Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
aka Resident Evil 4
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller
While still out to destroy the evil Umbrella Corporation, Alice joins a group of survivors who want to relocate to the mysterious but supposedly unharmed safe haven known only as Arcadia.
Good god watching this mess reminded me how long ago it feels since director/writer Paul W.S. Anderson blew us away with his exceptional sci-fi/horror gem Event Horizon. Not that I'm saying the new Resident Evil is any worse than the other sequels but it just feels more and more like a tired franchise now. The plot here is horrendous jumping from one place to another without much in the way of explanation, within the films 90 or so minutes we go from an underground facility in Tokyo, a disused military base in Canada, a US inner city high rise prison complex then ending up onboard an offshore medical experiment ship. Alice just seems to randomly show up, the only link between these places being the involvement of the Umbrella Corporation. I don't understand how they managed to succeeded so much with the anime that came out between this and Resident Evil 3: Extinction, that managed to develop its characters and sported a solid plot. Afterlife is just a mess of continuity, other than the prison segment it does away with the mutant zombies. This time Alice tries to stop Albert Wesker (clearly a fanboy of Mr Smith from the Matrix movies) to confuse matters even more he's now played by a different actor than he was in RE3. Also returning from RE3 is Claire Redfield now with memory loss, shes joined by a brother she doesn't even remember Chris Redfield. Even RE2's Jill Valentine turns up towards the end for nothing other than she's more than likely gonna be in the next installment.

What you can't fault the film for is its glossy action set pieces, Alice now as a neat clone device and no matter how many times we've seen it how can you not enjoy slow motion shotgun to head scenes. Typical of 3D features they throw in scenes to use the medium, here we get a pretty good Axeman segment that feels like a massive end of level video game boss. I really hope they manage to get their shit together for the next entry, but for that I think Anderson and his crew need to stop watching The Matrix and see the original Dawn of the Dead.

(5 out of 10)

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