There are many movies that I scoff at, and look down upon. If a friend unfamiliar with my movie pretensions asks if I’ve seen a film, like, say, The Last Song, I will make a disgusted face and proceed to tell him why I would never spend money on a film like that, let alone watch it for free. Charming, right? I think most of you bloggers are the same way. Resident Evil should be a series to which I react in a similar fashion. I really do get that. But the series must be my crack. I know I shouldn’t partake, I know I shouldn’t spend money on it, but I do. The crack metaphor only goes so far since I’m assuming smoking crack feels good. Whereas I do not enjoy watching every entry in the Resident Evil series.
Paul W.S. Anderson’s latest film is titled unimaginatively Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D. It picks up eighteen months or so after Resident Evil: Extinction left off. The Umbrella Corporation is still trying to harvest what’s left of the non-undead and survivors are trying to make it to a place called Arcadia in Alaska, as there is a radio broadcast promising a safe haven with food, no infection, and safety.
I feel like I may have heard this plot before in 28 Days Later, but I may be mistaken. Arcadia turns out to not exist, so Alice goes to Los Angeles, because that’s what I’d do in this sort of situation. In the City of Angels, Alice comes across a group of survivors holed up in a prison. There’s a handsome basketball player, an Australian swimmer, a douchey Hollywood producer, that producer’s Asian intern, and a guy that is still locked up from when the building was actually used as a prisoner (this guy is played by Wentworth Miller, you’d think he’d grow tired of being behind bars).
It turns out that the slowly mutating zombies can easily break into this massive prison, and the battle against the zombies start. Again. Anderson, whose name is cruelly similar to Paul T. Anderson, recycles nearly every horror convention that film has created. But the most shameless of all these is John Carpenter’s The Thing.
And since we’ve literally seen all this before, it’s only occasionally entertaining, and rarely interesting. It’s not hard to link Milla Jovovich’s sexual masquerades to directors willing to put her in their films. Anderson is no exception. Nothing is required of Ms. Jovovich except to look angry, shoot guns, and emasculate the men in the cast by… looking angry and shooting guns.
The entire mess is featured in 3D, and I couldn’t possibly understand why. Pirahna 3D put the medium to use much, much more efficiently, and I would have rather sighed in disgust at the screen without feeling like a fool for wearing those dumbass glasses. Pass on this one, it’s not worth your time.
Resident Evil: Afterlife recycles nearly every horror convention. The plot is not original and the 3D is quite bad. And since we’ve literally seen all this before, it’s only occasionally entertaining, and rarely interesting.