Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Producers: Paul W.S. Anderson/Jeremy Bolt/Don Carmody/Bernd Eichinger
Starring: Milla Jovovich/Ali Larter/Wentworth Miller/Shaun Roberts
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 97 minutes
Resident Evil: Afterlife is one of the movies of 2010 that I have been quite intrigued in because, as well as wondering how the tedious series has yet again gotten another sequel, I actually started to wonder whether this could actually be the Resident Evil movie I’ve been waiting for. After watching a great trailer and some promising clips of the movie and then seeing the movie, I suggest you just stick with the clips and trailers because that way, you won’t be disappointed. So taking off where Resident Evil: Extinction ended, Alice continues to fight against the Umbrella Corporation with the help of ‘a few friends’. Following new information, she heads to Los Angeles to find a small group of survivors of the T-Virus outbreak. The survivors attempt to seek out more survivors, escape the zombie-infested city and bring down Umbrella once and for all. The first thing that sticks out like a sore thumb in Resident Evil: Afterlife is the story and how confusing it is at times. Luckily, I have seen Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction but if you haven’t seen those then you may not find it easy to follow the story. The flashbacks don’t do the story any favours because, even though they’re supposed to explain things, they just confuse matters and aren’t really needed. Resident Evil: Afterlife is all action and even then, the action scenes aren’t worth going to the cinema to watch as the best action scenes last about fifteen minutes (ten minutes if you take the slow-motion Matrix effect out, which I will talk about later in the review).
Granted that the Resident Evil movie series was more about action and less about story but at least the stories in the last three movies weren’t confusing and looked like a bit of attention went into them. Resident Evil: Afterlife doesn’t have that same attention and instead becomes a mess of all action and no story. The next thing the movie didn’t have was hardly any character development or even characters, they were all written so badly. There are only two characters in the movie who have their own personality, Alice is obviously one of them as we see her fight zombies and monsters with a disadvantage and Wesker, fighting to make the T-Virus work for superhuman abilities shown in the previous movies. The other characters blend in with each other and you couldn’t care about them at all, none of them stood out on their own and they were about as much use as a chocolate fireguard when it came to surviving against zombies but they did have their moments. Another thing about Resident Evil: Afterlife that isn’t so great is the acting. Milla Jovovich and Shawn Roberts are great as Alice and Wesker but the same can not be said for the rest of the cast. Ali Larter plays Claire Redfield and she’s very wooden throughout most of the movie and doesn’t convince you of her character at all. Wentworth Miller plays Chris Redfield and has the same problem that Ali Larter has but his character isn’t really given much to do, which is also another annoying thing about the movie. We’re introduced to these characters and they’re not given a proper story as to who they are and how they get there. They tell us about themselves in a sentence or two and we’re supposed to understand the character straight away. The script feels so lazy and horrible and tries to answer questions only to have the opposite effect and raise more. The movie felt like it was three movies mixed into one: Alice bringing down Umbrella, Alice finding the survivors and trying to find Arcadia and the survivors battling Wesker and therefore didn’t feel like I was watching an entire movie.
Even though Resident Evil: Afterlife has some bad things about it, there are some positive things but the negatives are close behind. The first thing that I would say was shot fantastically was the introduction to the movie, it was shot very well and was very suspenseful and made you think that Resident Evil: Afterlife may actually be the Resident Evil movie fans have been waiting for. Unfortunately, that theory was thrown away after the brilliantly choreographed five-minute action scene between the Alices and Umbrella. As soon as that ended, it became boring and mundane with everything poorly executed apart from the action scenes, which is the only positive thing about the movie. There are some good action scenes but unfortunately, there’s only one memorable scene out of them all, which I will not spoil. The action scenes might be great but it’s quite annoying because in almost every action scene, it uses the slow-motion Matrix effect that becomes useless as soon as it’s used in the movie, as it doesn’t add anything. It doesn’t make the movie automatically cool or fantastic because they use the effect but they actually make it more annoying. I’m sure if you left out the effects, not only would the movie have been a little better and less annoying, but also the runtime would have been a lot shorter too and would have lasted about an hour. The bad thing about the whole series is how stretched the plot has become and how bad it is. I saw a video on YouTube the other day and it was showing the story of all three Resident Evil movies and as the video went on, I was thinking how ridiculous the story has become. Here’s the mentioned video:
Resident Evil: Afterlife is quite a disappointment because the trailers basically show you the only good things in the movie, making the movie useless to watch as you’ve already seen it. My suggestion is if you’re going to the cinema to see this with a friend and you haven’t seen the trailer, don’t watch the trailer, that way, you will not be so disappointed. Fans of the movie series will like this addition and fans of the Resident Evil 5 game may like this because it follows the game as far as the monsters, devices and Wesker are concerned. Action fans might like this too but for everybody else, you might want to skip this.
Review by Dazz Camponi