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Resident Evil: Afterlife (Movie)

A movie based on the hit video game

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No "Life" in Paul Anderson's Adaptation of the Once-Iconic Video Game!

  • Sep 11, 2010
Rating:
+2
I am not sure. I did feel that Paul W.S. Anderson’s first Resident Evil was just a guilty, brainless popcorn experience, Alexander Witt‘s “Apocalypse” served up loads of action and stunts that somewhat covered up the very flawed plot and Russell Mulcahy’s “Extinction” was an attempted serving of B-movie zombie mayhem. Anderson had always been co-producer and co-writer of this franchise; and now, with ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife” he once again returns to the helm as director. Don’t look at me; I watch anything with Milla Jovovich, since I even went to see “Ultraviolet”.

Picking where “RE: Extinction” left off as Alice (Milla Jovovich) and her team of clones takes down one of the last known locations of Umbrella corporation’s hidden underground facilities. However, the effort also results with Alice losing her T-Virus endowed enhanced strength, speed, healing powers and telekinetic abilities in the struggle. Now, Alice seeks to find a hidden haven and is reunited with an old friend, Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and a group of folks (made up of Boris Kodjoe, Kim Coates, Kacey Barnfield, and Sergio Ortiz among others) holed up in a prison surrounded by zombies. What happens next would test Alice’s resolve to survive as they are overrun and soon, she will be face-to-face with her nemesis, Wesker (Shawn Roberts) as Claire is reunited with her brother Chris (Wentworth Miller).

                  Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller and Milla Jovovich in "Resident Evil: Afterlife."

                 Ray Olubowale as The Axeman in "Resident Evil: Afterlife."

                Milla Jovovich as Alice in "Resident Evil: Afterlife."

The Resident Evil games (known as Biohazard in Japan) were groundbreaking as it introduced gamers to the world of survival-horror; unfortunately, the U.S. films were reduced to a mere action-horror that did have its moments at one point, but has started to wear thin. I would’ve been happy if the franchise stopped at the 2nd sequel, but I guess Paul W.S. Anderson wants to revive the franchise with the 3D gimmick that Hollywood seems to be so fond of lately. The film is visually pleasing and very stylish; as Anderson seeks to overload our senses with action and violence in the hopes that the flimsiness and plot holes of the film never reaches the brain. Note to H-wood: when adapting video games to the big screen, don't treat the movie as a video game.

Let’s be honest here, Anderson isn’t known for his storytelling as we see plot holes that are as huge as Texas, devices that seem so convenient and characterization is really low; the film is also lacking so much in emotions that when a death does happen, it feels that it was supposed to happen. The plot is pretty unimaginative and uninspired; you know Anderson only uses his plotting as a device to display the special effects and the action scenes. Milla Jovovich does barely manage to keep the film from completely falling apart; she does have the charisma to pull off her role but even she couldn’t carry the film by herself when the supporting characters were just caricatures that barely pulled their own weight.

                        Wentworth Miller, Shawn Roberts and Kacey Barnfield in "Resident Evil: Afterlife."

                       Ali Larter in "Resident Evil: Afterlife."

                       Milla Jovovich in "Resident Evil: Afterlife."

                       A scene from "Resident Evil: Afterlife."

Well, the movie is indeed made for 3D as the effects were pretty well rendered but a little inconsistent. Seemed like some scenes had more ‘pop’ than most as Anderson takes the action sequences indoors to take advantage of the film’s potential visual flair and somewhat generate a little of a claustrophobic atmosphere. The 3D effects are quite crisp and polished for the most part, as the 3D engine was somewhat impressive (some say that Anderson used the 3D engine based on "Avatar"). Anderson borrows some action elements from “The Matrix” as we see the ‘bullet ballet’ complemented by acrobatics and neat editing tricks; the effects looked striking on 3D. There are the usual touches of slow motion and freeze frames that seemed to be the Anderson signature these days. The film looks very ‘spiffy’ but because of the lack of emotions, the violence felt flat and never became a strong part of its narrative, that it felt like a mere demonstration of the 3D engine. 3D is just no substitution for good storytelling.

                   Milla Jovovich in "Resident Evil: Afterlife."

The visuals are the true focus of the film, but the film does have different levels of the undead; as we see the shambling ones, the more intelligent faster ones, there are some creatures whose faces open up to be more scary and some very big armed ones that are a little harder to kill (think of it as a game level where you have to go through stages to reach the ‘bosses‘). However, the plot is clumsy as the existence of the hulking brute with a mean hammer (gosh this was a huge hole) was never defined and felt like it was a mere obstacle for Claire and Alice to mow down. I guess Anderson never wanted to make an attempt for the film to even be coherent or even compelling, as “Afterlife” really feels more like a display of cool visuals and effects than a film.

I guess Anderson had to keep up the energy and ‘cool factor’ to keep the film moving. The action was there as the meat but the plot was nearly none-existent and nothing really happens in the film. I would’ve thought that Anderson could’ve have thought of new twists but he remains to his outline of corporate schemes and the apocalyptic zombie menace. I am not sure, the plot is trying to go somewhere, but I am just not sure where; and I think the filmmakers lost their way too; as it is a film with a lot of half-baked ideas. “Resident Evil Afterlife” becomes a display of action, theatrics (I did like the shotgun loaded with quarters), style (which we’ve seen before) and 3D technology that were meant to entertain but instead becomes a bore that hardly injects some life to the franchise. I guess Anderson really didn’t care for the “Resident Evil” franchise at all; but with the appearance of Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory, as a tribute to the RE 5 game), I guess we have another sequel coming

RENTAL [2 Out of 5 Stars]
This Review is a Movie Hype Community Exclusive @Lunch.com



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September 15, 2010
I agree with you all around woo-woo. I've seen this film at the theaters on Friday and I wasn't really satisfy with it compare to the first 2. I found "Afterlife" was more about Annie's ongoing battle with the Umbrella Corporation and its waves and waves of armed guards. It began looking like a cheap rip-off of the Matrix trilogy from years gone by. Even their new Umbrella Corp. "bad guy" seems to be invincible like the Agents in the Matrix. Beside that I also agree that the story telling was half bake also. Great Review.
September 15, 2010
Hi, Jen-jay. I agree with you on the films opening act. This movie could've used a better script and direction. The 3D looked spiffy but one cannot replace great sttorytelling with a display of technology. This was more a gimmick movie for sure. Review?
September 22, 2010
Exactly, I might write one up.
 
September 13, 2010
I can't say that I'm surprised. While I liked the first film, every film in this series since has been progressively worse than the prior one. Milla needs to save her career a.s.a.p.!
September 16, 2010
Milla rules....I'll watch anything with her in it. :)
 
September 12, 2010
That's too bad. I was hoping this film would be good as I've really enjoyed the others in this series. In my mind, 3-D has become this generation's CGI. It's being thrown into movies because of the "gimmick" factor and the supposed coolness that comes along with watching a film in 3-D. In my book, it doesn't matter how pretty a film is. It's the story!
September 13, 2010
I liked the first movie and I had fun with the 2nd one. The 3rd one was really lackluster but had its moments. This 4th film exchanges any semblance of a good story for the gimmick. I agree nothing beats a good story--3D can be cool, but can never replace good storytelling. Oh, you might want to check out this write up on 3D by another member.
 
September 12, 2010
Great review pakman, Im doin great thanks and I hope you are doing the same. Love this review and I felt the same, the clones oh wow I turned to my buddy and said what the hell was Anderson thinking. I guess this is what happens when you get a budget that you can't help but devour greedily but hey once again great review my friend
September 13, 2010
Thanks, Keith! any new reviews you've posted lately?
 
September 12, 2010
damn I wanted to see this today but now I dont know if Im gonna see it at all lol. Good review pakman, I am so tired of 3D or fake D or even ripoff D i am getting tired of the movies. So much more high prices these days
September 12, 2010
I know how you feel, I went to see this since I have a giftcard. So how have you been?
 
September 11, 2010
I have yet to even see this but I am sure I could not have said it better myself, I will be waiting for the DVD/Blu-Ray. I knew I would be waiting once I viewed the trailer. EXCELLENT review WP.
September 11, 2010
Thanks, Alex. Maybe I was expecting too much, this may have been intended to be a gimmick movie.
 
1
More Resident Evil: Afterlife (3D) reviews
review by . September 23, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Low on ammunition, but lots of firepower
The Resident Evil franchise is really two different things.  You have the video games, full of puzzle-solving and creature gore and some vast corporate conspiracy and of course, hordes of the undead.  Then you have the movies, which are action-packed gorefests with lots of pretty cinematography and vague references to the same corporate conspiracy.  About the only thing the two consistently share is the Umbrella Corporation and some pretty cheesy lines.      If …
review by . January 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*1/2 out of ****      "Resident Evil: Afterlife" makes we wonder just how far these idiot producers will go with the series. Now they've unsuccessfully converted from plain-old-boring 2D to plain-old-tedious 3D. Don't let the highly gimmicky advertising fool you; "Afterlife" is not the rewarding 3D ride that the trailer suggests. It may have been filmed with the equipment of James Cameron, but things don't depend on whether you've got the tools …
Quick Tip by . September 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Decent action flick, but I don't think it was quite worth the 3D price. Previous movies were better plot-wise, but fans of the other movies will probably enjoy it (despite some sketchy plot points).
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I really like Milla Jovovich; and despite my disappointments as an adaptation of the video game with this franchise, I do see it as an entertaining movie. Milla got the moves...
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About this movie

Wiki

Experience a new dimension in action horror as director Paul W.S. Anderson uses the 3D technology pioneered by James Cameron and Vincent Pace to take movie lovers on a nightmare thrill-ride. It's been five years since the zombie virus swept across the globe, and Alice (Milla Jovovich) is still traveling tirelessly in search of survivors. When the Umbrella Corporation ratchets up the stakes, an old friend turns up to lend Alice a helping hand. Rumor has it that some survivors have found sanctuary in Los Angeles, but when Alice and friends show up they find the city overrun with zombies, and quickly realize they've stumbled into a diabolical trap. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Genre: Action-Horror Thriller, Zombie Movie

File:Resident Evil- Afterlife.jpg

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Details

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: Sept. 10, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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