Resident Evil: Apocalypse
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has extremely gross and graphic violence, with many disgusting deaths and gross monsters. There are a lot of "ewwwwww" moments. Characters are in extreme peril and most of them are killed. A character commits suicide and another attempts it. There is very strong language and non-sexual nudity. A strength of the movie is the portrayal of exceptionally capable and courageous women, though of course they dress for combat in very revealing clothing.
What's the story?
That nasty old Umbrella Corporation, "the largest and most powerful corporation in the world," is up to its bad old tricks again. This time, it unleashes a virus on the residents of Raccoon City. The virus kills them. But then "they don't stay dead," which means lots and lots of zombies of every age, shape, and size. After various experiments in the Hive, Alice (Milla Jovovich) now has enhanced powers and joins an intrepid group trying to escape from the quarantined city. But first they must rescue the young daughter of a scientist so that he will tell them how to get out. The group includes a reporter with a video camera, two military rescue operatives, and a smart aleck (Mike Epps).
Is it any good?
Still more video game than story, it's mostly a series of confrontations -- in a church, in a school, on the street, with guns, with knives, with kick-boxing, with rocket launchers and grenades. And there's hand-to-hand combat with a beauty and a beast.
It's pretty much by the numbers, and this stuff works a lot better as an interactive game than a story. But it's a slight improvement over the original, thanks to a lively and likeable performance by Epps and a couple of funny moments to break the tension. Pay attention at the end of the scene with the zombie Dobermans for the best one.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the enduring appeal of zombie movies, the challenges of turning a game into a story, and how different organizations try to influence the news. What did it mean to say that the STARS had become "expendable assets?" What can keep a corporation from becoming as powerful as Umbrella Corp? What's the difference between mutation and evolution?