Not to spoil the review prematurely, but here's something interesting - Afterlife has dominated box offices worldwide for two weeks straight. Uh-huh.
Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D
So, as always when reviewing a movie adaptation, I should basically show what my previous relationship with the franchise was. And this might dissapoint you - none, whatsoever. Never played any of the games, never seen any of the movies, never really cared. It's not that I don't like Resident Evil or that I don't like the idea, it's just that I can't stand any form of horror and hate, hate, hate being scared.
Why would I go see Afterlife then? Because I heard it's bad. Like, really bad. And there is no better movie-going experience for me than watching a horrible movie with my friends and laughing at it.
So, were this movie just average, I would've been dissapointed. And, spoiler alert, I wasn't.
But all in good time. For those unfamiliar, Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth installment in the series of game-to-movie adaptations by Paul W.S. Anderson, most notable for his work on Event Horizon, the first Mortal Kombat movie and Alien Vs. Predator. The first three movies were mildly successful yet critically panned. The same exact fate awaits Afterlife, I might add.
By the way, this is the stupidest way to distract anyone. Ever.
The series' staple character is Alice, portrayed by Milla Jovovich, who is not in the video games as far as I know. She is also the only reason those movies exist and the series shamefully objectifies her every chance it gets.
Now I can finally tell you about the movie. After a stunningly good atmospheric credit sequence during which you might doubt the shittiness of this film, we move to some gigantic Japanese corporation building in Tokyo where resides our good old friend, Albert Wesker. The facility is attacked by Alice clones (she cloned herself a bunch of times in the end of the previous movie) but since a bunch of clones of the main heroine is actually an interesting concept, they get all killed off in an explosion while Wesker escapes in a chopper. As he is piloting it, the real Alice emerges and point the gun at him, but since she doesn't actually shoot, it is to no avail. Wesker sees her, stabs her with some syringe that removes all of her powers that she apparently had. Since Wesker's a bit stupid, while he is doing that, he lets the chopper crash. Yeah. With no explanation given, they both survive.
I figured I wouldn't spoil anymore, guys, just in case you ever see this movie. Afterlife is so predictable, so lacking imagination that it's a joy to watch because you can play the game "Guess what happens next" and you'll be usually winning it. Scratch that, ALWAYS winning it. The movie is full of "no, don't go there, you idiot" moments that even I, being a guy who doesn't watch horror movies, am fucking sick of them.
Huh? Never seen a character dressed like this before,
have you? Me neither.
The characters are also about as stock as they get. Alice posesses about as much emotion as a brick and about as much brain power as... a brick (couldn't think of anything else). Claire Redfield makes an appearance and she is okay, Wentworth Miller plays Chris Redfield and he's okay. There are also supporting characters, but they're so blank and one-dimensional that it's hilarious to watch the writers try to make us care for them. They're not particularly likeable (apart from the black basketball player... I get uncofortable just by mentioning that, but the only African-American guy in the movie plays basketball) and there is one movie producer that I'm sure represents some movie producer from Paul Anderson's personal experience. Not too subtle, eh?
Still, there is one good character - Albert Wesker. In this movie, he's not only the guy I kinda rooted for, but also very badass and very stylish, well-acted out and involved in some of the cooler scenes of the movie. I don't know if I can give Paul any credit for this, though, because Wesker dresses exactly like the characters from THE FUCKING MATRIX.
But, hell, you probably don't go see movies like this for the story and characters (if you do, i.e. are a Resident Evil fan, I'm sorry, man), you see it for the action. How is it? Eh... alright, I guess. The shootouts are actually fairly impressive (although the first fight of the movie is crap), the CGI is impressive at time (but laughable at other times) and while there are genuinely cool and entertaining moments that would've made a much better movie, the movie has one irredeamable problem. It can't stop with the fucking slo-mo. At all. Without it, the movie would be 30% shorter because every single fight scene is in slo-mo, every shot is in slo-mo, everything is. In fact, at one point, the frame totally and completely freezes to do a "kewl" spin around the explosion scene - that frame evoked uncontrollable laughter from everyone in the theatre.
So, yeah, it's not to good as an action flick. Hey, but it can be scary, can't it? I mean, some of the Resident Evil games are nightmare-ish, maybe the movie can inherit some of the fear.
Actually a pretty good scene,
but that has nothing to do with the action.
Well, it didn't. It's not scary. At all. Not only that, it's annoying - the only ways to scare people this movie knows are jumping and false tension... And abusing those does not a good horror film make. I don't watch them and even I know that stuff.
It's so annoying with its dramatic music stings and other crap like that. In fact, it also fails to be scary because it's just so goddamned predictable and because you don't give a crap about the characters.
I honestly think I had something else to say, but I can't remember what. So, basically that's that. Afterlife is bad, predictable shallow... and surprisingly fun. If you can stand a stupid predictable movie because it has a couple of really cool momentsand loads of laughs.
I am sacrificing any credibility I could ever have, but the movie's worth seeing. I didn't regret it. And you probably won't either. Unless you're a Resident Evil fan.
As a movie:
As a time-waster:
P.S. Right, dammit, I forgot I've seen the movie in 3D (my friends made me, the jerks). Erm, it was good. Abusive at times and constantly throwing stuff and the screen but it did a good job of entertaining me.