Paul W. S. Anderson, director of sci-fi and video game adaptation films is a big James Cameron fan and, when he was invited to a premiere of his huge 3D film, “Avatar”, had an inspiration. “Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D“ is the product of that inspiration, so promised to be a zombie filled beauty.
Milla Jovovich returns as super-powered, mutated Umbrella Co. employee, Alice, alongside Ali Larter and “Prison Break”’s Wentworth Miller, as the world tries to recover from a global outbreak of the T-Virus, causing people to mutate into blood hungry zombies.
This is the fourth in the series of films based on the successful video game of the same name, all directed by Anderson, and begins in a style similar to the previous films, moving in and out of blueprints as the Umbrella Corporation’s Tokyo office comes under attack from a vengeful Alice. A bloodbath ensues as we find that Alice has brought the other versions of her, that Umbrella were working with in film number three, in a very Matrix-esque opening sequence.
All in (mostly) glorious 3D, the Alices cartwheel around the laboratory in slow motion, bullet-time and all, as clones and workers alike are mown down from all around. It climaxes with the Resident Evil villain Albert Wesker (played by zombie-film actor Shawn Roberts) escaping, leaving Alice with an out-of-the-window dive that even Trinity would have been proud of.
However when we find that the stow-away, original Alice downs Wesker’s helicopter – her vengence complete – she embarks on a mission to find other survivors in the zombie-ridden world. After that great opening (if very familiar) the film sadly disappoints. As we watch Alice fly through the world, viewers must hang on in the hope that the film will start again.
Which it does after a while, admittedly, after confusing plotlines and a lot of new character development. Only when our new heroes, based in a Los Angeles prison, become under attack from the zombies outside, including the burrowing, tentacle wielding Majini, does the film finally jumps into action again.
The “Resident Evil” film franchise has always been more action than horror, a slightly controversial factor for fans of the horror genre video game, and “Afterlife” is no different. Notable action scenes, aside from the beginning, include an epic battle with The Executioner (of game, Resident Evil 5) in a beautiful shower drenched scene and the climax with an Agent Johnson style Wesker battling Alice in the dramatically contrasting white lab room.
The first time a full blown zombie film has been released in 3D, which makes this a good watch for genre fans and of course fans of the movie. For others, maybe not so. “Resident Evil: Afterlife” has been criticised for a lack of imagination and originality, but there is only so much you can do with a zombie apocalypse in its third sequel.
Jovovich does well again as Alice, portraying a woman battling between humanity and super-humanity at the same time as an action heroine. There is comedy courtesy of some of the sub-characters, notably from JJ Abrams’ new lead, Boris Kodjoe, but apart from that, don’t expect any amazing acting on show here.
What you can expect from “Resident Evil: Afterlife” is a solid sequel to a decent video game adaptation, some good use of 3D, great action sequences and a collection of horrific undead monsters (including head splitting Dobermans). Originality it may lack but for fans of zombies and action, it’s worth a try at least.
Rating = 6/10Tweet