Rating: 2.5 out of 5
The Resident Evil franchise, as mediocre as it is, is actually one of the better console to cinema efforts to date. It’s fairly obvious that writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson has passion for this project (he’s written and produced all four Resident Evil films and directed two of them) and that clearly shines through.
Anderson has found a niche catering to testosterone-laced teenage boys by either making brainless action sci-fi (Death Race, AVP: Alien vs. Predator) or other brainless video game adaptations (Mortal Kombat, DOA: Dead or Alive) so at least he’s had practice to refine his approach such inanity. Resident Evil: Afterlife represents the cumulative peak of all that, which is about as backhanded a compliment I can probably give.
The fourth instalment of the adventures of Alice in Zombie Wonderland picks off where Resident Evil: Extinction left off with Alice (Milla Jovovich) and an army of super-powered Alice clones following through on their threat to take down Umbrella, the nefarious corporation that kickstarted the zombie apocalypse.
The Alice army raids and utterly decimates Umbrella’s underground Tokyo headquarters with bullet-time bravura, but not before big-bad Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) manages to destroy all the Alice clones with a giant bomb and depowers original recipe Alice.
This is a pretty clever move because while a psionic Alice with limitless cheat code powers is pretty cool, it would have considerable lessened dramatic tension for the rest of the movie. What risk would there be from the zombie masses and faceless Umbrella henchmen when Alice can just kill them all with the blink of an eye?
Alice soon reunites with a brainwashed Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and attempt to solve the mystery of their missing friends and a zombie safe haven called Arcadia. The mission however takes an unexpected detour when they encounter a whole new group of survivors using a high-security L.A. prison as a fortress from the undead hordes outside.
Among the new group is Claire’s brother, Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller). We first meet Miller trapped in a prison cell. He then immediately proclaims to know a secret way out and proposes a...Prison Break. I don’t know it this was intentional or not but this Chris Redfield’s reveal proved to be funniest moment of the movie.
As usual the acting is particularly stiff, the dialogue particularly corny and the action particularly flashy. Wesker and Alice even rekindled my Matrix nostalgia with their Smith/Neo dynamic of expressionless banter and high-flying slow-mo shootouts.
The Resident Evil movies are gearing away from its horror roots to more conventional sci-fi action but that isn’t such a bad thing. The 3D action sequences are passably exciting, the zombies are cool (this one even includes the behemoth and difficult-to-kill "Executioner" from the games) and the girls are exceptionally hot. The 13-year-old boy in me enjoyed this movie thoroughly - sadly though, that’s the only demographic this movie will appeal to.
About Hidzir Junaini
Hidzir Junaini, is 23-years-old and a wealthy playboy billionaire by day and a caped crusader by night. Only one of those is true. He’s actually a freelance writer, blogger, full-time film buff and some-time socially awkward nerd. He also writes about music, restaurants and nightlife for MetroWize Asia.
Hidzir was the winner of the inaugural inSing Movie Lover contest that garnered over 1,000 participants. The Movie Lover contest is a search for a candidate who possesses outstanding passion for movies and a talent for writing engaging movie reviews.