Apocalypse a quintessentially mindless action-adventure

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Proving that you can milk a flimsy premise for every ounce of its useless worth, Resident Evil: Apocalypse arrives in theaters with a loud thud.

Based on the popular series of PlayStation video games, this sorry sequel is nothing more than a mindless action film with two-dimensional characters that should have remained in their video-game world.

Apocalypse picks up with the evil Umbrella corporation performing scientific tests under Raccoon City (which, oddly enough, looks a lot like Toronto but hey, if I was Toronto, I wouldnt want to admit my city was in this crappy film either).

The tests get out of control and soon the city is infected with a virus that allows the undead to rise and take over Raccoon City.

In the midst of all these zombies is a small group of people led by Alice (Milla Jovovich), one of the few survivors from Umbrellas first virus outbreak.

First-time director Alexander Witt, tries to keep Resident Evil moving at a brisk pace that most video game enthusiasts should appreciate. The problem with that approach is that it only enhances the fact that the films substance is practically nonexistent. And once again, screenwriter Paul W. S. Anderson (who wrote the original, as well as last months even more dreadful Alien vs. Predator) shows that his writing skills are about as entertaining as Mark Cuban hosting a reality show.

Dont get me wrong, its not like I expect a zombie movie to have some deep emotional impact but I expect to be entertained. At least the remake of Dawn of Dead felt like it was trying something new; Resident Evil is just going through the motions with one silly action scene after another.

I will give the film credit for one thing: The addition of Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine does improve the babe with guns quotient immensely. But its still not worth wasting 90 minutes on this wreck.

Sadly, the ending suggests a part three. Talk about beating an undead horse.

Discount dandy of the week (sort of)

This weeks discount dandy is White Chicks (C). It isnt a great comedy its not even a good one. But when you consider all the junk that has been released in first-run theaters the last month … well, at least its mildly entertaining.

White Chicks stars Marlon and Shawn Wayans as FBI agents who disguise themselves as high class hotel heiresses to prevent a kidnapping plot.

Men in drag isnt exactly new ground, but the Wayans brothers get some mileage out of making fun of the high society WASP culture even if they look like Michael Myers with wigs.

When I first saw the trailer for White Chicks, I was expecting a film that would easily make my list of the 10 worst films of the year, so I was surprised that I actually laughed on more than one occasion. Still, the comedy is sporadic, with more jokes that miss the mark than those that work.

The films biggest laughs come from Terry Crews as a professional athlete who becomes smitten with one of the heiresses. His character is an original and one that deserved more screen time.

White Chicks is playing at the Plaza 6, where all movies are $1.50.

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