Resident Evil: Afterlife Reviews
This outrageously insane kamikaze opening sequence where all the clone Alice's storm the Umbrella Tokyo Headquarters is actually a guilty pleasure I must admit. Its so ridiculously stupid using every cliche in the action film textbook and rips every possible slick visual imagery you can think of from various other action/sc-fi films...yet its great fun. Jovovich/Alice is sleek, sexy and deadly as the clones tear the faceless Umbrella stormtroopers apart with machine guns and katanas. Bloody squibs bursting from the seams, bullet holes, hits to the head by Wesker on his own men at point blank range, beheadings...oh my!!
Only one question begs to be answered, where did all those Alice clones get all those identical figure hugging catsuits??
So the drudgery continues as Alice goes from one area to the next battling the undead and watching more and more of hers allies go down one by one. This time she lands her plane on a huge prison in LA, not too sure why she would quite clearly get herself stuck on this prison, let alone almost killing herself and Claire whilst trying to land on the roof. But she does because there are survivors there...but surely anyone would just fly by and find a more secure place? this prison is surrounded by millions of zombies! pfft your funeral.
The ensemble cast is actually pretty cool in this, on the same page as the first film although not many famous names. Alongside Alice in this prison we have the token black guy who runs around in a vest so we can see his big muscles, at least he's well spoken. Standard fare sexy brunette who is British (at least she isn't a blonde), the excellent Kim Coates as a slimy film producer (nice touch Mr Anderson), a funny little oriental fellow, standard fare tough guy backup number two called Angel and Wentworth Miller who again is behind bars.
To be totally frank this fourth film is completely run of the mill, bog standard stuff in terms of plot. Its simply another setup for Alice to pile drive into with a new team of zombie fodder at her side. The thing is like the first film its still quite an enjoyable ride, its totally predictable, totally cliched and pretty much rehashes the same stuff all over again but in a different location. But thanks to a quirky cast the film is pretty cool I think.
There are still plot questions that hit me, especially as this is now the fourth film. Anyone notice that the Umbrella Company has so many underground bases? also they are VAST underground bases! How and when did they build them?? (under Tokyo??!!), how are Umbrella so rich n powerful? Where on earth do all the Umbrella henchmen come from? how come they are always safe? where do they get all their guns and ammo? how come they are so useless and why would they wanna do their evil job? why does Umbrella carry on playing with the dead when the human race is almost extinct?! and finally not being a game player...who was that huge axe wielding guy? where the heck did he come from?
I must also ask why the cities in this franchise are in ruins? the undead are eating everyone not blowing up buildings, so why are they all stripped down to their structures and burnt out? The other main question was why some zombies can now run and have tentacles coming out of their mouths just like the vamps in 'Blade II'. When did this evolution occur?
I can't delve deeper for obvious reasons, the film is what it is and we all know this, its Resi Evil, don't question that. The film does deliver in my opinion, it gives you what you expect with some decent visuals and good close quarter action. The finale against Wesker is just as insanely Matrix-like as the opening sequence and just as mind bogglingly daft, maybe more so. The rock soundtrack in the background means its officially cool, its official.
You do feel the tension in these films when the heat is on and its time to escape from somewhere. The fact Alice isn't a superhero this time boosts the film giving a sense of uncertainty for once, even though you know she still won't die, still helps.
Nate's Grade: C-
If you're a fan of the game, you already know that this movie, as with the entire franchise, will not retain any of the game's claustrophobic atmosphere (although the games have become more of action based games than survival horror since Resident Evil 4). This movie retains the bosses and villains from Resident Evil 5, but the story continues where the third film left off.
If you're a fan of the films, you can't really go wrong with this one. It's got tons of gory action, and a passable story that links it all together. You can't really think too much about the plot holes, as that would require the movie to have a plot begin with.
For me, I was satisfied enough to see the characters from the video games brought to life. The action entertained me and didn't overstay it's welcome. Anyone who has stuck around the franchise this long knows what to expect from it, and Afterlife won't disappoint. If it does, you might have been expecting too much.
I'm a fan of this series, even though that admission would probably cause some people to doubt any and all of my credibility when it comes to movies. The last three RE flicks were just dumb, fun action movies with zombies, and I could appreciate them for what they were. No, they don't follow the games very closely, and no they weren't scary in the slightest, but I still liked them (to varying degrees). Milla Jovovich is a credible and likable action star and seeing her jumping through the air, kicking and shooting things in the face never really got old, for me. Plus, this series has a habit of including some pretty hot actresses in each installment (including this one), which I heartily approve of.
Afterlife, to be quite honest, is a train-wreck. But, it's like a train-wreck where no one gets injured, and the train cars do some crazy flips in slow motion and there are tons of explosions and everyone who happened to see it had a pretty good time watching it. Writer and director Paul W.S. Anderson has completely (and wisely) given up on trying to make these movies make sense in the slightest way, and let all logic fall right off the B- movie cliff. There's just so many cheesy, absurd things going on at any given moment that it's almost an overload. The almost constant slow motion, the AWFUL acting, the absurd dialogue, the concrete-tunneling zombies, the guarantee that exactly every 3 minutes, a zombie or monster was going to magically appear behind a character and kill/almost kill them, the random elements from the games strewn about haphazardly...it's all just so ridiculous.
This truly awful movie appealed to me in a perverse way. It certainly didn't bore me, that's for sure. But, you should be very wary if your tolerance (and maybe even fondness?) for a disaster isn't equal to mine. Resident Evil: Afterlife destroys the limits of absurdity like one of Alice's shotguns to the face. And yet, after the extra scene during the credits, I actually felt eager to see the next Resident Evil movie. Maybe I'm the one who's absurd.