2004


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:

    Disc 1:
  • Director, Producer & Executive Producer Commentary
  • Actors' Commentary
  • Writer/Producer & Producer Commentary
  • Previews


  • Disc 2:
  • 20 Deleted Scenes
  • Cast Outtakes
  • Game Over: Resident Evil Reanimated
  • Corporate Malfeasance Featurette
  • Game Babes Featurette
  • Symphony of Evil Featurette
  • Poster Gallery


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40), Full Screen (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Milla Jovovich's returns as Alice, a former employee for the evil Umbrella corporation. The film picks up with the entire Raccoon City (no, I'm not going to make any jokes since I know it's from the game) being quarantined from the deadly T-Virus after the Hive is reopened. Since most of the cast of the original Resident Evil were (one by one) slaughtered, so new bodies are needed to start over again. Enter Jill Valentine (Guillory), Carlos Olivera (Fehr), Terri Morales (Holt) as a weathergirl trying to move her way up by breaking the coverup story, and Dr. Ashford (Harris) who has his own part in the entire virus conspiracy.

I liked the original Resident Evil mainly because it had a good amount of scares (even the false ones) and the story was half-way decent. But, Apocalypse has no characters I could root for (the kick ass chicks is nice, but that alone isn't enough) and for a horror/thriller/action, there's suprisingly nothing really "thrilling" about it. I can accept a movie with a dumb plot and characters whose sole purpose is to be killed by the creature(s) of the hour. Resident Evil: Apocalypse has some decent fight scenes which are ruined by messy dialogue.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse may be the film lovers of the game will enjoy since some scenes were taken directly from the games themselves (as some of the featurettes show in a side-by-side comparison). I just personally found this horror film to be, well, horrifically uninteresting. If you're a fan of the video game series, then maybe you'll appreciate some of these things, but as someone who has never played them, this was a waste of time.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Even though the film thouroughly sucked, the special features were thorough and actually alot more interesting than the movie itself.

The first disc has three commentary tracks: First up is director Alexander Witt along side producers Bolt and Kulzer. This track was pretty basic but what I was relieved that the commentators didn't telestrate the entire thing as some do if they have nothing to say. Instead, Witt (who makes his directorial debut) talks about how he came aboard, why they chose him (he's an accomplished second unit director of films like Speed, The Bourne Identity and The Italian Job to name only a few). The three are pretty formal and talk about angles, how this or that scene was shot, the great job Witt did and (my favorite) wanting to make a film that will still be remembered 10 to 15 years from now (yeah, right).

For a change of pace, is commentary from cast members Jovovich, Fehr and Guillory. While Guillory's commentary was spliced in, Milla Jovovich and Oded Fehr seemed to be having a grand time making fun of themselves (Fehr hates guns and didn't want to become an action actor) or make fun of the zombie moans and groans. The only problem I found with this track was that Guillory was dead serious about her thoughts of the film one moment and then it cuts to Jovovich and Fehr as they laugh it up. Maybe the powers-that-be wanted it that way to cover both sides, but I found it distracting. But be warned: Jovovich is indeed comes across ditzy (and perhaps drunk), but I liked it.

The last commentary comes from writer/producer Paul WS Anderson (the director of the original Resident Evil) and (once again) producer Jeremy Bolt. This really was an unnecessary track that they could've spliced into the first one. Anderson doesn't tell us anything we didn't know before.

Game Over: Resident Evil Reanimated: This is a 6-part, 50 minute, "documentary"-esque that covers different aspects of the filming of Apocalypse. The short featurettes goes through the story, stunt work, production design, etc, but it comes across as one of those annoying TV 'making-of' where there are short clips of the actors and crew talking about great Milla Jovovich was or how fearless this or that person was. I get tired of these, but I guess for such a crappy film, it wasn't all too bad.

Game Babes Featurette: Running at 11 minutes, there are interviews with the two female leads and other cast and crew members discuss the rise of female action stars and how audiences have reacted and accepted them. Not really a great featurette (mainly throw-away) but doesn't hurt to look at the two ladies...

Symphony of Evil: This is 7 minutes of montages from the film plus pre-visualization and storyboards set to some classical music. I think it would've been better if they had done a real documentary about how much work it took to put together the special effects (a la The Matrix movies).

Corporate Malfeasance: A short (3 minutes) featurette that gives the background on the Umbrella Corporation and why this company is so powerful in Raccoon City. Cast and crew interviews make comparisons to Umbrella and the atmosphere today.

Deleted Scenes: There are 20 deleted and extended scenes that (if there was commentary to accompany it), they were cut because of "pacing" as a majority of these things are. Personally, I would've loved to see the "Weather Report" scene (that was a gem) or "Closure", which was basically an alternate ending which I would even admit was a letdown. The other scenes were obvious why they were cut and since they were, it also cut down an already long 95 minute runtime (the scenes run about 12 minutes).

Other features include outtakes which run around 3 minutes where the cast forget their lines or make stupid mistakes. There is also a poster gallery showcasing 5 of the winning posters from an Internet contest and several previews of both Resident Evil movies, The Forgotten and The Fifth Element among others.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The picture is actually very crisp and the visuals looks absolutely amazing, but there was much to be desired with the sound, which the dialogue was too quiet and in other scenes (such as a nuclear explosion), it's too low key, my bass barely kicked in. So, for an action/horror film, the sound mix needed to much, much better.



.::OVERALL::.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a DVD that, if the movie had been even average, might've been a decent set, but alas it wasn't. If you're a fan of the game, then maybe you'll find this DVD worthwhile, but for everyone else, skip this turkey, even with a nice amount of special features, it's still not worth your time.