“Resident Evil: Afterlife” returned Alice to theaters in 3D this weekend. The trailers promised it would be the latest in 3D technology. I have enjoyed all of the “Resident Evil” films even though it has the same problems as “The Bourne” films. I enjoyed them but cannot tell a difference between the sequels. I feel like there is almost no difference in “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “The Bourne Supremacy” except in the third one Jason Bourne finds out more about his past. Except for that, it’s the same tricks, the same awesome fight choreography and the same handheld cameras. The “Resident Evil” films are similar. I don’t remember much about the second or third films except I enjoyed them. I never bought them or watch the whole thing on cable. It is fun at the theater though. “Resident Evil: Afterlife” is enjoyable even though it treads through the same paths as the previous films.
On Thursday night, I caught an hour or so of the first “Resident Evil” and that was the shot I needed to get me pumped to see Afterlife. I didn’t see it in 3D though so this review will not have that experience. The “Resident Evil” films are good but I don’t know if they’re worth an extra three or four dollars. If the movie is great, it won’t need 3D to hold it up. None of the movies I have seen in 3D this year have been worth the money. I only want to see 3D if it is someone like James Cameron making the film. The film will probably take in a juiced intake this weekend thanks to IMAX screens and 3D surcharges. I saved my three dollars though and you should too.
I saw “Afterlife” in an afternoon matinee and towards the end of the trailers, three people with a baby in a stroller asked me if the seats next to me were taken. I said no and they sat down. I immediately went to another section in the auditorium for a seat. Why would someone bring a baby to an R-Rated zombie film? In my new seat, I noticed it’s not that unheard of because someone thought it was fine to bring a two year old who started crying during some of the trailers cause they were scary. The toddler ended up walking up and down the aisle at one point in an attempt by the parents to not traumatize their kid. Maybe I would have been safer in the 3D screening. Who knows?
Director Paul W.S. Anderson directed the first film and wrote the two middle films. It is funny and absurd that his initials are with the rest of his name in the credits. Do people really think that the other Paul Anderson would be directing these films? Paul W.S. Anderson might be obligated to distinguish that he is not Paul Thomas Anderson, the director who has given us “Boogie Nights”, “Magnolia” and “There Will Be Blood.” With the exception of “Punch Drunk Love”, Anderson’s films are considerably longer than any of the “Resident Evil” films. I would love to see Paul Thomas Anderson direct a “Resident Evil” film and the head of the Umbrella Corporation ends up being Daniel Plainview and it is up to Alice and Dirk Diggler to stop him.
Spoilers for “Resident Evil: Extinction”, at the end Alice finds all of these clones of herself and she vows to take revenge on the evil Umbrella corporation. The ending of the film and the trailer for “Afterlife” lead you to believe the film is about multiple Alices wreaking havoc on Umbrella. Mini spoiler for first fifteen minutes of “Afterlife”: Do we get that? A little bit but it isn’t the main storyline.
Instead Alice is flying an old school airplane on the lookout for Arcadia, an infection free community that offers safety and security to survivors. She finds no one at its supposed location until she finds Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) not as she last saw her.
They end up landing in Los Angeles where there are survivors atop a building surrounded by the undead. Their goal is to find a way to a ship off the coast called Arcadia that is promising safety and security. How will they get there? What will it take? What does the Umbrella Corporation have up its sleeve? You’ll have to see it to find out.
If you liked the last three films, you’ll enjoy “Afterlife”. It is not giving anything we haven’t seen before. Alice is awesome. The action is good. From what I could tell, the 3D probably wasn’t doing anything groundbreaking. I think that because nothing in the film is groundbreaking. There is a new villain, Albert Wesker, and he dodges bullets and wears black like Neo in bullet time that is soooo 2000. The only reason the 3D could be worth it is if you want to see Ali Larter and Milla Jovovich look hot in “cutting edge 3D”. It is amazing to me that the heroines in the film have flowing hair, nice makeup and no need for a dermatologist in a world ravaged by zombies. I guess the world fell but not Loreal makeup.
Milla Jovovich is awesome as Alice as always but she’s the same. The coolest element in these movies is the Umbrella Corporation and it is not capitalized for a huge chunk of the movie. When I think of the world they have created, I think of what cool things they could do with the mythology and the characters. Unfortunately, we get more of the same, unless that’s what you like and you’ll be right at home. It’s a fun matinee with no competition this weekend, unless you haven’t seen “Machete.”
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