Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Okay, but tacky.
I’m typically the guy that likes Resident Evil movies more than you. There’s good reason for that. People that watch these movies are the people in its target range, which are…fans of the video games. That’s why there are some decent references in all of the films. However, this shouldn’t be the target audience, they just have no other choice in the matter. Gamers just won’t like this series at all because it is extremely loosely based on the video games, and no one is ever satisfied, so they say the films are done horribly. That’s not Resident Evil! I disagree, because I like the franchise, I do call it Resident Evil, just different from the games, and that’s okay. So take a chill pill. That being said, if my memory best serves me, Resident Evil: Afterlife is probably my least favorite of the bunch.
When we last left Alice, she was discovering hundreds upon hundreds of Project Alice models, otherwise known as clones. She was telling the Umbrella Corporation in Japan that she was heading their way with a few of her “friends”. So the film opens up with just that – a montage of hundreds of Alice’s taking down this branch and then the place blowing up. That was in the first, say, five minutes of the film, before it got into its true plot. In the main plot, Alice and Claire find out Alaska isn’t survivable as originally thought, so they fly to Los Angeles and meet up with another group of survivors that find out Arcadia isn’t a city in Alaska, but a ship just off the coast. So together, they fight to find a way through the zombies and to the ship.
The plot is relatively solid, so why is it my least favorite? Because it feels so much more bland then the last one. Heck, compared to any of the previous films, really. It lost the tone and went a completely separate route, in my opinion. I mean, they leave you with a cliffhanger two years prior, and they answer that cliffhanger in the most anticlimactic intro montage ever? Why build up a plot point so heavily just to toss it in the garbage later? You ask me, they had to do that intro so there wouldn’t be any plot holes, but they really didn’t want to do it. They thought…well this is a better idea, so let’s toss this one out and do the whole Arcadia ship thing! I don’t know.
One of the main things I complained about in the ending of Resident Evil: Extinction was the fact that it was starting to feel a little too much like The Matrix. Honestly, it did – what, with all of those multiple Alice’s. A film couldn’t survive if it was just a gimmick like that, so they had to kill those copies off, but that didn’t stop it from feeling like The Matrix. That bad guy, Albert Wesker, not only is a bad actor, but he’s trying too hard to be Agent Smith from The Matrix. The slow dialect, over-confidence, slick hair, square sun glasses, ability to dodge bullets…shall I continue? It stopped from being a creepy action horror to being…action/fantasy? It just doesn’t feel right anymore.
We can’t get away without talking about the graphics. As I said before, Extinction is the most beautiful film in the franchise for practically every reason there is for good visuals (wardrobe, make-up, CGI, set design, etc), and most of that was disregarded in this film. It didn’t look like they were in the same world anymore. You know the one, buried in sand? It’s like all the sand got brushed away and everything was on fire again, which just doesn’t compute. Not only that, but this was the first film in the franchise to use 3D…now it didn’t try so hard to have things pop out at you, which is good. It was shot in real 3D too, not that post stuff, so there are things I can respect there. The fact is, it didn’t need it, and the end of the film was a bit over the top with the 3D pop-outs. Even I could tell watching the 2D version. Not smart, Mr. Anderson.
They did expand on the Alice storyline, as she lost her powers and is once again human, a disability that’s sure to give her actual challenges in the future. Also, Claire’s character is a lot more important here, and kicks some major tail here and there.
The story itself is pretty darn bland. It has a point and it drags on forever before it finally gets to where it wanted to go all along. The acting and visuals are not significantly, but noticeably worse from the third film, and there are plot holes comparing this to the previous installment.
Alice: This whole thing, Arcadia, was a lie.
Claire Redfield: No, it’s worse than that. It’s a trap.