Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Boris Kodjoe, Wentworth Miller Running Time: 1 hr 36 mins Rating: R Release Date: September 10, 2010
PLOT: Once again, the world is devastated by a virus infection. Everyone infected turns into the undead. Alice (Jovovich) continues to fight back, this time in 3D.
WHO'S IT FOR? If you're a fan of 3D technology, but feel its been a sham since Avatar, you might be willing to shell out the money for this violent part four in the series.
EXPECTATIONS: I feel like I have a track record of saying, "Hmm, Milla Jovovich killing zombies. That sounds like a good idea." Then being underwhelmed with the final result. Well, they've got me again. This is the first film since Avatar to use James Cameron's 3D technology. Once again, I'm curious.
Milla Jovovich as Alice: I have a soft spot in my heart for Jovovich because of The 5th Element. She's a great use of beauty turned into deadly brawn. She continues to have the look down as Alice. The film starts off with more than one of her (picking up where the last movie left off) going after the evil Umbrella. Alice starts as a superhuman, but then drops back down to reality. She loses her powers and must deal with the zombies the old-fashioned way, with bullets (lots of them). Jovovich looks great holding guns and shotguns full of quarters. Her dialogue (and everyone else's) is forgettable. Score: 6
Ali Larter as Claire Redfield: I don't get it. She's brooding. There's memory loss. She could be evil. I don't understand why any of this is going on. Claire doesn't need to be a part of this story, but Larter is eye candy for some, and a bigger name than everyone else in this series except for Jovovich. At least she is a part of my favorite scene. Otherwise, this character could have easily been cut. Score: 3
Boris Kodjoe as Luther West: Do you sense it? That's some sexual chemistry with Alice. Luther is a sports celebrity. Why not? It is after all Los Angeles where Alice goes to rescue these people. The only reason worth mentioning Luther is that at one point in this movie, he shows Alice where the showers are, clearly leading us to believe we're about to see some 3D skin, and then nothing. It's a tease. For shame. Score: 4
Wentworth Miller as Chris Redfield: We first meet Chris as he's trapped in a prison. Why? Because it looks cool. Or at least that's probably the reason the director of this film gave. Also, word of advice Chris. If you are trying to be freed from your prison, and you say the line, "I shouldn't be in here." Try following up with a smile, instead of an insane look like you want to rape everyone in the room. I'm sort of spoiling something here, but it needs to be talked about ... Chris and Claire are brother and sister. I see absolutely no reason why this is the case. It simply doesn't matter. I've done some research and have discovered Chris is a main character from the video games on which these movies are based. That's not a good enough reason. Score: 3
TALKING: Ouch. Standard affair here. There is not one memorable one-liner. There are plenty of moments that truly make no sense. Here's an example, Claire says "It's a trap." Then she walks right into the room with the rest of the party. Look, if you're going to believe it's a trap, then shouldn't you at least walk slower into it? Score: 2
SIGHTS: If only I cared about these characters. The film looks tremendous. The depth and quality of the 3D really does stand a part from almost any other 3D live-action film. Obviously Avatar was better, but I can't think of another movie that has utilized the technology more than this Resident Evil. Score: 8
SOUNDS: Let's get this party started! Thumb, thumb, thumb (and repeat). That's right. It's a dance party whenever the action sequence starts. The base pumps. The guitar pounds. It's exactly what it should sound like. But here's another thing, for the life of me, I can't remember the use of any songs in this film. Score: 6
BEST SCENE: The opening is a good time. Then again, so is Alice and Claire battling a zombie giant with a huge ax. It's funny too, because the film never bothers to explain the ax, the giant zombie, how he got into the shower or anything else about this moment.
ENDING: Hmm... I am starting to notice a pattern. Start the movie, fill with three to four big action sequences and then end it with another action sequence just starting. Plot really just gets in the way.
QUESTIONS: You spent plenty of time on the look of this film. Couldn't you have done something about the story, the dialogue and the characters?
REWATCHABILITY: It's weird. I would watch some of the 3D sequences again, but I would never pay for it again. So I guess the answer is no, unless someone gives me a 3D TV.
With just about every moment in Resident Evil: Afterlife you could ask the question, "Wait, why did this just happen?" After all, the story makes leaps, there's always a vent or tunnel if people get trapped, and it seems there are always more zombies to stumble upon. But with all of these questions as to "Why?" the answer is simple: Because it looks cool. Because it looks cool can answer every single moment in this movie. It's truly all about the looks. The cast of characters drop off one by one, and you simply don't care. It does move the story along, but that's it. There are very ordinary movie moments as well. It seems everyone wants to head down a dark corridor. It's good for a cheap scare. But again, nothing is cheap about the look of this film. That's the weird thing here. It's only worth renting, but to truly enjoy it, it must be seen in 3D. This is the same issue with Piranha 3D. If you've seen and liked the previous three movies in the Resident Evil franchise, then you'll love this. It's a step in the right direction, now they just need to spend a little of that budget on the script.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10