Resident Evil: Afterlife Review Movie Review

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Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson.
Writer : Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich ,Johnny Messner,Boris Kodjoe,Wentworth Miller,Ali Larter,Kim Coates
Genres: Action Thriller, Adventure, Sequel, Fantasy, Sci-Fi ,3D, Shot-In-3D, Horror.
Distributed by: Sony Pictures.
In Theaters: September 10, 2010 (3,000 theaters)
Picture releasing date of all countries:
04 September 2010 :- Japan.
10 September 2010 :- Canada , Estonia, India , Italy , Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, USA , UK.
16 September 2010 :- Germany, Portugal, South Korea.
17 September 2010 :- Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden.
23 September 2010 :- Netherlands.
07 October 2010 :- Australia.
21 October 2010 :- Argentina.
21 October 2010 :- Greece.
22 October 2010 :- Cyprus .
2 December 2010 :- New Zealand.
14 January 2011 :- Kazakhstan

REVIEW

If ever there was a critic-proof series it’s the unholy Resident Evil canon. After launching the franchise back in 2002, Paul W.S. Anderson went off to make other hit-and-miss movie missiles but kept up the writing and producing duties.

Each subsequent instalment made a packet at the international box office, which only further encouraged the producers. Remember: there’s no smoke without fire, folks.

Well, he’s back in the saddle again, and delivering a pure piece of movie mayhem that is part music video, part video game and about ten per cent actual cinema. Like one of the contorting, mutating zomboid, Anderson’s latest is a true hybrid of aesthetics.

Resident Evil, for all the criticisms levelled against it, actually helped bring the zombie back to life. Arguably the 1995 game did it first, but in movie terms, it was Anderson. Even George A. Romero was attached to direct the first one in the very early days. But will anybody give him credit? Will they fuck!

Much like the director’s first take on this material, there’s a pummelling industrial metal sledgehammer-like soundtrack, which assaults the eardrums and gives the whole thing a bit of a kick. The guff about doing new things with 3D is, quite frankly, hype and nonsense. It doesn’t immerse you in the survival horror like Capcom’s games series do. It’s more like the scene from A Clockwork Orange where Alex has his eyes clamped wide open and forced to sit through a barrage of intense imagery.

This time Alice is drained of her kick-ass super powers in the opening segment by the dastardly Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts): a man who channels his very best Agent Smith impersonation and also has a habit of flying away like Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget. “I’ll get you next, Alice!”

Milla Jovovich always claimed this series was purely for teenage fans of gore, guns and girls. And so it proves. Anderson has never claimed anything higher than entertaining the fans. There’s purity to the franchise.

Alice, after the explosive Tokyo showdown, flies to Alaska looking for a place free of infection and mutant zombies, called Arcadia. Here she meets Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) – last seen getting into a chopper at the close of Resident Evil: Extinction.

Alice and Claire then fly away to L.A. in search of Arcadia after realising it’s not actually in the frozen north. Oh, and Claire’s got amnesia and doesn’t even recognise Alice or later, her own brother Chris Redfield played by Wentworth Miller – an actor who looks like Labour Party frontrunner David Miliband… it’s quite disconcerting.

There’s something very Sapphic about Alice and Claire’s relationship. One feels that at any time they could start kissing and sleeping together. The men in the series are so ineffectual and dull.

Just look at the longing glances between the characters throughout Resident Evil: Afterlife. Oh, if the director could get away with that. Imagine the ticket sales! It might give the series a bit of a lift if it were more brazen about such emotional wants and needs. If they’d started making out after killing the Axeman, it would be out of step in the slightest.

Paranoid critics, too, might even see symbolism in the burning Hollywood sign as Alice and Claire fly over a scorched Los Angeles. Is it a wry joke on the state of modern mainstream cinema?

Once the dynamic duo land in Los Angeles, the story settles for a bit and a new group of survivors – and naturally ones with not long for this world – are introduced. There’s a basketball star, a Hollywood producer and his assistant, an actress/waitress and a mystery figure in the basement.

The zombies in this series are capable of much more than staggering around like drooling, hungry fools. They’ve mutated sufficiently to burrow underground and have claws and teeth shooting out of their mouths like the dreaded xenomorphs!

The best set-piece features the figure of the ‘Axeman’ from the games. A behemoth of pain and malice, the dude just appears from nowhere to attack!

This forces Alice and Claire to team up for a well-paced and thrilling ‘action threesome’ set in a shower room spewing forth geysers of water, naturally it doesn’t end well for the big lug. But what about the symbolism of gushing water?

Anderson’s film flies by on a wave of energy, rapid editing, rockin’ music and highlights the fact a fantasy film can get by quite well without an interesting story to tell. It is formulaic genre material with little ambition but to please the audience with the hallowed trinity: girls, gore and guns.

It’s daft but strangely enjoyable. One doesn’t want to call it a ‘guilty pleasure’ as such. As a lover of the first two games I have a soft spot for this series. But for some Resident Evil: Afterlife is the embodiment of ‘evil’ and will no doubt assume the role of ‘portent to the end of cinema’, with Paul W.S. Anderson pegged as Beelzebub himself.

Taken for what they are – which admittedly, isn’t much, the Resident Evil franchise will appeal to some and be lambasted by the rest. They’re movies re-configured to the standard of a video-game, not the other way around. They’re really not there to worry too much about.

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