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Film / Resident Evil: Apocalypse

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Resident Evil: Apocalypse is the second film in the Resident Evil Film Series. It is directed by Alexander Witt and written by Paul W.S. Anderson. It occurs some time after the events of the first film. The Umbrella Corporation decides to reopen the Hive and figure out what happened, but its decision proves disastrous: the T-Virus infects one of the scientists, which lets it travel outside of the Hive and into nearby Raccoon City.

Sometime after the living dead have overrun the city, Alice (Milla Jovovich) awakens in an abandoned hospital. When she leaves the building, she finds herself in the middle of a city devastated by the chaos that follows a zombie attack. She finds allies in S.T.A.R.S. officer Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and Umbrella Corporation mercenary Carlos Oliviera (Oded Fehr), who (along with a group of survivors in tow) all hope to find a way out of the city before Umbrella can initiate its final countermeasure (a tactical nuclear strike) to prevent the T-Virus from spreading outside of Raccoon City.

Umbrella doesn't want any survivors, however, so it decides to send in the "Nemesis Project" to take care of any stragglers...

The film also stars Thomas Kretschmann as Timothy Cain, Sophie Vavasseur as Angela "Angie" Ashford and Razaaq Adoti as Peyton Wells.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abandoned Hospital Awakening: Alice does this in the beginning of Apocalypse as a repeated scene from the end of the first movie.
  • Action Girl: Alice and Jill Valentine.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Thanks to Apocalypse being shot in Toronto, Raccoon City has a much more urban feel to it, and is much more like an actual urban city instead of being a very large town in the original game series, until the remade versions of the second and third games.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Nicholai, who is a villain in the games.
    • Nemesis is this when he's revealed to be Matt Addison from the first film.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: There's no freaking way Umbrella could have built those enormous walls around the city in any amount of time lesser than weeks, not to speak about the short time allowed by the virus outbreak, which is supposed to be less of a day.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: Umbrella nukes the city at the end to cover up the zombie outbreak and kill the zombies, then uses the cover story of a nuclear plant melting down. Nuclear power plants don't actually explode when they meltdown, and even Chernobyl wasn't mistaken for a nuclear bomb, so it's unclear why Umbrella thinks anyone is going to buy their cover story. Yet somehow Umbrella manages to discredit Alice's team's video proof of what ''really'' happened.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • No one feels bad for the priest who dies to the very zombie he had been feeding other survivors too.
    • In the novelization, Mackenzie is revealed to have been a Dirty Coward who abandoned his fiancée to die, so it's hard to feel sympathy for him when a Licker snatches him.
  • Beneficial Disease: Alice has gained superhuman abilities because the T-Virus has bonded with her on a cellular level. The film points out that Dr. Ashford designed the T-Virus to reanimate dead cells for medicinal purposes (such as allowing a paralyzed person to walk again by reanimating the dead muscle cells in their legs). The virus has such extreme potency that one must administer it in small, carefully controlled doses alongside periodic injections of an antiviral solution to prevent the virus from spreading into other parts of the patient's body. When the virus gets out of control and spreads too far... well, the film shows what happens.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Cain puts his gun to his head when he's surrounded by the zombies. Unfortunately for him, he's out of ammo.
  • Big Bad: Cain, being responsible for the sealed off Raccoon City and the activation of the "Nemesis Project", used to kill off the members of S.T.A.R.S.
  • Bittersweet Ending: More emphasis is made on "bitter" part, even outright bordering on Downer Ending. Raccoon City is razed to the ground with a nuclear bomb with only five people making it out alive. The corporation also successfully covers the outbreak up and frames the survivors for spreading false information. While Alice is killed in the crash, her body is recovered and experimented even further by Umbrella, and even when Jill and others manage to bail her out, they unknowingly play their cards right into Isaacs' hands, with him being able to control Alice remotely through the space satelite. And as we find out in the next film, Umbrella's alleged attempt at stopping the disease still failed.
  • Blatant Lies: Umbrella successfully covers up their nuking of Raccoon City by claiming the blast was caused by a nuclear plant meltdown, even though meltdowns do not cause cataclysmic explosions and even many laypersons are quite well aware of this fact thanks to well-known incidents like Three Mile Island, to the point that Umbrella could never, ever bribe or threaten enough people to actually maintain such a stupid, flimsy lie.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: LJ's guns:
    "Motherfucker, please — my shit is custom!"
  • Bloodless Carnage: While there is a moderate amount of bloody combat in the film, the fights and shootouts with Cain's men are practically bloodless. No blood splatter from gunshots, no blood splatter from hand to hand combat, nada.
  • Broad Strokes: The video game and movie verses are obviously separate, but early on in the film, we see newspaper articles mentioning the suspension of the S.T.A.R.S. unit, and Jill demonstrates she has knowledge about the zombies when she first appears, suggesting that some version of the events from the first Resident Evil game must have happened in the movie verse too.
  • Broken Heel: A woman fleeing from zombies breaks one of her heels. She only stops for a few seconds before she starts running again.
  • The Cameo: Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody has one as a zombie who gets a knife thrown at his head, while drummer Rocky Gray is among the dead that mob the building before the missile hits.
  • Car Fu: L.J. runs over a zombie while yelling, "GTA, motherfucker! Yeah! Ten points!"
  • Chekhov's Skill: Nemesis is a good enough shot with the minigun to take out the S.T.A.R.S. while leaving LJ uninjured. He uses the same precision to shoot Umbrella's men on either side of Alice without hitting her.
  • Clown-Car Grave: The cemetery cannot possibly hold as many dead people as rises from the graves.
  • Cold Sniper: Played with. The S.T.A.R.S. sniper isn't exactly cold — in fact, he is quite boisterous with his loud cowboy screams (and a hat to match), snarky post-mortem comments, listening to music over headphones and downing a beer. Nevertheless, he remains collected and seems to have nerves of steel (he head-shoots a zombie which was inches away from LJ moments after noticing it). That is, until he spots Nemesis and sees it taking two of his shots and surviving. Then he totally loses it.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Alice vs. Nemesis.
  • Cure for Cancer: Dr. Ashford originally designed the T-Virus to alleviate the symptoms of a degenerative nerve disease, but something went horribly wrong.
  • Decomposite Character: Interestingly, both Dr. Ashford (the Voice with an Internet Connection) and Angela (English Creepy Child) divide up traits of the Red Queen between them.
  • Degraded Boss: A Licker was the final boss of the first film. This time, Alice is able to defeat three of them at once without much trouble.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: A news reporter early on in the movie:
    "Still no explanation for this wave of unexplained killings."
  • Devoured by the Horde:
    • When sent to find Angela in a school full of infected children and dogs, Terri Morales runs into an infected child and she's quickly surrounded by the other children and she's eaten alive.
    • Cain puts his gun to his head when he's surrounded by the zombies. Unfortunately for him, he's out of ammo and he gets eaten alive, among the zombies includes Dr. Ashford who Cain kills earlier and he gets the first bite.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: LJ, upon seeing the below mentioned stripper zombies, takes his eyes off the road and crashes his car.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: Alice's finger is dislocated sliding down a service chute while escaping from Nemesis. She snaps it back into place once he's gone.
  • *Drool* Hello: A Licker's tongue slithers around Mackenzie in the church.
  • Dual Wielding: Alice's paired fighting batons.
  • Dull Surprise: The woman that Carlos Oliveira tries to save in the beginning is less than expressive.
  • Fanservice: The stripper zombies, who have no outward signs of being zombified, are busty, topless, and swaying.
  • Genre Blind:
    • Police officers at the beginning of the movie, to a ludicrous degree. Although the perpetrators they're dealing with are very obviously rotting, shambling, flesh-devouring, crazed living dead with no semblance of humanity left, it never occurs to them that they're genuine zombies and are trying to treat them as if they were normal arrestees — restraining them, handcuffing them and taking them into custody. Watching that is just embarrassing.
    • The TV reporter saying that there's no explanation for the wave of unexplained killings. Apparently, "zombie invasion" is far too complicated explanation for her or anybody else to come up with.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The film has a lot of these for an R-rated film about flesh-eating zombies and killer mutants. While there is some blood and obviously deceased corpses biting the shit out of whatever living thing they can get their hands on, most of the deaths are actually GDS for whatever reason.
    • Terri's death is obviously not shown, but the crunching and squelching sounds make it quite obvious that her death was NOT in any way pretty. Even though she herself made a stupid move in the first place, one can only feel bad for her due to how graphic her demise would have been if it wasn't a GDS.
    • Mackenzie's death is not pretty either since he himself was snatched away by a Licker. Knowing what the Licker did to Spence from the first film...
    • Many of the civilians who were forced to return to their homes when the gates were closed pretty much get this. Obviously, we don't see their demises, but by looking at the zombies that ambush Carlos and his team, we can already guess what happened to the poor civs. Not to mention the nuclear bomb taking care of whoever was still alive in the city.
    • The graphic visuals of Cain's death are not displayed, only the infected piling on him and devouring him alive, though it's pretty easy to imagine what his death would have looked like if his death wasn't obstructed by a growing horde of zombies.
  • Guns Akimbo: Alice wields basically everything akimbo. Carlos and LJ both do it with their Desert Eagles, Jill does it briefly in the church, and Nemesis takes the cake with his akimbo minigun and rocket launcher.
  • Hand Cannon: Being Resident Evil, you know they had to include one at least one example. Apocalypse has three specific examples of ridiculously large handguns: Carlos' Desert Eagles as duty weapons, LJ's gold plated Desert Eagles, and Mackenzie, a random survivor, with a Smith & Wesson Model 629 in .44 Magnum.
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: Jill switches on the gas in the boarding school's kitchen, then tosses a lit matchbook to try to blow up the infected guard dogs. The matchbook is blown out by the breeze of her throw, so Alice has to set off the gas with a lit cigarette.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: Alice and Carlos knock out one Umbrella soldier after another with martial arts because they have run out of ammo, but they still don't make any effort to collect their weapons.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Carlos, his team and whatever RPD survivors fighting zombies out in the open streets, leaving them surrounded at all sides by zombies until they're overrun.
  • Idiot Ball: Jill at times, especially inside the school, where she decides the best course of action is to split up, give a gun to a civilian with no firearm training (and not even bother to instruct her on how to use said firearm note ), and send the clearly unprepared woman on her way. Terri, of course, dies horribly.
  • Immediate Sequel: They make sure the final scene of the first movie is here to emphasize it, but there's still a Time Skip before she meets up with Jill, with badass levels fully attained.
  • Implacable Man: Nemesis fulfills this role quite nicely.
  • Incongruously-Dressed Zombie: The topless stripper zombies.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: Umbrella destroys Raccoon City with a tactical nuclear missile strike to purge the infection and destroy evidences. It doesn't work.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • The priest who's been killing and feeding people to his sister. He becomes her last victim.
    • While coercing Alice into fighting Nemesis, Cain guns down Dr. Ashford. Later, his zombified corpse gets the first bite out of Cain when the latter gets tossed out of the helicopter and swarmed.
  • Leg Focus: In her introduction, there is a Male Gaze close-up on the side of Jill's legs as she takes her heels off.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Invoked by Cain at the end, with Alice and Nemesis.
  • Male Gaze: In Jill's introduction, we get some very nice close ups on her legs and cleavage.
  • Matching Bad Guy Vehicles: After causing a zombie outbreak in Raccoon City, Umbrella sends in a team of operatives driving a line of black SUVs to retrieve important personnel.
  • Mega-Corp: Umbrella is this as in the game series, although the film takes this up to eleven. Apparently, in the movie's universe, Umbrella is so powerful that it owns private nuclear arsenal and has enough influence on government and media to completely cover-up what actually happened in Raccoon City and get away with all their crimes. In games, Raccoon City was nuked by the military, not Umbrella themselves, and their machinations which caused T-Virus outbreak and the entire catastophe were eventually revealed to the public, becoming one of main factors which ultimately led to Umbrella's downfall later in the series.
  • Mildly Military: The S.T.A.R.S. are a downplayed example compared to their game counterparts, where each one of them wore a different outfit, making them look more like a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, rather than a coherent special forces unit. In the movie, they all wear identical uniforms and appear to be more overall disciplined and organized. However, this is played completely straight with their sniper, who sports a cowboy hat and apparently has a habit of listening to a Walkman and drinking beer during action — none of which would be tolerated in any sort of military or police force whatsoever.
  • Modern Minstrelsy: LJ positively reeks of this to an embarrassing degree.
  • Mood Whiplash: The commentary with Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, and Sienna Guillory has this as Jovovich and Fehr recorded separately from Guillory. It becomes somewhat jarring to hear Genki Girl Jovovich and snarky Fehr laughing and having fun, then suddenly hear Guillory's deadpan serious commentary, which makes clear the fact that she actively tried to translate her video game character (Jill) completely from the games to screen.
  • More Dakka: Nemesis' primary weapon is a handheld minigun. His offhand weapon is a rocket launcher. He definitely believes in having more dakka.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Alice and Jill. The former has a nude scene, while the latter wears a tube top and miniskirt.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The scene where police officers and Umbrella mercenaries are trying to form a line of defense on the street is not only reminiscent of a similar scene from the Resident Evil 3 intro, but the shot of a S.W.A.T. officer's helmet lying on the ground (and a zombie reflecting in its visor) after defenders are overwhelmed is clearly mirroring the final shot in aforementioned intro, which is also focused on a discarded helmet lying on the ground (and a zombie reflecting in its visor).
    • Alice running along the windowed corridor and narrowly avoiding gunfire from two choppers pursuing her is a clear nod to a similar scene from Code: Veronica.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Teaser trailers that start out looking like adverts for something else seem to be a Running Gag for this series. The trailer for Apocalypse started out with cosmetics.
  • No FEMA Response: Raccoon City is sealed off and the inhabitants left to die to prevent the T-Virus from escaping.
  • Not a Zombie: Exaggerated even further than the first film; when the zombies start showing up, the police actually make attempts to arrest them.
  • Not My Driver: When Cain uses the helicopter to trap our heroes, they somehow get the jump on him when they make their escape, including LJ replacing Cain's pilot, easily the least plausible part of the whole thing.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The S.T.A.R.S. sniper when he realizes that Nemesis is about to shoot him with a rocket launcher.
    • Nicholai's reaction when he sees a second zombie dog while still wrestling another zombie dog:
      Nicholai: Oh shit.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Many people berated the S.T.A.R.S. sniper for shooting at Nemesis' torso, but in real life soldiers and policemen are trained to shoot at center mass.
  • Redshirt Army:
    • Despite their reputation as a Badass Crew both in the films and the games, the remainder of S.T.A.R.S. becomes this in the film.
    • The Umbrella Security Service serve this role for Umbrella.
  • Room Full of Zombies: The team sent by Umbrella unlocks the Hive below Raccoon City encounters one of these in the opening scenes.
  • Rule of Cool: Though each Resident Evil flick aims for Rule of Cool, this film gets hit the hardest by this.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Despite their orders to head straight to the bridge, Carlos rappels down a helicopter just to save a civilian from getting overrun by zombies. His comrades followed him down. Though it did not end well as the civilian jumped off the rooftop as she was revealed to be infected.
  • Sequel Hook: Apocalypse ends with Carlos, Jill, LJ, and Angie rescuing Alice from Umbrella custody — but a satellite activates the T-Virus within Alice...
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Nemesis spares LJ's life when he puts down his guns and puts his hands up — which causes Nemesis to change LJ's designation from "Armed Civilian" (Threat: Minimal)note  to "Non-Combatant" (Threat: Zero).
  • Shout-Out:
    • When she encounters Alice, Jill demands, "Who the fuck are you?" The Steppers released a rather infamous remix called Who the Fuck is Alice? in 1995.
    • LJ references Grand Theft Auto while ramming a zombie with his car:
      LJ: GTA Motherfucka!
      LJ: Yeah. Ten points!
  • Shown Their Work: Sienna Guillory, the actress who portrayed Jill, actually watched footage of RE3 and mimicked many of Jill's movements in order to get her character right.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The first movie did revolve around Alice, but this is the movie where she truly began stealing the spotlight from the game characters, taking their scenes and prominence.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Just as it looks like LJ's about to be shot by the S.T.A.R.S. sniper, it turns out he was shooting the zombie behind him.
  • Stat-O-Vision: Nemesis sees the world this way.
  • Supermodel Strut: When we see first see Jill walking into the RPD, she's doing a hip-swaying strut. note 
  • Super-Soldier: Nemesis and Alice.
  • Supporting the Monster Loved One: A priest tied up his zombie sister and fed her people, not knowing what else to do.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Despite being aware that Hive is infested with highly contagious virus and literally crawling with dozens of flesh-eating zombies, Umbrella not only decide to open it anyway, but they send a small, woefully underequipped team which has no means nor hopes of securing the area. The results are as you should expect.
    • The sniper shoots Nemesis in the torso twice and it does nothing. Having witnessed this, the other members there also plug away fruitlessly at the Nemesis' torso. As a result, the S.T.A.R.S. are effortlessly slaughtered by Nemesis.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: In spite of the aforementioned Never Trust a Trailer, once you see the Umbrella logo in the Regenerate commercial/teaser, you just know it has to be Resident Evil-related. Heck, those who remember the first film will recognise the Regenerate capsule as one of the T-Virus syringes, complete with spiraling blue liquid.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Our heroes get to the helicopter that Dr. Ashford directed them to, and despite his warning about the armed sentry and their successfully capturing our heroes, Ashford is even killed for his part in it, Carlos and Jill somehow break out of their bonds, and have LJ replace the pilot to stall Cain further. Presumably any plan they had was set up while Cain was busy watching Alice and Nemesis fight it out.
  • Villain Ball: Umbrella manages to capture a superhuman that has sworn to destroy them. They give her insanely powerful telekinetic powers and then let her go. This is subverted when it's revealed that this was their plan all along.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The main characters that are devoured by flesh-eating animals (including humans) never seem to reanimate.
    • Terri is never seen again after being eaten by the zombified children. While it's possible she reanimated offscreen, we'll never know what actually happened to her.
    • The same could be said for other deceased characters who never seem to reanimate. The group of STARS that was gunned down by Nemesis never seemed to reanimate, though it's possible only direct contact with infected result in zombification, thus probably explaining why many of the characters that died from non-zombie related encounters didn't get back up.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The film takes place in a zombie-filled Raccoon City.
  • Zombie Gait: Averted, subverted, inverted, played straight, played for laughs, and everywhere in between.