Resident Evil: Afterlife is an extreme disappointment. It violates the laws of the previous films without even an attempt at explanation and offers standard Zombie fare with nothing new to add. A step backwards for the RE franchise, RE: Afterlife is worth renting for full price, but not worth seeing in the Theatre. (C)
When you create a film sequel, you have the responsibility to remain true to the original rules of that world's reality and an even greater responsibility to explain any inconsistency which violates those rules. Resident Evil: Afterlife is riddled with inconsistencies which it fails to explain. More on that later. . .
First of all, let's address this recent resurgence of 3D: In Resident Evil: Afterlife, as with all other 3D films, the 3D is unnecessary for the enjoyment of the film. Even in Avatar, by far the best 3D movie ever made, the 3D is really not necessary for the story. It can be just as easily enjoyed in the standard 2D format. For this reason, I do not understand this push to keep making 3D films. Should you watch Resident Evil: Afterlife in 3D? In my opinion, no. There is one scene in which you are looking across this field in Alaska before a plane comes flying in which is actually quite beautiful to look at in 3D. But other than that, the 3D does not offer anything spectacular. It is definitely not worth spending the extra money on.
Second, Resident Evil: Afterlife, unlike the previous RE films, offers little more than the standard Zombie fare of other Zombie films. In fact, there are whole scenes with massing zombies which could have been lifted right out of the Living Dead films.
Third, one of the things I disliked in the first RE film was the use of memory loss to prevent information from being revealed too soon. This felt very contrived to me. In RE: Afterlife, they return to this contrivance once again to prevent information from being revealed too soon. Annoying.
What I did appreciate in Resident Evil: Afterlife was the fact that they followed through with the ending of RE: Extinction.
I try my best to avoid spoilers, and will treat them here with care so as not to give away too much, but for the sake of this discussion, some spoiling is necessary. Proceed with caution:
Back to the inconsistencies.
1. In the previous RE films, the Zombies are slow and mindless, with the exception of a few Super Zombies in Extinction which were explained in that film as having been specifically engineered (and were all killed off). In RE: Afterlife, all the Zombies are faster (keeping up and even gaining on Alice as she races across a rooftop) and have enough intelligence to actually figure out how to build tunnels. - No explanation given for this change.
2. In the previous RE films, the zombies were zombies and the mutants were mutants created by the Umbrella Corporation. In RE: Afterlife, all the Zombies can split their faces open into tentacular (No, that's gotta be a word!) flaps which they affix on their victims to consume them. - No explanation given for this change.
3. In the previous RE films, mutants were creations of the Umbrella corporation. In RE: Afterlife there is this thing known as the Executioner which is obviously not a standard zombie (even of the new variety in this film), but no explanation is given as to what it is or where it came from. It just shows up and starts causing trouble.
4. BIG SPOILER: In the previous films, only Alice is immune to the T-Virus, all others fall victim to the virus unless immediately infused with the anti-virus, or in the case of the scientist's daughter continually has to get injections of the anti-virus. In RE: Afterlife, the Umbrella Corporation's Honcho somehow manages to "fight" against the infection and keep himself from turning long after others would have turned. - No explanation given. And while we're on this subject (MORE SPOILER), the concept of eating Alice's flesh being able to somehow change his DNA to be able to bond with the T-virus is absolutely ridiculous.
A step backwards for the RE franchise, RE: Afterlife is worth renting for full price, but not worth seeing in the Theatre. (C)