Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
One of those movies that the studio should probably be paying us to go see.
Now, I haven’t exactly been keeping tabs on this series since the first one came out, but something tells me the story hasn’t exactly evolved a whole lot over the years. Resident Evil: Afterlife is about a chick named Alice who’s traveling the globe with her endless supply of uzis to take down the evil Umbrella Corporation after they unleashed a worldwide epidemic that turned everyone and their dogs into super zombies. She finds some survivors, they try to survive, they shoot some zombies in the brain, some people get eaten, yada, yada, yada.
It’s directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the guy responsible for such American classics as Soldier, Death Race, Alien vs. Predator, and the first Resident Evil among others. A resume that speaks for itself, yet somehow, some way, he’s still allowed to make movies. You know, if I was part of the staff responsible for funding this disgrace, I don’t think I’d be all too cool handing the reigns over to a guy who decrees that every single action scene has to be filmed in slow-mo because his mission statement probably reads something along the lines of “I like The Matrix. Guns are cool”. It’s just so rare and unfortunate to come across a movie that’s so poor on every front. His script, his directing, the endlessly weak gimmicks he uses to justify filming this in 3D and the fact that this is, like, his seventh movie just makes me feel bad for the guy more than anything else.
But I think the real killer for this movie is that’s it’s actually boring as all hell. There is a lot of downtime between action scenes here that more or less boil down to Milla Jovovich recording one-woman video journals to apparently explain the many depths to her character and how there’s zombies everywhere (you know, in case we forgot). While it doesn’t help to have crappy shootouts to break up the monotony, the monotony really does feel like an eternity. Awfully strange for a video game series that’s notorious for being as monotonous as a rave during an earthquake.
And with the exception of Wentworth Miller who’s not quite horrible as Chris Redfield (even though his biceps need to be, oh, 30 times larger), the acting here absolutely blows. Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, this guy Boris Kodjoe who’s freaking everywhere these days, and some dude named Shawn Roberts who’s painfully bad as the final boss, Albert Wesker – yeah, they’re all garbage. Granted, they’ve got nothing to work with from the moment the lame-ass opening credits start up, but I like to think they at least knew what they were getting into here. I sure did.
It doesn’t work as a horror movie, it doesn’t work as an action movie and it doesn’t work as an apocalypse movie, but it does continue to diminish any and all chances that video games have of ever be taken seriously by mankind.
Folks, if you’ve seen one Resident Evil, you’ve seen ‘em all. It’s beyond me how they’ve managed to squeeze three sequels out of this shit and it’s terribly unfortunate how much money it’s probably going to make this weekend thanks to it being the only new wide release, but don’t be a sucker, don’t support this movie. The only saving grace to Resident Evil: Afterlife is that you know it’s gonna be horrendous going in so that it’s practically impossible to be disappointed as a result, and that’s about the only “compliment” I can come up with. So save those 17 bucks, go to Gamestop, pick up Resident Evil 4 and appreciate why this series even got started in the first place.
In short, fuck this movie. Can’t believe I even wrote this much.