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Worst of the series, if you're a horror fan
on 25 July 2011
Alice travels to a beach where she believes survivors are, when she gets there she finds Claire Redfield who has lost her memory, but nobody else. They later fly past an abandoned prison surrounded by zombies, they amazingly manage to land the plane on the roof and join a group of survivors that coincidently contains Claire's brother, Chris. They have to find a way to get from the prison to a ship called Arcadia, where more survivors are supposed to be.
The plot for this film is very thin, and seems to lose touch even further from the games on which they're based. The acting is decent from most, but Shawn Roberts seems horribly miscast as Wesker, I think he thought he was playing Agent Smith from The Matrix. Whilst I mention The Matrix, this film has far too many Matrix style fight scenes. Wesker is able to dodge bullets in slow motion, yet he gets hit by a flying knife which moves much slower. I just found it a little strange.
The film has so many slow motion scenes, Michael Bay would be proud, it's that bad that the slow motion probably adds at least ten minutes to the run time. The opening fifteen minutes is a massively over the top action sequence, it's a million miles away from the gritty realism the first film went for. Just after the ludicrous first fifteen minutes, Alice is given an injection that makes her a regular human again. I was really glad they did this, but they seem to forget about it and within no time she's superhuman again. Many of the zombies have evolved, much in the way the vampires did in Blade 2 and they look very similar. There's a creature in this that would be right at home in a Silent Hill game, but it looked cool and I didn't mind it. My main disappointment was that this film loses all of the horror element of the games and earlier movies, this is just a full blown action film with some zombies thrown in.
Wentworth Miller plays Chris Redfield who first appears as a prisoner, he even says "I know a way out of here". I'm not sure if this was a purposeful nod to his Prison Break character Michael Schofield or not, but it got a chuckle from me. Paul W.S. Anderson is more than capable of making a really good horror film, he directed the outstanding Event Horizon. I was hoping he'd direct this film much closer to the first film, as he returned as director having stepped down for the previous two.
As a horror film, Resident Evil: Afterlife is absolutely terrible. As a brainless, summer blockbuster action film it's actually pretty good. I think it's a shame that the action has all but taken over from the horror, and I really hope that the fifth film gets back to the horror, but from the way this film ends it doesn't seem possible. The picture and sound quality on the Blu-ray is superb, and is definitely worth getting instead of the DVD. There's plenty of extras on the disc, including a commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes and more. It had a $60,000,000 budget, so the effects are ambitious and work well most of the time, but I'd rather have a solid script over big action scenes anyday.
Resident Evil: Afterlife is not a terrible film, but it is the worst of the series so far if you're more into horror like I am. It's probably the best so far if you're after action. Milla Jovovich is made to look quite attractive again in this, they somehow managed to make her look very ordinary in Extinction. The quality of the Blu-ray which boasts excellent picture and sound means this product is worth three stars. Well worth adding to the Blu-ray collection.