Sunday, September 12, 2010

Movie Review - Resident Evil: Afterlife

Resident Evil: Afterlife

Staring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts, Sergio Meris-Mencheta, Spencer Locke, and more...

Premise: Picking up mostly from the last film, Alice and her clones invade the Japan offices of the Umbrella Corporation. After an impressive battle and show down with Mercer, Alice goes looking for Arcadia and the friends who went before her seeking this last place of hope and survivial. Yet all is not as it should be.

Review: I have watched all the movies in the Resident Evil saga because of my husband. I entirely liked the first of them more than I expected. But, though the budget of each subsequent film seems to sky rocket each time, the writing, on the other hand always takes a steep dive. And this fourth film is no exception.

The first ten to fifteen minutes of the film, the attack on Umbrella's Japanese HQ is, however, totally worth it! I'd thought they'd written themselves into a corner in Resident Evil: Extinction and would never do another film because there were so many copies of Alice around it would be a filming nightmare. Yet they did it. For a bit. And it was GREAT! Better yet, in the beginning title sequence you get to see what looks to be the T-virus patient Zero. Which you see again four years later before she's killed. And the destruction of the facility by Mercer was a wonder to behold. Something akin to the destruction of Neo Tokyo in the Japanese anime Akira, but made live. Wonderful!

After that though, things degrade. The HQ destruction was a cheap way to get rid of ALL the Alice clones so they then didn't have to deal with them. As if Alice or her other selves would be stupid enough to put all of themselves into the one location, especially knowing how those places operate. Worse, for the plot they decide to take away Alice's powers she's derived from the T-virus yet she seemed to pretty much still have them through most of the movie anyway. (She would have been dead several times otherwise. If tiles break, bones break!) *sigh*

Visually the movie is stunning. The Tokyo segment, the awesome switch between pre T-virus and current time, LA's burning state and the sea of zombies around the prison. Slow motion action moves. The film is filled with great stunts. The stark white interior of the transport ship. The music also totally rocked. If you ignore the thin plot and implausible situations and cliched bits, it's worth it for the rest.

There is one giant zombie dude with the biggest hammer ever (which reminded me of one of the baddies in the game Plants vs Zombies) that was never explained and made absolutely no sense aside from something bad for them to fight. Oh and the zombies suddenly get stealth skills. An oxymoron if I ever heard one. However, the concept of them slowly regaining intelligence is not.

Weirder still was the fact that though they hunger and gather around the last seemingly alive humans in LA, the zombies never fall to cannibalism on their own kind or actually seem affected by the fact they haven't been able to feed for sometime.

Also beware there's a cliffhanger ending. And sit through part of the credits as there's a bit more to be shown. (I had a feeling the woman there should mean something to me but it's been too long since I've seen the other films.) :(

Mr. Paul W S Anderson is a great director in this film, but should not have written the movie. The love does shine through though.


Rating: Visuals 4.5 out of 5, Storywise 2.5 out of 5
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