Movie: Resident Evil: Apocalypse

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Our Rating: 2.00

The good news for fans of 2002's top guilty pleasure, Resident Evil: The zombie dogs and Milla Jovovich are back. The bad news: Director Paul W.S. Anderson has been replaced by first-timer Alexander Witt, whose journeyman effort totally lacks Anderson's smart-trash poetics and pulp-art visual sense. As zombies overrun Raccoon City, the Umbrella Corporation uses the conflagration to try out its latest mutant monster, Nemesis. Meanwhile, Jovovich and some elite fighting-unit types have until dawn to find a scientist's daughter before Umbrella nukes the town. Anderson would have milked the film's oft-crazed conflation of mad science, lost mutant love and corporate greed gone neo-Nazi for every high-junk dollar. But Witt only has one mood/lighting scheme (gloomy/dark) and one pace (really fast). Still, he serves up some serious whoa with his 007-y shots of Alice rappelling a skyscraper; the Alice vs. Nemesis face-offs are fairly zippy; and the film's portrayal of a prone media lying for The Company provides timely verisimilitude.

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