- Ass Pull: The T-Virus now working on just any dead body nearby, including ones from a graveyard that had been rotting for decades and one who had died by headshot of all things (which is supposedly the only injury that stops the zombies). This effect is forgotten in the rest of films just as swiftly as it is brought to this one.
- Awesome Music: The ending theme, "The End of a Heartache" by Killswitch Engage.
- Base-Breaking Character: LJ is either an offensive Ethnic Scrappy or someone who's Actually Pretty Funny. Thankfully, he drops the Uncle Tomfoolery in the next movie.
- Contested Sequel: Apocalypse is either a good follow-up to the first film with increased action and improved visual effects, or an overall step down that gleefully stomps on the games' established canon.
- Critical Dissonance: The film is the lowest ranked installment of the franchise on Rotten Tomatoes, yet is the highest ranked on IMDb, while other reviewing sites take middle positions.
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Jill Valentine, in no small part due to Sienna Guillory's dedicated performance.
- Nemesis. Even detractors of the film tend to find him well portrayed and faithful to the games.
- Franchise Original Sin:
- While the first film avoided stepping on the games thanks to having its own original characters and playing with them in manner that was realistic to the franchise's universe, Apocalypse based itself on Resident Evil 3's storyline and imported characters from it, ensuring the rest of the film saga would mandatorily intrude in the games' canon with its increasingly divisive Alice arc. Most notably, this film was the one that started the trend of Alice becoming an unbeatable character and including fan favorite characters from the games to be outlcassed and overshadowed by her in every possible field.
- In a related field, the way Apocalypse mixed up the games' canon and Anderson canon also affected the disposition of the fans towards the franchise. It caused the birth of an incidental Hypocritical Fandom where the films would be panned both for straying away from the games (attracting the fans's ire for "not being RE at all") and for being faithful to the games (which would then gain accusations of being "unoriginal" and "copypasted"), as well as some instances where they would criticize elements in the films that came actually from the games, like Nemesis being a controllable B.O.W. or Wesker looking and acting like a The Matrix character.
- Fridge Brilliance: Likely unintentional, but during the scene where Jill is commenting on Angela's name sounding mature for a little girl, Angela replies ambiguously "I'm not a little girl". Originally, it was likely meant to imply she believes herself to be mature for her age or be a hint at the later revelation about her being infected, but in the light of the cloning technology unveiled in the next films, it could be taken as a nod to Angela possibly being a clone.
- Idiot Plot: In this film, Umbrella sends a comically underequipped team to open the literal can of worms that is the Hive, manages to lose a VIP despite having security forces and cameras all over the city (which only said VIP's father seems able to use), wakes up Project Alice for some bioweapon testing only to forget about opening her chamber's door and about her altogether, sends random teams like Oliveira's with no clear mission around the city, and evacuates thousands of citizens who have witnessed the zombie outbreak only to later try to cover everything up as a nuclear meltdown. The corporation would win the incompetence award of the film if not for Alice and her group, who decide to split up in a clearly zombie-filled school, not ask Angela how has she survived there so they know what to avoid, resort to hand-to-hand out of lack of weapons yet never collect the guns of the mooks they knock out until after being captured, and stage such a flimsy rescue mission for Alice at the end that it is explicitly because all was part of Umbrella's plan that they get away with it.
- Just Here for Godzilla: Many watch the movie simply to see Nemesis blasting people away with a minigun and saying his Catchphrase "S.T.A.R.S."
- Memetic Mutation: The line "My name is Alice".
- Narm: The action sequences try just a bit too hard to be spectacular. RedLetterMedia's Half in the Bag analysis of the series several clips of Mike, Jay, and Rich unable to discuss the movie as they watch it because they're too busy reacting to these scenes with raucous laughter.
- Nightmare Fuel: Say what you will about the movie itself, but its "Regenerate" commercial was genuinely creepy. Ignore the fact it mentions the Umbrella Corporation, which would fly over the head of someone not versed in Resi lore anyway, and it seems like a genuine commercial for a revolutionary skin product. That is, until it mentions that, like with any product, side effects may occur...
- Older Than They Think: Watching the 1991 Dark Warrior anime OVA can give the impression Anderson wanted to make an enormous homage to it with the excuse of a RE adaptation. In said OVA, we have a main character who discovers that a massive corporation has given him superhuman abilities, is hunting him down, and wants to pit him in a test battle against an even stronger human bioweapon who was previously an ally of his. The protagonist then wins dramatically and swears revenge on the corporation, but only to be taken away and put into a liquid vat, where he is experimented on while kept in stasis in a nice fetal position. There, another ally who is a little girl with a psychic bond to him wakes him up telepathically, allowing him to break free and join the rest of the resistance against the corp, though not without discovering he has gained now unexpected psychic powers aa well. If those similarities are not enough, the next films still have more.
- Signature Scene:
- Nemesis attacking S.T.A.R.S.
- Among fans of the games, the street battle where the Umbrella troops and RPD try to hold off the zombies is this, as it greatly resembles the intro of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
- Signature Song: Even though it is only heard in the marketing, Papa Roach's "Not Listening" definitely counts.
- Tainted by the Preview: In a sort of inverted example, the movie was very anticipated since the release of its trailer (which became one of the most watched on the internet, with 8.5 million downloads from November 2003 to May 2004), as fans were naturally curious about how the canon characters would be handled in the film's storyline. What happened afterwards is brought up throughout this page.
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: Sienna Guillory spent a lot of time studying Jill's movements in Resident Evil 3 and putting a lot of effort into her role, and it showed in her performance's universal praise. Notably on the DVD commentary, she keeps things serious while Milla Jovovich and Oded Fehr goof off.
- What an Idiot!: By this point, The Hive is legitimately Sealed Evil in a Can.
You'd Expect: Since Umbrella came in wearing hazmat suits, it's safe bet they know what happened in The Hive and why opening it is a bad idea.
Instead: They reopen The Hive anyway.
You'd Expect: They know what biological horrors may be down there and come in with a veritable army, heavy weapons and equipments, and anything else that could have a reasonable chance to actually clean up the place.
Instead: They sent in less than 10 people with only small arms.
- Villain Decay: As pointed out in this review of the movie:Deusdaecon: Because every fan when they played Resident Evil 3, every single one of them, when they saw Nemesis killing people and being a scary enemy, all of them said in unison: You know what would make him better? A tragic fucking backstory. Because he's not a scary, inhuman monster unless you care about him.
YMMV / Resident Evil: Apocalypse