REVIEW: ‘Resident Evil Afterlife’

Director:
Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast:
Milla Jovovich
Ali Larter
Kim Coates
Wentworth Miller
Shawn Roberts
Spencer Locke
Rated: R

The franchise keeps spinning on its downward spiral.

Once again Milla Jovovich returns as the character Alice, and in case you forgot what happened in the past three movies, Alice does the same narration she did in the previous two films. It starts off in Tokyo, with the evil Umbrella Corporation held up in a base underground.

However, it is soon invaded by Alice and her clones who now have super powers after experiments done in the previous film. This cliffhanger plot point of the third movie is immediately done away with, though, as Alice looses all of the clones in an explosion and her powers through some plot device.

Alice manages to escape Umbrella’s clutches, but now must avoid both the zombies that plague the world and the remnants of the corporation, led by the evil Wesker (Roberts). Alice decides to look for the survivors in Alaska, since that’s where they left to go to in part 3. She only finds the character Claire Redfield (Larter), though, and decides to look for more survivors in Los Angeles. They only find a few on a rooftop and the rest of the film is mainly just them trying to escape to a ship where they believe they can find salvation.

The story of this film is a pure example that the series is building to absolutely nothing and that they’re making it up as they go along. The cliffhanger of the third picture made it seem like the third one was going to be an all out war, but all this movie delivers is a rehash of the original in that they’re trying to escape again.

Not only does this lead to a rather dull narrative, it also makes it difficult to get invested with anything that’s going on. The movie gets more incoherent as things go on, too. There’s random evil creatures carrying giant axes with no explanation and the villain’s objective is never provided much input.

The characters in the film are more or less generic cut outs from other survival horror films. An example is the classic angry individual who’s only looking out for himself. Jovovich, meanwhile, does the same thing she’s done for the past three movies, which is honestly getting old.

Then there’s the villain Wesker, who has never really been introduced formally and just comes off like the architect from “The Matrix.”

Another character from the film was Chris Redfield, Claire’s brother. However, this was the only connection to the actual game series the movie is based off. When he was first introduced I was expecting him to say something like “Oh, I’m from Raccoon City, I heard what happened there,” or “I was a member of the STARS unit and knew Jill Valentine.” But no, here he is just a simple security guard working in a prison, way to go Anderson you can’t even make a small connection of continuity that also fits with the source material.

Not even the effects of the film could do it for me. The film used 3D and it wasn’t that impressive, in fact I’m getting tired of the gimmick all together, since there were more problems here. For example, the zombie designs looking lazy and the explosion effects looking really poor. Plus, the final fight scene was laughable.

Overall this is a terrible film that just keeps the series keeps crashing instead of trying to make a good ending. Instead of evolving like some series do, this one has devolved and will most likely continue on that path since there have been reports of a fifth film. 0.5 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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