Animadversions.

The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Craptacular!

September 14th, 2004 · No Comments · Movies

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is unfathomably bad.

It is less a film than a force of nature - a Lovecraftian wickedness that must necessarily have been lurking unseen since the dawn of time, suddenly made manifest on our plane of existence in the form of 94 minutes of unimaginably awful cinema. It is the wellspring of suck from which all other suckage draws power. It is monolithic in its badness - a film so massively, irrevocably bad that it blocks all other bad films from consideration.

But, I’m ranting. Specifics:

The characters are so utterly forgettable that they seem almost like a hallucination. Trying to remember what the point of any one member of the supporting cast was actually supposed to be is not unlike trying to remember the specifics of a very distant dream. Characters are killed utterly without consequence or survive and reemerge in ways that are obviously intended to surprise us but that actually fail to register as being important at all.

The direction and editing are bad, but are also the least horrible elements of the film. Sure, we get the requisite bullet-cams, jump-cuts, frame-dropping and pointless slo-mo, but that’s par for the course in action films these days and it would be wrong to condemn their use more than usual simply because the vehicle they are used in is so unbelievably bad.

The story - such as it is - is basically one, long action sequence. There is no horror in this film. Not an ounce of suspense, not a drop of dread. Even the tried-and-true “loud and sudden appearance” trick fails to arouse even the slightest response from the viewer.

And the ending, dear Lord above, the ending. The final ten minutes of this film are some of the most innovative scenes ever committed to film - and not in a good way. They are innovative in the way that Nazi scientists were innovative. They are made with utter disregard for basic human decency and amount to nothing so much as a defiant display of open hostility towards the audience.

But again, I’m ranting. Specifics:

The main story “ends” and the viewer realizes, with mounting dread, that the malicious persons responsible for this atrocity are not yet finished with them. Twist upon twist upon twist is piled on, perhaps in an effort to compensate for the utter predictability of the previous 85 minutes. Perhaps just to be mean. It is impossible to say.

These are not clever twists. They are utter non sequiturs. As an added insult, any explanation that MIGHT exist for the parade of “surprises” that make up the latter chunk of the film is clearly only going to be offered in the inevitable sequel.

I realize there’s a lot of seeming hyperbole in this review but I have honestly not hated a movie as much as I hated this one since… well… ever. After watching this film, I feel that I owe Uwe Boll an apology:

Uwe - when I said House of the Dead was the worst thing that was or could ever be filmed, I was clearly mistaken. Your film, though awful, never made me think you actually wanted to do real, deliberate harm to your audience. As such, I apologize.

Pros:

The existence of Resident Evil: Apocalypse makes the original Resident Evil look like Citizen Kane.

The film ends - eventually.

Cons:

Everything else.

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