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Resident Evil: Afterlife - Movie Review

1 stars

Resident Evil: Afterlife Movie Review


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I’m a sucker for the undead. I really am. I love to hear them coming to feast; love to hear the chomp, chomp, chomp of their gnashing teeth as they tear into moist flesh; love to see them win and lose in their battle with the living. I love zombies because they scare me oh so much. Seriously. They are the living dead…THE LIVING DEAD…and they want to eat human flesh only. It’s a terrifying concept. It really is. From Halperin’s White Zombie to Romero’s Survival of the Dead, I’ve seen and embraced all types of zombies and zombie flicks…all of them…except for the Resident Evil series. Like I said, I am a sucker for the genre so, of course, I’ve seen all the entries in the series and – much to my surprise – I have yet to care for any of them. Sure, there are a couple of scenes that work in each one of the movies, but, all in all, they just are so obscenely obnoxious and incredibly dull. And the latest, director Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: Afterlife, continues in that vein…except in the most successfully uninspired 3D seen yet by audiences.

Picking up exactly where Resident Evil: Extinction left off, the world has been torn apart by Universal Corporation’s T-Virus – which turns ordinary folk like you and me into rampaging zombies – and only Alice (Milla Jovovich) and Claire (Ali Larter) have the superpowers and mad skills to fight ‘em off. Oh, there are others (namely Wentworth Miller) in a mostly forgettable cast, but let’s face it: chicks kicking zombie ass rule. Right? Maybe a long time ago…when the plot still mattered. Here, as Alice lands her bi-plane on the roof of a skyscraper, it becomes apparent that a storyline was – once again – only an afterthought in Afterlife. Simply put, everyone else is food for The Dead. As you would expect, Alice and Claire take on Zombie Nation as they battle with endless back-flip finesse and high-kick theatrics toward – you guessed it – yet another battle with another hulking zombie-type that stands in their way to safety.

If it doesn’t sound exciting, well, there’s a reason: it isn’t. The slo-mo action scenes this film “features” are so BEYOND tired that the film quickly becomes a self-parody of wire-action and 3D feet flying toward the face. Endless. Boring. Trite. Kinda sad, really. No one behind the camera gets the joke…making it an experience not unlike that of The Last Airbender. Shallow. Juvenile. Pointless. Void of ANY inspiration. Resident Evil: Afterlife – if Anderson retired the slo-mo effect – would be a film lasting no longer than 30 minutes. It also might be a thousand times better since the audience would be put out of its misery a lot quicker than the film’s current running time.

Quite simply, there is NOTHING to this film. Not even the Fusion Camera technology used in “King” Cameron’s Avatar can save this CG-zombiefest from a whole lot of unconvincing nonsense and pointy projectiles as the safe haven of Arcadia is reached by its stars. I said it after the tedious Extinction and I will say it again, PLEASE STOP THIS SERIES. You can dig and dig at the body of Resident Evil, but you’ll never find a soul worth reanimating. It’s completely dead. There’s nothing left. I’ve played the game the movies are based off of. Hell, I’ve even championed Jovovich’s music career and her performance in The Fifth Element. Yet, the Resident Evil series – with Afterlife and its infected dobermans being the worse - is just a lifeless mess of limbs and slobber and, where zombies are concerned, that just isn’t a good thing because they, unlike the living, absolutely refuse to eat their own kind.

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