Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Genre: Action and Sci-Fi Horror Running Time: 1 hr. 37 min.

Release Date: September 10th, 2010 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson Actors: Milla Jovovich, Wentworth Miller, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Kim Coates, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Spencer Locke, Boris Kodjoe, Sienna Guillory, Kacey Barnfield, Norman Yeung, Fulvio Cecere

 


 

T

he film opens on a shot of people walking in the rain in slow-motion. Oddly, it’s too slow; the camera creeps up a woman’s torso at such a crawl that it’s difficult to remain interested in the revelation of why such a focus on her character even exists. Finally, after an eternity, it’s revealed that the woman is Asian and that the T-Virus outbreak has swept over the Orient.

A second Umbrella Corporation lab in Tokyo, built subterraneously and in an identical fashion to the first from the Nevada desert, has now come under attack from hordes of zombies – and by Alice (Milla Jovovich), the lone survivor of the original biological weaponry experimentation. Chairman Wesker (Shawn Roberts) and his bigwigs continue to toy with the virus, feeling confident so many miles underground in their hi-tech fortress, away from where humanity has been annihilated. But Alice’s greatest asset just might be her insatiable desire for revenge.

The action choreography has somehow grown even sillier, with Alice retaining ludicrous airtime to dance about far above the ground, as if immune to gravity. It doesn’t help that her telekinetic abilities have been perfected to the point that she can merely blink to lay waste to squadrons of gun-toting soldiers. And, there are dozens of clones of Alice, so even when one dies, another several pop up to replace her. If all of that wasn’t absurd enough, the focus on shootouts and swordfights has accelerated to the point that watching this film is very much like watching someone else play a “Resident Evil” video game. Perhaps, that’s the point.

But the entertainment value has deteriorated drastically, as numerous scenes resemble poor knock-offs of ideas from “The Matrix.” At least, Jovovich still looks good in skintight black leather. For this fourth entry into the series, the story saunters onward with the notions previously explored, so for hardcore fans, everything keeps falling into place. The problem for everyone else is that each new chapter is ultimately little more than random adventures that set up the next movie, making nearly every event utterly meaningless. So when words flash onscreen to designate that four years have passed since the world was obliterated by the walking dead, and then another six months lapse after Alice’s plane crashes into the side of a mountain, it’s even more obvious that catastrophes are arbitrary and spontaneous without design.

“Why am I not surprised?” It’s even more unconvincing when Alice stumbles upon conspicuously well-groomed, smartly-dressed, and attractive fellow survivors, consisting of Luther (Boris Kodjoe), Angel (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), Crystal (Kacey Barnfield), Bennett (Kim Coates), and Kim Yong (Norman Yeung), among others, while attempting to track down former pals Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and K-Mart (Spencer Locke) – young women also of the supermodel sort. Although there isn’t much of a mystery, Claire suffers from amnesia (forcing flashbacks to combat faulty memories); Alice maintains invincibility even after getting injected with a drug that is supposed to suppress her T-Virus superpowers; Claire’s brother Chris (Wentworth Miller) turns up in a scenario of outrageously extreme coincidence; and a behemoth zombie – wearing an executioner’s hood, with nails jutting from his head, wielding a battle-axe of staggering proportions – stalks the survivors. And none of this is given much attention. Hopefully, the most faithful of fans will find the nods to the game amusing, even if the story, characters, sets, and boss fights are all laughably obnoxious.

– Mike Massie

  • 1/10