Even without Mike Epps, this sequel would be a steaming turd. With him, it’s a steaming turd with minor historical value in that the role of L.J. (Epps) epitomizes the evolution of the “spook” stereotype. Popularized by the likes of Mantan Moreland and Willie Best, the spook has taken on a modern edge and an urban aggressiveness embodied in lovable street hustler-types whose “Fuck that shit; I ain’t goin’ in there” attitude (which covers up their spooked-ness) is meant to put the audience in stitches. I’d rather give the makers of this film stitches. (A more standard black horror role in Resident Evil: Apocalypse is that of Peyton [Razaaq Adoti], who is unceremoniously shot halfway through the movie.)
This film illustrates in excruciating detail the shortcomings of trying to make a film out of a video game (House of the Dead anyone?): Beyond trying to piece together a cohesive story, you’ve got to deal with ridiculous caricatures (a cop in high heels, a mini-skirt and a strapless top?), awesomely bad dialogue (after Alice explains that the military will drop a five kiloton nuclear bomb on the city, resident reporter Terri responds, “What does that mean?”) and cartoonish action that makes Michael Bay look subtle.
Those who think that Paul W.S. Anderson is such a hack director should realize how competent he is by comparing the first Resident Evil to this hatchet job by first-time director Alexander Witt (Granted, Anderson wrote the script.). Witt obviously is no zombie fan, as he sucks the soul out of the movie by minimizing the zombie content in favor of wannabe Hong Kong-styled kung fu and gunplay and every other bad Hollywood action movie cliché he could think of. What zombie footage there is is nullified by bad camera work and a seizure-inducing strobing effect that obscures the zombies. And there isn’t even much gore. Plus, who the hell wants to see a zombie with a rocket launcher??? Jesus, it’s Zombie Rambo. I’d barely even call Resident Evil: Apocalypse a horror movie; it’s more like an action film made for 8 year-olds with A.D.D. that happens to have some zombies.