Blending an enormous ax-wielding monster with elaborate action sequences and an army of flesh-hungry zombies was not enough to push Paul W.S. Anderson’s newest installment in the “Resident Evil” series past mediocre. The weak storyline and lack of originality cause the film to fall short of a truly excellent action zombie film.
“Afterlife” is the fourth sequel to 2002’s “Resident Evil.” The story follows Alice (Milla Jovovich) and her army of clones as they try to take down an evil corporation’s Tokyo headquarters.
Jovovich dominates the screen with her kick-butt girl power as she kills several zombies at once while doing backflips off the wall with ease. The supermodel-turned-actress is undeniably one of the reasons for the success of these films. She brings the sexy, smart Alice to life again and again throughout the series. Though the film suffers from a weak plot, her performance always makes the viewing experience interesting.
The story line may disappoint some hardcore fans of the series. It incorporates cliché “escape said location during zombie outbreak” scenes through a cookie-cutter series of events. The film focuses on elaborate ways to kill zombies instead of presenting character development to allow the audience to feel for the characters on an emotional level.
The 3-D effects looked unrealistic compared to recent 3-D films such as Piranha 3D, which played the clichés of 3-D to its advantage in a humorous way. “Afterlife” used these same clichés in dead seriousness, ultimately making the 3-D effects take away from the movie. Zombie arms and bullets are flung at the audience in cheesy, distracting slow motion. In some scenes, a character will do something simply to use a 3-D effect, which looks cool but doesn’t make sense in the context of the plot.
Unfortunately, “Resident Evil: Afterlife” does not bring anything new to the series and is mostly a “made for the fans” movie with over the top zombie killings that fans have come to love. It doesn’t hold much to draw in new fans or entice even curious audiences into the theater, but fans of serious action and zombie movies that have little meaningful story attached and cheesy action sequences may want to check it out.
“Resident Evil: Afterlife” was written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.