By Jack Rico
Rated: R for sequences of strong violence and language.
Release Date: 2010-09-10
Starring: Paul W.S. Anderson
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/residentevilafterlife/
I have seen some really putrid films in my life (i.e: Punisher: War Zone, Miss March, All About Steve, I Love You Beth Cooper, Year One, to name just a few). ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ is not one of them. It is a highly stylized movie that borders on the absurd, yet it has moments of pure entertaining 3D sci-fi action bliss.
This time around, Alice (Milla Jovovich) fights off mean deadheads and continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to Arcadia, a safety zone somewhere in the Arctic.
This is the fourth installment of the Resident Evil series and it can still deliver a good dose of action. This one, unfortunately, didn’t indulge as much in that department as the previous efforts. We got more dialogue than needed. The 3D experience was top notch though and it made up for the sluggish and sedate middle act. It was definitely the highlight. If you are still interested in seeing the film after this review and were wondering on spending a few more extra dollars to see it in 3D, I say go for it. It is money well spent.
As for the rest of the film, let’s be honest – you don’t go see these films for their cinematic achievement. You go see it to laugh with your buddies at the ridiculous over the top posing done by B and C list actors (obviously requested by the B director). Oh and yes, how could I continue without mentioning the obligatory relentless mass killings, death defying jumps, inconceivable far-fetched escapes and slow motion backflips. A great example of those delicious and ludicrous, cheezy, risible scenes include Ali Larter’s character Claire Redfield. She flees a giant wielding axman to only do a backflip at the last second, against a wall, and land perfectly on the floor with a smile as if she was posing for a Maxim magazine cover – oh wait, didn’t she already do one of those? Nevertheless, that scene alone merited a hearty laugh out loud moment on my behalf. There were a plethora of those scenes throughout the film that doomed it from being the best of the four. But alas, this is the type of movie that Paul W.S. Anderson creates. Interestingly enough, he was the director of the first Resident Evil film.
Perhaps one of the most laughable characters of the film was Albert Wesker – the villain. I’m not sure if actor Shawn Roberts was deliberately trying to do his best Agent Smith impression from the Matrix movies or what, but it was embarrassing. Once again, I laughed, laughed, laughed every time he came on the screen. Be original for christ sakes! Then there is the issue with the token Latino (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) and black guy (Boris Kodjoe). From those two, I dare you to take a wild guess at who dies and who lives. Most likely your first gut answer is right.
Yes, most of this review harps on the bad. But as you can tell, the bad is adjoined with laughter, good laughter that serves a purpose – to escape reality for a bit and share the lampooning with your friends. ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ is a good bad movie. Go see it and stay for the credits – there is a surprise if you’ve seen the previous three parts.