Resident Evil: Apocalypse

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Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Resident evil apocalypse poster.jpg
Theatrical Release poster
Directed by Alexander Witt
Produced by Paul W. S. Anderson
Jeremy Bolt
Don Carmody
Written by Paul W. S. Anderson
Based on Resident Evil 
by Capcom
Starring Milla Jovovich
Sienna Guillory
Oded Fehr
Thomas Kretschmann
Jared Harris
Mike Epps
Sophie Vavasseur
Raz Adoti
Sandrine Holt
Narrated by Milla Jovovich
Music by Jeff Danna
Cinematography Derek Rogers
Christian Sebaldt
Edited by Eddie Hamilton
Production
company
Constantin Film
Davis Films
Impact Pictures
Capcom Co, Ltd.
Distributed by Screen Gems
Release dates
  • September 10, 2004 (2004-09-10)
Running time 94 minutes
Country United Kingdom[1][2]
Canada[1][2]
Language English
Budget $45 million[3]
Box office $129,394,835[3]

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a 2004 British-Canadian apocalyptic fiction action horror film directed by Alexander Witt, from a screenplay written by producer Paul W. S. Anderson. It is the second installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is based on the Capcom survival horror video game series Resident Evil.

Borrowing elements from the video games Resident Evil 2, 3: Nemesis, and Code: Veronica, Resident Evil: Apocalypse follows heroine Alice, who has escaped the underground Umbrella facility and must band with other survivors including Jill Valentine and escape Raccoon City alive.

The film opened to theaters on September 10, 2004. On a budget of $40 million, the film grossed $51 million domestically and $129 million worldwide, surpassing the box office gross of the previous installment. Resident Evil: Apocalypse received mostly negative reviews from critics, who praised the action sequences but criticized the plot. The film was released to DVD on December 28, 2004.

Plot[edit]

30 days after the contamination of The Hive, the Umbrella Corporation unwisely sends in a research team to re-open the complex and investigate the incident, since no one survived except Alice and Matt Addison, and as Alice was experimented on, Matt was put into a mysterious "Nemesis Program". When the team reprograms and opens the sealed blast doors, it is slaughtered by the massive crowd of infected.

With the infected released outside, they reach Raccoon City, spreading the infection among the general populace. Two days after the infection has spread to the surface, Umbrella, worried about possible worldwide contamination, quarantines Raccoon City and establishes a security perimeter around it. However, a girl named Angela Ashford (Sophie Vavasseur), daughter of a Level 6 Umbrella researcher Dr. Charles Ashford (Jared Harris), who is also the T-virus creator, goes missing, after an Umbrella security car transporting her out of Raccoon City suffers a traffic accident.

Alice awakens in the deserted Raccoon City hospital with wiring attached to her. Finding no one in the hospital, she wanders outside to find the city a ghost town, infected. She arms herself with a shotgun from a police car. She is constantly disturbed by a man who keeps showing up in visions, who was revealed to be experimenting on her; she now has superhuman agility and strength.

While Umbrella is evacuating civilians at the Raven's Gate Bridge, the only exit out of the town, disgraced police officer Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) (who was suspended for releasing the story of infected), confers with Sergeant Peyton Wells (Razaaq Adoti), her old ally, after hearing about the infection being true. However, the T-virus infects a man having a heart attack, turning him into a zombie that bites Peyton at the city gates. Umbrella supervisor and the head of the Raccoon City contamination operation, Timothy Cain (Thomas Kretschmann), worried that the T-virus has reached the gates, seals the exit and orders his soldiers to fire over the crowd's heads, scaring them back into the city.

Elsewhere, Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and other Umbrella soldiers link up with Special Tactics And Rescue Squad (S.T.A.R.S.) units to defend against an onslaught of zombies. Their positions are overrun, causing Carlos and his team to retreat with a bitten Yuri (Stefen Hayes), who turns into a zombie and infects Carlos before being killed. Before Yuri becomes a zombie, however, Jill, Peyton, and news reporter Terri Morales (Sandrine Holt) lock themselves in a church, where a panicked man is also hiding. Inspecting the church, Jill finds a priest who has been feeding his zombified sister other people. Later on, they find the church is full of Lickers; the priest and the fugitive are killed, but Jill, Peyton, and Terri are saved at the last minute by the heavily armed Alice.

In the meantime, Umbrella dispatches their Nemesis program to kill all remaining S.T.A.R.S. operatives. When Nemesis encounters a surviving citizen, L.J. (Mike Epps), and members of S.T.A.R.S., they open fire on Nemesis. Nemesis guns the team down but spares L.J.'s life when he drops his weapons. Meanwhile, Dr. Ashford has refused extraction since Angela is missing, and soon discovers she is hiding in her school dormitory. He hacks in the city's CCTV system, uses it to contact Alice and the other survivors, and offers to arrange their evacuation in exchange for rescuing Angela. Alice, seeing no other escape, accepts the offer.

After Peyton, Terri, and Jill hear the offer, they relent, intending to seal themselves until backup, but Alice explains her choice; as the contamination cannot be put under control, a nuclear bomb will be dropped on Raccoon City, completely destroying it, and the media cover story will be a meltdown of the local nuclear power plant. Soon after, Peyton shows signs of weakness from the T-Virus, and as this happens, Nemesis appears and shoots Peyton dead. Alice separates and assaults him, but he is invincible to fight. She lures him to a local store, where she tries to fight him, but she is overwhelmed and forced into retreat. Jill and Terri make it to the school, and they also pick up L.J. on the way.

Inside the school, they find Carlos and Nicholai (Zack Ward), acting on the same offer. After encounters with zombie dogs and infected children who kill Nicholai and Terri, Alice saves the group again and they find Angela. Angela reveals she was injected with the T-virus; she was ill by a genetic disease, and forced to walk on crutches. Dr. Ashford created the T-virus to allow her to walk, and he also created the anti-virus because of the T-virus's potential for mutations, but the virus was then impounded and weaponized by Umbrella. Alice uses Terri's video camera to record her story, and injects Carlos with the anti-virus carried by Angela to keep her infection in check.

Dr. Ashford gives Alice the location of the extraction point at the City Hall, where the helicopter waits. The group makes it to the rendezvous, but are cornered by Major Cain, who has caught wind of Dr. Ashford's intentions and is holding him prisoner. All but Alice are restrained, and seconds later Nemesis appears, with the helicopter being actually Nemesis's extraction before the bomb detonation. Major Cain commands Alice to fight Nemesis. Alice refuses, but when Cain kills Dr. Ashford in cold blood, she relents and fights him, impaling him on a pole. Defeating Nemesis, she realizes he is Matt Addison; as he was infected by a Licker, he started to mutate, and was placed in the program.

Her stand and refusing to kill him rekindles a trace of Nemesis's/Matt's former humanity, and they join forces and attack the Umbrella forces. Meanwhile, Carlos and Jill cut themselves free from their bonds, joining the fight. Nemesis is killed, protecting Alice from an exploding helicopter; Alice throws Major Cain out of the helicopter as her punishment to him, to be devoured by a horde of encroaching zombies, including Dr. Ashford. As they escape in the remaining chopper, the nuclear missile detonates over the City Hall. The helicopter is caught in the blast wave and crashes. As the helicopter falls, a metal pole comes loose and is flung towards Angela. Alice moves in front of Angela and is impaled, saving her but killing Alice.

Some hours after the explosion, Umbrella employees locate the helicopter's crash site, deep in the Arklay Mountains. There, they find Alice's body, badly burned; the others are nowhere to be found. The media later shows that Terri's footage has been shown to the press, but despite Carlos and Jill's best efforts, Jill's earlier suggestion about Umbrella's media power comes true: Umbrella promotes a fake story about a nuclear power plant explosion near the city with ease, the infection is argued as a hoax, and the media announce that Jill and Carlos are wanted by the police for questioning.

Three weeks later, in the midwest Umbrella research facility in Detroit, Alice awakens. Led by Umbrella scientist Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen), the doctors begin questioning her. Soon, she recalls events from Raccoon City and before. She realizes that the doctor who appeared in her visions is Dr. Isaacs. She attacks him, fights her way out of the facility and makes her way outside, only to be surrounded by more Umbrella guards holding her at gunpoint. Suddenly, Jill, Carlos, Angela, and L.J. pull up, disguised as Umbrella employees. Carlos shows the guards a written order placing her in his custody. Alice enters the vehicle and Dr. Isaacs is shown saying, "Let them go" to an Umbrella guard and then saying "Program Alice activated." A close-up of Alice's eye shows a flashing Umbrella logo and she ignores her friends. The scene then pulls away from the car they are in and all the way out into space, where an Umbrella satellite is seen.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Pre-production[edit]

Resident Evil: Apocalypse was first discussed by Milla Jovovich and Paul W. S. Anderson while promoting Resident Evil (2002). Anderson stated that he began writing the screenplay for the second film after completing the first. He revealed an idea to have Jill Valentine meeting up with Alice,[4] however this idea was scrapped as he wanted two separate stories occurring at the same time.[5] Anderson mentioned the film would go ahead if the first film was a success and promised that "the sequel will be even better", stating that "there is more of the story to be told."[6] The sequel was officially greenlit by Sony in mid-2002,[7] however Anderson chose not to direct but rather stay on as the film's producer and writer due to commitments to Alien vs. Predator (2004).[8]

Alexander Witt was hired by Sony to direct the sequel.[9] Milla Jovovich confirmed her character would return in the sequel if the first film was successful,[4] and when the film was greenlit, Jovovich officially signed on.[10] In March 2002, Eric Mabius (who played Matt Addison in the first film), confirmed the story would revolve around his character becoming Nemesis. He also revealed he would portray the character and study his movements whilst playing Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, however before production began he pulled out[7] and Matthew G. Taylor was cast as Nemesis.[8] It was reported that Gina Philips would appear as Claire Redfield and Natasha Henstridge as Jill Valentine, however both actresses left before production began.[8][11] Sienna Guillory was cast to portray Jill Valentine and Oded Fehr was cast as Carlos Olivera,[12] while Claire Redfield's role was scrapped after Emily Bergl dropped the role.[13] The role was later offered to Ali Larter in the film's sequel Extinction (2007). Jason Isaacs was originally intended to return and portray Dr. William Birkin,[14] however passed on the role and the character's name was changed to Dr. Isaacs, with Iain Glen being cast in the role.[8]

Jack Noseworthy was originally rumored to portray Brad Vickers, however, this was later revealed as a rumor.[15] Two weeks before production began, Jared Harris was cast as a new character called Dr. Ashford who developed and produced the T-virus.[16]

Story development[edit]

In March 2002, it was revealed that the film borrowed plot elements from Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, as the film's subtitle was revealed as Resident Evil: Nemesis.[7] It was also revealed that the film included new characters from the video game series, such as Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, Carlos Olivera, Dr. William Birkin and Nemesis.[5][11][17] In April 2003, it was confirmed that the story began minutes after the end of the first film, where Alice is a survivor amongst the ruins of Raccoon City.[18]

The film borrowed numerous elements from the game series, including re-enactments of certain scenes, such as Alice running through a building with an Umbrella helicopter firing at her, up to the point where she drops her gun, falls, re-grabs it and fires, which is reminiscent of the introductory cutscene of Resident Evil Code: Veronica.[8] Another scene where Raccoon City is overrun by zombies and the police and Umbrella mercenaries are fighting back is reminiscent of the introduction of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.[8] Other scenes involve the launching a missile to destroy Raccoon City and the attack at the graveyard.[8]

The film references Resident Evil, with the crash site of the helicopter being located in the Arklay Forest near the Arklay Mountains, where the Resident Evil series began.[8] Other similarities include Jill's moves from the first game.[8] The recording of Terri's death is similar to Kenneth's death.[8] A white goddess statue can be seen in the church, with artwork of goddesses having a large role in the puzzles of the Resident Evil series.[8] Whilst walking on the Arklay Overpass, Jill speculates that there is no way out, and that Ashford may just be watching them on the cameras, as if the whole thing were some sort of sick game. The games use a fixed camera perspective, which in most of the earlier games resembles a mounted camera's perspective.[8] Another similarity includes a scene where Jill finds a gun under a pew, mirroring the game when the player finds ammunition or weapons in certain areas.[8]

The film references Resident Evil 2 when Alice visits the gun shop which is similar to Kendo's Gun Shop.[8] Angela Ashford's character is based on Sherry Birkin, as they are both children, dressed in school uniforms, and in need of rescue. Both of their fathers are also researchers working for Umbrella.[8] The Ashford name comes from the founders of Umbrella revealed in Resident Evil Code: Veronica. The film also references Resident Evil 3: Nemesis with Jill wearing the same outfit. Nemesis is a character taken directly from the game, and the "STARS" are mentioned on numerous occasions.[8]

Production[edit]

Actors portraying zombies were trained at a zombie "boot camp" where they were coached to act as "zen" zombies and "liquid" zombies. Anderson and other crew members intended to make the zombies move faster but decided that it would be breaking a fundamental element of the games.[8] The design for Nemesis was to include an actor in a suit (Matthew G. Taylor) with only special effects applied to certain parts of the character's body, such as the eye.[8] The Lickers were fully computer-generated, though the use of physical puppets was originally considered.[8] To avert issues faced during production, the CGI work of the Lickers began early.[8] The film was filmed on location in Canada, with the film entering pre-production stages in mid-2003. Principal photography was slated to originally begin in July 2003,[18] before being bumped up to August 6, 2003.[10]

The film was shot in Ontario, Canada, with Toronto and its surrounding suburbs being a stand-in for Raccoon City.[19] Toronto City Hall and Exhibition Place (namely the National Trade Centre) were used as Umbrella's worldwide headquarters, while the logos of Canada's largest banks feature prominently in the skyline shots of the city, and the Prince Edward Viaduct was used to represent Ravens' Gate.[20] It was originally feared that production would be shut down due to the 2003 SARS outbreak in Toronto;[21] however, production resumed, with filming ending in October 2003.[22] The film was also shot at the Hamilton Cemetery in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.[23]

Marketing and release[edit]

The film was planned for an October 31, 2003 release,[24] although was pushed back to September 10, 2004 due to the 2003 SARS outbreak.[25] In late 2003, a teaser trailer was released titled Regenerate[26] and was directed by Marcus Nispel. The preview was noted for being reminiscent of the Olay product Regenerist advertisements and can be viewed in RealMedia[27] and Windows Media formats.[28] In May 2004 it was revealed the trailer would actually be part of the film.[29] Milla Jovovich's official website later released promotional images that showed Alice in several scenes from the film.[30]

The theatrical trailer was released on Yahoo! Movies on July 7, 2004[31] and prior to the film's release, two albums for Resident Evil: Apocalypse were released. The first was the soundtrack which was released August 31, 2004 and featured music from the film.[32] The second was the film's score, which was released in late 2004 and was composed by Jeff Danna[33] and performed by the London Philharmonia Orchestra. A day before the film's release, numerous props from the film were auctioned on the website Premiere Props.[34] The film opened at number one in North America on September 10, 2004 and received an estimated $23.7 million on its opening weekend[35] and $129,394,835 worldwide.[3]

A novelization written by Keith R. A. DeCandido was published by Pocket Star on August 31, 2004. The novel is 288 pages long.[36] DeCandido also wrote the novelizations for the first and third films.

Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 21% on based on 124 reviews.[37] Metacritic gives the film a score of 35% based on 26 reviews.[38]

Leonard Maltin rated the film a "BOMB" in his book Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, and called it a "Tiresome follow-up to Resident Evil that plays more like a remake." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a score of half a star out of four, saying: "The movie is an utterly meaningless waste of time. There was no reason to produce it, except to make money, and there is no reason to see it, except to spend money. It is a dead zone, a film without interest, wit, imagination or even entertaining violence and special effects. [...] Parents: If you encounter teenagers who say they liked this movie, do not let them date your children."[39]

Dave Kehr of The New York Times gave the film a positive review, saying: "Anderson's screenplay provides a steady series of inventive action situations, and the director, Alexander Witt, makes the most of them. His work is fast, funny, smart and highly satisfying in terms of visceral impact."[40] M. E. Russell of The Oregonian said: "The bad news? The movie is monumentally stupid. The good news? It's a fun kind of stupid."[41] Nathan Rabin of A.V. Club said that the film "takes too long to get going to qualify unequivocally as a good movie, but when Jovovich finally starts kicking zombified ass, it becomes good enough."[42]

Gregory Kirschling of Entertainment Weekly praised Jovovich but felt that "the rest of the cast is strictly straight-to-DVD."[43] Ben Kenigsberg of The Village Voice said the film is "not without its moments of elemental dread [but] also obviously padded, too long on action, and painfully short on irony. The satirical element still packs a minor jolt."[44] Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer said that "those who want something more substantial from a movie than a vid-game script with centerfold appeal will not find it in this noisy, bone-crushing survivalist flick."[45]

In 2009, Time listed the film on their list of top ten worst video game movies.[46] According to the DVD extras of Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Paul W. S. Anderson, the director of the first film and writer of the series, was critical of director Alexander Witt's work.

Accolades[edit]

Awards
Award Category Recipient(s) Outcome
31st Saturn Awards Best Make-Up Paul Jones Nominated
Directors Guild of Canada Awards Best Sound Editing-Feature Film Kevin Banks, Stephen Barden, Joe Bracciale, Lee de Lang, Craig Henighan, Jill Purdy, Nathan Robitaille Nominated
25th Genie Awards Best Sound Editing Craig Henighan, Steve Baine, Stephen Barden, Tony Lewis, Jill Purdy, Nathan Robitaille Won
Golden Reel Award Paul W. S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Don Carmody Won
Best Overall Sound Dean Humphreys, Todd Beckett, David Lee Nominated

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD in North America on December 28, 2004. Releases on UMD and Blu-ray Disc formats followed on April 19, 2005 and January 16, 2007, respectively. The film was released in Australia and New Zealand on March 16, 2005 and February 2005 in UK. The release included an audio commentary by the director Alexander Witt, producer Paul W. S. Anderson, and actress Milla Jovovich. The release included 20 deleted scenes with numerous outtakes and a featurette titled "Game Over: Resident Evil Reanimated". 6 other featurettes were included which covered behind the scenes of the film's production. The blooper reel included on the DVD edition is not included on the Blu-ray edition of the film.

Special "Resurrection Editions" of both Resident Evil (2002) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse were released in a two-disc set on September 4, 2007. An exclusive sneak peek scene for Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) was included, along with several other bonus features including "Diary of an Apocalypse" and "The Evolution of Resident Evil: Bridge to Extinction".[47][48]

In 2013, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released a two-disc set containing the first four films in the series. It was called The 4 Movie Resident Evil Collection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Foundas, Scott (September 8, 2004). "Resident Evil: Apocalypse Review". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Resident Evil: Apocalypse". British Film Institute. London. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  4. ^ a b "MSN Talks to Director Paul Anderson and Actress Milla Jovovich". Spring 2002. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  5. ^ a b "Director Paul Anderson's Update on Casting". Spring 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  6. ^ "Second Resident Evil in the Works". Spring 2002. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  7. ^ a b c "Eric Mabius Talks Resident Evil 2". 2002. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Paul W. S. Anderson (2004). Resident Evil: Apocalypse Commentary (DVD). Sony Entertainment. 
  9. ^ "Resident Evil: Apocalypse Production Notes". movieweb.com. Spring 2004. Archived from the original on September 15, 2004. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  10. ^ a b "Milla Jovovich To Return With New Director". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  11. ^ a b "Director Paul Anderson Announces New Cast Members". countingdown.com. Spring 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  12. ^ "Oded Fehr and Sienna Guillory Join the Cast". countingdown.com. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  13. ^ "Emily Bergl Joins the Cast". countingdown.com. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  14. ^ "Jason Isaacs Playing The Villain?". countingdown.com. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  15. ^ "Jack Noseworthy Joins The Cast". countingdown.com. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  16. ^ "Jared Harris Joins the Cast". countingdown.com. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  17. ^ "Resident Evil 2 has a Subtitle". countingdown.com. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  18. ^ a b "Production To Begin In July". countingdown.com. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  19. ^ DAVE KEHR, "Call to Arms, With Trouble Right Here in Zombie City: Review of RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE," The New York Times (September 10, 2004).
  20. ^ "Filming Locations". imdb.com. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  21. ^ "SARS alert: Toronto-based Resident Evil sequel at risk". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  22. ^ "Filming Dates". imdb.com. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  23. ^ "Internet Movie Database - List of Films shot in Hamilton, Ontario". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  24. ^ "Release Date for Nemesis". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  25. ^ "Release Date Changed". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  26. ^ "See the RE2 Trailer Online!". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  27. ^ "RealMedia Player Trailer". sonypictures.com. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  28. ^ "Windows Media Player Trailer". sonypictures.com. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  29. ^ "Teaser Trailer TO Be Part of Film". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  30. ^ "Behind the scenes photos from Resident Evil 2!". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  31. ^ "Resident Evil: Apocalypse Trailer Online". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  32. ^ "Resident Evil: Apocalypse Soundtrack Info". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  33. ^ "Jeff Danna To Score Apocalypse". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  34. ^ "Props and Wardrobe Auctions!". countingdown.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  35. ^ "Resident Evil Sequel Infects Weekend Box Office". countingdown.com. 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  36. ^ "Resident Evil: Apocalupse novelization". amazon.com. ISBN 0743493494. 
  37. ^ Resident Evil: Apocalypse reviews, Flixster
  38. ^ Resident Evil: Apocalypse reviews, Metacritic CBS
  39. ^ Review, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, September 10, 2004
  40. ^ Review[dead link], Dave Kehr, The New York Times
  41. ^ Review by M. E. Russell, Portland Oregonian, September 2004
  42. ^ Nathan Rabin (September 14, 2004). "Resident Evil: Apocalypse". The A.V. Club. The Onion. 
  43. ^ Review, Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly
  44. ^ Review, Ben Kenigsberg, Village Voice
  45. ^ Review[dead link], Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
  46. ^ "Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies". Time Magazine. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  47. ^ Resident Evil/Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Double Feature)
  48. ^ Deadly Bundle: Resident Evil Flicks Resurrected

External links[edit]