Resident Evil: Afterlife

He's also not too happy about being stuck in the matrix

Remember last year, when James Cameron’s 300 million dollar remake of Fern Gully hit the screens?   And everyone was all aglow over  how it was a super visually arresting  movie  before moving on to slobber about on about the total movie magic revolution that was James Cameron’s new 3D system?  Every mother-loving critic, blogger and podcaster was doing his or her best to convince Captain Midnight to run, not walk, to my local movie googleplex and pony up some hard earned doubloons so that I too might be transported to the  majesty of Pandora.  I saw Fern Gully already.  I don’t need to see it again; not even if it’s candy coated in the dense sugary armor of James Cameron’s creative vision.

Sure, I was curious about the new 3D process.  I had heard that it was insanely great and hearing that did peak my curiosity, just not enough to endure the horrors of James Cameron’s Pocahontas. If the process is all that and a bag of chips, I reasoned, they will certainly make more movies using it– they did.

Flash forward to now, we have a new film using the new 3D process, Resident Evil: Afterlife. What did I think of the 3D?  I found it needlessly distracting. Hey, Hollywood! 3D, even super-awesome-genius-Cameron 3D, isn’t going to help the weak CGI bits or make the characters any less two dimensional. The 3D didn’t make Mila Jovovich any hotter or the zombies more zombier.  I would say that it was a titanic waste of production money.  Ha!

All that being said for Cameron’s 3D, before Resident Evil: Afterlife started we were treated to a trailer for the upcoming dystopian vampire epic Priest, which is also in 3D.   By treated, I mean had it inflicted upon us and by epic, I mean over-the-top action sequences with explosions so big you might be distracted from the nest of cliches that make up the rest of the movie, but probably not. The 3D process used for Priest is the post-production variety.  I’d not seen that before.  It’s awful.  It’s like watching a View Master disc from the 1970’s . . . and hammering the rotation lever really fast.  If I see Priest , and that is a big “if”, it definitely won’t be in 3D.

Resident Evil: Afterlife isn’t a deep movie with a message.  Prior Resident Evil films took a half-hearted stab at corporate greed, but that isn’t the main thrust of  the series.  Essentially the Resident Evil films are the odyssey of  Alice (Mila Jovovich) as she shoots and hacks her way through the monster filled apocalypse to revenge herself on the evil Umbrella Corporation for releasing the T virus, a nasty little plot device the makes the dead walk, mutates people and animals  into a variety of super nasty monsters.  The three previous films were vapid action-adventure special effect films with Alice doing her monster killing thing to a  hard driving, block rockin’, techno-ish soundtrack.  Resident Evil: Afterlife is exactly the same thing.

If you’ve not seen a Resident Evil movie, don’t worry about going back and watching the previous installment first.  Alice, through some very economical exposition, gets you up to speed in moments.  You can watch the movies in pretty much any order and not lose anything of the experience for it.

Here is where I get to the meat of the thing: if you saw any of the other Resident Evil films and liked them, you are going to like this one, if you saw any of the prior films and hated them, you’ll hate this one too.  I’ve seen Resident Evil: Afterlife twice already.  It’s as entertaining as it is stupid ( I bet they don’t use that blurb on the cover when it hits Blu Ray).

Starring:

Mila Jovovich
Kim Coats
Ali Larter
Boris Kodjoe
Wentworth Miller

Screenplay:
Paul W.S. Anderson

Director:
Paul W.S. Anderson

Three out of five Vincents

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