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Review Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010): Or should I say Matrix 4?

genre: action, science fiction, horror

In Resident Evil: Afterlife Paul W.S. Anderson returns as a producer, writer and director and I wished he hadn't. I know that he has been involved with the whole film franchise as writer and producer but thus far he only had directed the original. Resident Evil: Extinction might had a slightly different vibe as it took place in a desert mostly it managed to combine the best of both worlds action and horror. Russel Mulcahy made the film stand out in a positive way without straying too much from the path set by Paul W.S. Anderson. I wished they would have kept him on as a director since he would be the only one to make Resident Evil: Afterlife tolerable. Because holy crap was this Resident Evil or a fan made Matrix?

Like in the previous films the opening scene sets the tone for the whole film and even if I could describe to you all the things that are happening I still would not be able to do that scene justice. Too much randomness and sheer craziness is being displayed and I still am not out if it was awesome or utter stupidity. In the ending of Resident Evil: Extinction Alice hooked up with her many clones. She interrupted a meeting Wesker was having with the top brass where she warned him that she was coming with friends. Now I must admit that is quite the bold statement and pretty impressive at that exact moment. But now thinking about it I am of the opinion that it wasn't the smartest thing Alice has done. Why would you warn him? Cocky and confident as he was he probably thought he was out of harm's way. Had she not warned him she could have really surprised him and overwhelm him properly. In any case you have like 50 versions of Milla Jovovich running around raising all kinds of hell and it was quite unsettling to say the least. BTW doesn't this clone thing remind you of something? Do you think it is a coincidence that movie version of Wesker is acting like Mr. Smith from the Matrix franchise? Oh did I mention that the scene obviously is filmed to make the 3D pop out? I don't have a 3D television so I wouldn't know if it truly is good but as far as I can tell I think it does. Anyway Wesker manages to inject the real (super) Alice with a remedy for her condition and she has become human again. Something she is incredibly happy about. Because super powers or not you know she still will get to kick butt. So who cares? Now I know this might sound a little too sarcastic but I think this was almost a brilliant idea since it has made the fights involving her interesting again. Because she technically could get hurt very badly or worse die (again) and never recover from it. After she dealt with Wesker she tries to track down Claire and the other in Alaska where it becomes apparent that Arcadia was all a lie. Well, I will spare you the rest of the story But it is safe to say that the story in this film is even thinner than before which is quite an accomplishment if you think about it. 

For some reason Paul W.S. Anderson thought it was necessary to carry on fan service (even while most fans of the videogame franchise already have given up on the film series) by copying and pasting some elements from Resident Evil 5. First of all Chris Redfield is introduced. Who is played by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow). Then you have The Executioner who is called Axeman in this flick. He doesn't belong at all but I must admit that the sequences with him were very cool. Other Majini appear who technically aren't zombies but people who have been infected with the G-Virus which is different from the T-Virus. And the dogs whose heads split open. The scarab thing that had brainwashed Claire is also from the game. In the game it's used on Jill Valentine. Last but not least the final fight scene with Wesker is very reminiscent of the first encounter between Chris Redfield and Wesker in Resident Evil 5 (excluding the Jill / Chris fight in the DLC Lost Nightmares and flashback (cut) scene in Chapter 3.1). The sequence with the sunglasses seems like a frame by frame copy of the scene in the game. Although to be fair the way Wesker moves in the game of course is heavily inspired by The Matrix also so in a crazy way it almost comes full circle. 

As crazy as the action scenes were I enjoyed them until they stopped. Some non action scenes really dragged on because it is then that you realize that there is no story to tell. You would think that they would have used the scenes to let brother Chris and sister Claire get re acquainted. Or made Alice and Luther bond a little. Or I don't know explain where the majini came from. Aren't they from West-Africa? Same goes for The Executioner. He is like the first mini boss you encounter in Resident Evil 5. 

As you might have noticed Resident Evil: Afterlife is an incredible mixed bag with some redeeming factors. But it certainly has more flaws than any previous Resident Evil film. So is it still worth your time? That is a though one. The action sequences are so highly stylized and almost tongue in cheek that they are worth to be seen once. But everything else is lacking. There is no suspense, no horror and no comic relief. It takes itself too seriously which is odd since most of the film is entirely ludicrous. I would say that this is by far the worst in the franchise but that despite this still is watchable especially if you liked the previous films. 

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