Continuing from Resident Evil is Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the last film to (currently) take place in Raccoon City, and introduces the characters, Jill Valentine, Dr. Alexander Isaacs, and Carlos Olivera.
According to The New York Times review:
Movies based on video games inevitably come in for an extra share of critical derision, but the writer and director Paul W. S. Anderson has made a solid career of them, from the sleeper”Mortal Kombat” in 1995 to last month’s not-so-hot “Alien vs. Predator.” “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” which Mr. Anderson wrote and helped produce but did not direct, is the sequel to his game-based “Resident Evil” of two years ago. If you are in the mood for leggy heroines (the film has two) blasting down zombie armies with absurdly large automatic weapons, the film gives very good value for the money.
“Apocalypse” opens with a quick recap of the first installment, in which Alice (Milla Jovovich, the towering Ukrainian model and actress) escapes from the secret underground laboratory of the malignant Umbrella Corporation by fighting her way through hordes of reanimated corpses, brought back to cannibalistic quasi life by a viral weapon that the corporation has developed to extend its global dominance.
In the new installment, which opens today nationwide, Alice wakes up from heavy sedation in the Umbrella labs to find that she has been genetically modified into a living weapon herself.
Above ground, Raccoon City (played, for once, by a proud, undisguised Toronto, complete with CN Tower) has been once again overrun by zombies, and it will be Alice’s assignment to battle them one more time, as an unwitting test of her new superhuman abilities.
Alice arms herself in a military surplus store and teams up with a few human survivors, led by the no-less-imposing Jill Valentine (the British actress Sienna Guillory), a Raccoon City supercop who likes to work in a teeny miniskirt. Together they search for the lost daughter (Sophie Vavasseur) of an Umbrella scientist (Jared Harris) who says he knows a way out of the blockaded city.
Mr. Anderson’s screenplay provides a steady series of inventive action situations, and the director, Alexander Witt, makes the most of them. A longtime second-unit director, Mr. Witt has staged the action sequences for films like “The Italian Job” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” and here he proves himself more than equal to the task of guiding an entire production. His work is fast, funny, smart and highly satisfying in terms of visceral impact.
It is, of course, all in the timing, and Mr. Witt’s is extremely good. He knows just when to lay in a lull and just when to puncture it with a shock effect, when to move in on character drama and when to step back for large-scale mayhem. His is the kind of first-class craftsmanly work that never wins awards or even much attention, but has long been the lifeblood of the movies.