Monday, 13 September 2010

Cinema Review: Resident Evil: Afterlife

Here we go again, writer director Paul W.S. Anderson returns to helm the latest Resident Evil in Afterlife, pitting the beefy babe Alice once again against the evil Umbrella Corporation.

With the world left ravaged after the unleashing of Umbrella's catastrophic T-Virus, Alice, a personal experiment to the companies leaders, continues her quest to find other survivors. Unfortunately for her, Albert Wesker, the head of the Japanese headquarters, is hot on her heels.

Opening the fourth in this publicly popular, but critically hated, game-to-film franchise, Paul 'can't write for shit' Anderson utilizes the 3D technology with eye-popping credits against the rainy backdrop of Japan, with a what feels like a half hour slow motion sequence, followed by an unimaginable amount of fellow slow-mos displaying Milla Jovovich's ability to kick ass, accompanied by a dozen clones, impressively staged fights and a terribly wooden Shawn Roberts as the evil Wesker. Six months later and our so-called story truly starts, with Alice fleeing the deserted 'safe haven' Arcadia and en route to the post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.

While Anderson fails to involve any remnants of originality, he borrows details from Dawn of the Dead, and well, any zombie flick, with Afterlife's story acting as simply an extended array of predestined subplots and rehashed 'get back at Umbrella' story arcs. With the exception of Jovovich's energetic on-screen presence, Anderson also under-develops every other character, including that of a continuing storyline of Claire Redfield (Final Destination's Ali Larter) and her brother Chris, a beefy, ex solider - a character previously seen in Capcom's Resident Evil 5. Another character to resurface from the game world is The Executioner. Disregarding where he came from and what he actually is, the ginormous, axe-wielding, sack-for-a-head super mutant is a grotesque, successful game-to-film character that works tremendously on the big screen.

Unarguably, Afterlife is a pointless sequel. It continues the streak of Anderson's less than ambitious resumé, proving once again how boisterous and contrived he is. Still, with a franchise that never truly promised a lot, the latest offering is undoubtedly the most entertaining. Cramming as many electrifying, action-packed scenes in as possible, Afterlife is what i would call a film made with style, but sadly lacks the substance to stimulate those who're new to the franchise.


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