Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Review

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Review

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Wentworth Miller and Shawn Roberts and filmed with the James Cameron and Vince Pace 3D Fusion Camera System developed for Avatar, the fourth part of the Resident Evil series arrives in cinemas this week.

This new chapter sees our heroine Alice (Jovovich) continuing her journey to find human survivors and lead them to Arcadia, a place free of infection. Meeting up once again with her friend Claire (Larter) and a band of other survivors, they find the city of angels is now the city of the undead. Alice’s battle with the Umbrella Corporation and Albert Wesker (Roberts) climbs a new level as they search for thousands of survivors who were supposed to have reached Arcadia. A mysterious ship sailing down the ocean may hold the clues, as do Claire’s missing memories. But are they walking into a trap?

The 3D aspect of Resident Evil: Afterlife is a stunning mix of creativity and technological advancement. From the slow building opening sequence which takes place in Tokyo as rain cascades down onto the titles, hitting them and splashing off, to more complex scenes incorporating slow motion action sequences with fast moving elements such as a hoards of the undead, it’s a visual treat. The depth of each scene is magnified to a level which I’ve never seen before in 3D cinema. One of the best scenes in the movie takes place in a prison bathroom as the Axeman and Claire go head to head. I guarantee you will duck as the axe comes toward you and you will certainly feel the effect of the blood splatter as it hurtles at you.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson spoke about Afterlife’s 3D offering an immersive experience, drawing the audience into the story. This is certainly true, the 3D does pull you into the movie but once you are there you will find the story is rather thin and poorly executed. Rather like the Saw franchise, Resident Evil seems to have run out of steam and is unsure of what to do with its lead characters. It builds us up with the expectation of a payoff at the end, but this never arrives and is by far one of the weakest endings I have seen in a movie this year.

In terms of the kills in the movie, they are unfulfilling. Characters are mostly pulled offscreen to their deaths and as a horror-movie fan, this is not what I want. I want to see whatever it is the undead are doing to them and not just look at the other characters faces as they see what is happening. If it’s an immersive experience you want the audience to have, then the filmmakers should have gone the full distance with Afterlife as the kills seem rather restrained and unsatisfying.

Backed by a thumping, industrial and electric guitar driven score produced by Tomanandy (The Mothman Prophecies, The Hills Have Eyes) it adds much “oomph” to the power kicks, explosions and transitions between slow and fast segments. Together with the 3D, the score is the 2nd thing I enjoyed most about the movie. However, Wentworth Miller left me with a feeling of déjà vu. We first meet him in a prison cell. I didn’t find him believable at all, especially not in relation to his connection with Claire which I found unnecessary and is one of the points where the movie took a downturn story-wise.

Resident Evil: Afterlife is the most immersive 3D film you’ll see so far, but once you’re there, there’s not much to keep it going in terms of character development and story driven elements.

Static Mass Rating ★★★★

Resident Evil: Afterlife is released in the UK on September 10th 2010 and is distributed by Sony Pictures.

Written and Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts
Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Spencer Locke, Boris Kodjoe and Wentworth Miller

Static Mass Report From Preview Footage Screened at Sony
Official Movie Site

One Response to “Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Review”

  1. chojin999 Says:

    Plot and character wise the movie is very good, if it had a longer runtime in the 130minutes range it would have been absolutely perfect but it’s Sony to blame for not giving Anderson a bigger budget to achieve that.
    With the still average $65million estimated budget for the movie they managed to create a wonderful one. It’s not just the 3D that is excellent, they used it in a way that James Cameron never did on Avatar and in fact on Avatar the 3D it’s just useless while here it’s used correctly and as it should be used. It’s the first time that James Cameron own 3D digital camera technology is used as it should and here it looks impressive indeed despite the current 3D technology still being a old tech and gimmick on this movie it’s worth watching.
    Resident Evil 4 it’s the best of the franchise so far. Every movie has some flaws but this movie is absolutely worth watching more than the first trilogy before it.

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