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After the deadly T-Virus has transformed most of its inhabitants into zombies, Raccoon City is quarantined by the sinister multinational Umbrella Corporation. Having made a deal with the corporation to ensure her safety, Alice (Milla Jovovich), a superhuman warrior whose physical structure has been transformed by the virus, fights her way through the city to rescue the daughter of scientist Charles Ashford (Jared Harris) whose researches originally brought about the disaster.

Review by Jake Wilson:
Clearly concocted in a hurry after the surprise success of the first Resident Evil, this sequel has a pleasing B-movie insouciance, not to say incoherence: it’s a film with little on its mind beyond giving the audience their money’s worth of horror, action, moody industrial settings and hip Gothic attitude. The no-frills script amalgamates various genre classics from the 1980s: the all-night race through a derelict city derives most obviously from Escape From New York, while the evil corporation pulling the strings recalls Aliens, as do the monstrous mutants of their creation. The easily-dispatched zombies themselves seem like something of an afterthought – an element for the characters to wade through, rather than a threat in their own right.

As for the warrior women who dominate proceedings, they’re swift-moving physical presences rather than characters, all sharp cheekbones, taut limbs and video-game poses. Specific acting skill is not required, nor is martial arts training beyond the basics – shadows and flashy editing make the action sufficiently hard to follow in detail, and stunt doubles do the rest.

Yet Milla Jovovich still deserves much of the credit for the film’s short-term success: for what people refer to as “star quality,” perhaps nothing more is needed than the alluring oddity of her face, the widely-spaced cat’s eyes and innocent animal look, fearless yet poignantly unprotected. The filmmakers can count themselves lucky to have an actress who can conjure audience empathy out of nothing; otherwise there’s no more human feeling here than in Olivier Assayas’ murky arthouse “thriller” Demonlover (with which this would make an apposite double bill).

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CAST: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Thomas Kretschmann, Sophie Vavasseu, Razaaq Adoti, Jared Harris, Mike Epps, Sandrine Holt

PRODUCER: Paul W.S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Don Carmody

DIRECTOR: Alexander Witt

SCRIPT: Paul W.S. Anderson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Derek Rogers, Christian Sebaldt

EDITOR: Eddie Hamilton

MUSIC: Jeff Danna

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Paul D. Austerberry

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 21, 2004

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: March 16, 2005

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