‘Evil’ still not as good as the videogame
Continuing from the last film at a running start, ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ begins with main character Alice (Milla Jovovich) and her clones assaulting the sole corporation responsible for the virus that caused the zombie apocalypse, Umbrella Corporation and its CEO Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts). It ends in failure with the destruction of the clones and Alice being stripped of her superhuman powers. Several months go by, and Alice travels the ruined world in hopes of finding other survivors. As she is about to give up hope, she rescues Claire (Ali Larter), a friend from the previous movie, in Alaska. Other uninfected people in Los Angeles plan their escape in a ship parked across a city full of zombies. Their only hope of making it to the ship lies in a caged man that the survivors believe to be a criminal, Chris (Wentworth Miller).
The movie certainly feels like the previous Resident Evil movies even with director Paul Anderson’s decision to use 3D and his better usage of camera angles. Alice still does crazy stunts and faces her monstrous enemies without fear, despite losing her powers. It opens with plenty of action and remains the same way throughout the film. Tense moments, like when Alice slowly walks toward a door in anticipation of an attack, keeps viewers on their toes. Zombies, among other things, will seemingly pop up out of nowhere for sudden scares. The additional use of 3D only serves to complement the action sequences, though in some scenes better than others.
With the focus on horror and exciting actions scenes, plot and character personalities take the backseat in comparison. There is just so much running and shooting that there is simply not enough time for much character development. The twist near the end was easily predicted by most the viewers. The supposedly climactic fight at the end was quite disappointing, leaving the viewer expecting more but just not getting enough of it. Slow motion action scenes with a “Matrix” appeal were overused.
Fans of the video game have undoubtedly given up on the movie series following the plot of games by now. The influence of the game series is obvious, though. Several creatures from the latest game, Resident Evil 5, make an appearance in a way they never have before, in terrifying 3D. Chris and Claire, major characters from the video game series, play an important role in the movie, though they are very different in personality. Remember to stick around after the credits start rolling for a short scene, starring a character easily recognizable for those that play the game.
Overall, fans of the previous movies will like the film, and those who dislike the previous movies will probably feel the same about this one. It promises zombies and lots of action, of which it does not fail to deliver, but do not expect too much more than that.