Sep 21, 2010

Movies: Resident Evil: Afterlife

I have often stated that the Resident Evil series is probably the best game-to-movie adaptation yet. Not because they are good cinema, but because they are so adept at catching the unique b-movie atmosphere of the games. They all share over the top posturing, bad acting and comically serious plots, but at the same time, it kinda works. I'd say that's one of the very few franchises that actually need to take themselves seriously in their mediocrity to actually entertain properly.

That said, the first 3D Resident Evil is not half bad. True, it suffers from all the shortcomings of its predecessors, but it also does what they did so good - it entertains. The story is completely retarded by this point. Following right after the event of Extinction, Alice (Mila Jovovitch) goes with her clones to punish Umbrella and kill chairman Wesker (Shawn Roberts). He manages to get away, killing all the clones in the process and rendering Alice powerless by injecting her with an antidote for the T-virus that gives her special abilities. After a plane crash she leaves him for dead (BUT HE ISN'T!!! Oops, spoiler alert!) and goes to search for Arcadia, where the survivors led by Claire (Ali Larter) went at the end of the last movie. Obviously things get complicated, and lot of zombie frolicking occurs.

The plot is all over the place. One more sentence, and I could've described the rest of the movie - it's that simple. Most of it doesn't make too much sense either, like the fact that somehow the T-virus zombies have inexplicably mutated into the Las Plagas victims from the Resident Evil 4 and 5 games, and nobody seems to notice. Lazy script-writing doesn't even bother to introduce the Las Plagas, instead opting to ascribe razor-sharp mouth-tentacles and eight-feet tall axeman (not at all reminiscent of Silent Hill's Pyramid Head of course) to mutations in the T-virus. The ending is cliff-hangery after the usual RE fashion, and so the wheel keeps turning.

Obviously nobody goes to watch a Resident Evil movie for the plot. It is the action and the Amazon chicks dealing harsh justice to the undead that make for the guilty pleasure that is the series. And where the action is concerned, the movie delivers. The 3D is used with surprising taste, with barely a pointlessly-flying-toward-the-audience object (but than again, RE used to do that when it wasn't 3D too), and the fighting scenes and special effects are awesome. There is a part in the middle where the plot drags into inaction for a while, but after that it's a non-stop zombie-fest until the very end. The axeman in the prison bathroom deserves special mention, as well as Claire's acrobatics in the same scene. I honestly think that Ali Larter should have been the protagonist of the series. She is just amazing in a Sarah Connor way that leaves Mila's inapt and emotionless acting eating dust.

In the end, there is not too much to be said about Resident Evil: Afterlife. If you've watched the first three, then you are bound to love this one, as it is arguably the best since the original. If you haven't, you might still like it if you go knowing what to expect. It's a zombie-action built on over the top, and dealing with awesome, and if that could be your thing, then by all means - give it a try. It's the most entertaining piece of sh*t I've watched in quite a long while.


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