Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D review
Let me be honest: I enjoyed watching Resident Evil: Afterlife.
But let's be real: Resident Evil: Afterlife is an atrocious movie.
But who would have expected more? I mean, all of the past Resident Evil films, helmed by Paul W.S.Anderson and lead by his supermodel wife, Milla Jovovich, have never been synonymous with the word "quality" or "outstanding. Instead, they barely referred back to Capcom's beloved series to keep fans in the loop and haven't approached any semblance of compelling storytelling. But that's ok for a film like this. What else do they need? With gnarly zombies, a continuation of the post-apocalyptic dystopia, sexy Jovovich and now 3D effects, what more could fans of crappy films want?
Taking place right after the end of the last film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Alice (Jovovich) and her clones infiltrate the Umbrella Corporation's underground complex under the streets of Tokyo. After a bunch of over the top, unnatural fight sequences (she's got the T virus, dontcha know), Alice finds herself gearing off to Alaska to find Claire (Ali Larter), one of the few characters appearing from the games. Clair has a robot bug on her chest, has lost all of her memory, and so what do they do? Off to LA they go!
Then, for the next 40 minutes, they hang out in a derelict prison in Los Angeles in defense from all of the zombies of LA. Since this is LA, who do we have as the last surviving humans? Famous basketball players, wannabe actors, dastardly movie producers (with the stache to boot), and more. It's cliched and trite, and the surprise appearance of Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller), the brother(!) of one Miss Clair doesn't aid in this area. Total coincidence, I know. Anyway, apparently Chris was either a scientist or a criminal, and the last survivors of LA have kept him in lock up for fear that he is really a criminal already in the prision...probably no allusion whatsoever to Miller's role in television show Prison Break. Before long they are trying to find safety on a nearby ship, and that's basically the plot of the film. Oh, and Albert Wesker just wont die. He's a dick.
The movie is poorly acted, as blunt as a four by four to the face, and in no way is it terrifying as it could've been when compared to the source material. The zombies are secondary, and the whole production is just a chance for Anderson to show off his hot wife. Jovovich is not at all the worst part of the film, and could probably be better in a better directed film. Anderson probably knows exactly what he needs to do to scrape by for a film in this franchise as it slowly slips farther and farther away from the origins of the video game. As a fan of the source material, Anderson had plenty to work with to create a genuinely creepy film, except Anderson doesn't seem to want that. He wants to pick and choose the elements from the games to use (this time pulling the burlap sack enemies from Resident Evil 4 and 5), and make his own story. It's a shame, to say the least.
Unfortunately, the film series is a long way from ending, as this is one of the most blatant set ups for a sequel I've ever seen, with Jill making a cheesy return. That's right, a franchise four films in is setting up a sequel. Ugh. Well, Anderson is certainly commendable for knowing what works for his audience, but dang, as a fan of the games, I almost wish the stories would be put to bed. Everything here is just a second-rate zombie flick, with very little for fans of the series to dig.
And that's where I liked the film. It's a terrible, poorly set up film with bad acting, but there is an earnestness to the corpulence. It doesn't make it any better, but it makes it slightly more tolerable. The movie is bad, yet I enjoyed seeing how stupid this thing can go. For fans of crappy films that don't really realize they are bad, there is certainly a sick entertainment to be seen. Unfortunately, that's where I was placed in. For everyone else, you might just want to ignore this mess.