movie, movie review

December 24th, 2016 Movie – Resident Evil: Afterlife


My apologies for the lateness of this post but some priorities came up today. First off, some of my friends and I decided to continue a trend of watching the newest Star Wars movie on an early showing Christmas Eve morning. Then, since I got out in time, I went and watched the Falcon’s game with my friends Charles and Paula, which Atlanta won. So now, almost 9 hours after I finished watching it, I am able to finish writing the review for today’s movie, Resident Evil: Afterlife.

The plot: 4 years after Tokyo fell to the zombie biohazard, Umbrella Corporation’s underground Tokyo facility comes under attack by Alice and her clones. The army makes it’s way through Umbrella’s security forces and heads towards the command room, where Alice confront’s Albert Wesker, the head of Umbrella, who manages to shoot her but when he turns her over, she releases the grenade she was holding. Managing to survive the explosion and seeing more clones coming towards him, Wesker heads for a tiltrotor plane and escapes, then activates a bomb which destroys the lab, and all of the clones, leaving a massive sinkhole behind. As he flies away, the real Alice had managed to board the plane beforehand and confronts him, only for Wesker to jab a syringe into her neck. The injection removed the T-virus from Alice’s body, taking away her powers and rendering her human again. Wesker then proceeds to beat down Alice but before he kills her, the plane crashes and Alice manages to survive and walk away. 6 months later, Alice heads up to Alaska in search of Arcadia, the supposed safe haven that Claire and the other survivors had gone to. Landing the small plane she flew at the coordinates, Alice finds a field full of abandoned aircraft and heads towards the nearby shore, where the Umbrella helicopter is sitting. Exploring the helicopter, she finds the journal that she gave K-Mart before the survivors flew off but no sign of any life. As Alice begins making an entry in her video journal, someone runs off behind her and she chases the figure back to the airfield. The figure attacks Alice but she manages to knock the person out and discovers that it is Claire Redfield with some sort of robotic spider-like device on her chest. Alice removes the device but though it pacifies her, it also gives Claire amnesia. Taking Claire with her, Alice decides to fly down along the coast until they reach Los Angeles. Seeing signs of survivors on the roof of a prison, Alice flies in for a closer look to find the place completely surrounded by zombies. As the survivors look on, Alice buzzes the roof, indicating she is attempting to land on it, and the survivors clear the roof so she can land, then keep the plane from tilting off of the roof’s edge. When Alice and Claire exit the plane, Luther West, the leader of the survivors, and the others ask if she is there to take them to Arcadia and when Alice asks what they know about Arcadia, she learns that it isn’t a town in Alaska, but a ship that sails along the coast. When Alice mentions this to Claire, Claire says she remembers people coming to the beach from Arcadia to help them but doesn’t remember much else. Alice is introduced to the rest of the survivors (Crystal, Bennett, Angel, Kim Yong) as well as Wendell, who is in the basement guarding a man locked in a special cell. As Luther and Wendell investigate some noises coming from the walls, the prisoner introduces himself to Alice, saying his name is Chris and that he is not a prisoner. He tells Claire that he knows a way out of the prison so they can get to Arcadia but Luther returns and says not to trust him. Later, Claire is going to take a shower but hears a noise and finds Wendell attempting to watch her. As she forces him to leave, some strange zombies attack, having dug a tunnel up through the sewers, and Alice manages to kill two of them but Wendell is dragged back down the tunnel by a third one. When the others come down to investigate, Bennett says they should take Alice’s plane and fly people one at a time to Arcadia but Alice refuse to leave unless they all leave at once. With no choice left, they decide to free Chris and uses his way out of the prison. When he sees Claire, Chris approaches her, saying he is her brother but Claire has no memory of him and Alice explains about her amnesia. Heading outside, Chris directs them to a large door, where he says an Urban Pacification Vehicle is stored and says that they can use it to ride out over the zombies. Realizing that they will need more weapons once they get outside, Chris suggests raiding the armory when suddenly, there is a pounding at the gate and they see a massive zombie carrying an axe/sledgehammer attacking the gate. Chris, Alice, and Crystal head to the armory while Luther and Claire try to reinforce the gate and Angel cuts the lock off the door for the UPV. With the lower levels flooded, Claire and the others are forced to swim down to the armory but when they get there, Crystal is attacked and killed by some zombies and Alice and Chris are forced to hide inside the armory. Angel manages to open the door but when they see the engine for the UPV has been disassembled, Bennett shoots Angel and decides to fly off in Alice’s plane. Claire and Luther do their best to brace the gate and Luther tries shooting the giant in the head but it doesn’t die and continues attacking until it eventually knocks the gate down. Alice and Chris escape the armory through the airducts and hear the plane starting up so they quickly head for the roof. The see Bennett aboard the plane but he shoots at them as they try to stop him and takes off, nearly crashing before he pulls the plane up and heads for Arcadia. As the zombies swarm the rooftop, Alice has the others get into the cargo elevator and head to the shower room, setting off an explosive to send the elevator to the lower levels, then she rapells down after them while leaving another charge to kill the zombies. Heading for the shower room, Alice plans to use the tunnel the zombies made to reach the sewers, and then the sea. Chris and Luther go first to make sure the tunnel is safe and Alice and Claire try to get Kim Yong to go next but he is too scared to go. Suddenly, the giant appears and chops Kim Yong in half, then attacks Alice and Claire. Alice attacks the creature but is knocked unconscious and Claire attacks the creature to keep it away from Alice, seemingly killing it but when it gets back on it’s feet and throws it’s axe at the two women, they duck and Alice blows it’s head off with a shotgun. They head down the tunnel and reach the sewer but before Luther can jump down, he is attacked by some zombies and dragged back up the tunnel. Unable to help him, Alice, Claire, and Chris make their way through the sewer towards the coast and grab a boat to head to Arcadia. On board, they find the wreckage of the plane, indicating that Bennett made it there but find no signs of life. On the bridge, the log indicates the crew abandoned ship 3 days ago but that there are over 2000 survivors on board and Claire regains her memory of what happened on the beach. Heading into the cargo hold, they locate the survivors, who are held in stasis pods for experimentation, and free K-Mart. Alice keeps looking around and finds another cargo hold, where she discovers Wesker has managed to survive. She goes to shoot him when Bennett appears, now working for Wesker, and he has her drop her guns. Wesker explains that the T-virus kept him alive but it is too strong and fighting him for control. He thought that if he ate fresh human DNA it would balance things out but it failed. Since Alice is the only person that successfully bonded with the T-virus, he figures eating her will cure him. However, Claire and Chris show up and begin fighting with Wesker, while Alice deals with two infected dogs and Bennett. Bennett manages to stab Alice but K-mart appears and knocks him out, then throws Alice her shotgun, which she uses to shoot Wesker, then Claire and Chris empty their clips into him in order to keep him down. Alice and the others lock Bennett in the hold with Wesker’s body while they free the others but Wesker revives and eats Bennett, then escapes in another tiltrotor plane. As he leaves, he triggers a purge bomb aboard the ship but Alice had placed the bomb on board the plane beforehand so the plane explodes instead but Wesker manages to parachute to safety. Seeing all the survivors on board, Alice decides to make Arcadia a true safe haven, broadcasting a new message over the radio. Luther, makes it out of the sewers, having survived the zombies that attacked him but as he stares at Arcadia, he sees a fleet of Umbrella planes heading towards the ship, with a mind-controlled Jill Valentine leading an armed Umbrella team and telling them to shoot to kill.

Much like it’s predecessors, Resident Evil: Afterlife met with poor results from the critics, holding a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “As dim-witted and lifeless as its undead antagonists, Resident Evil: Afterlife is a wholly unnecessary addition to the franchise.” While initially announced to open in August of 2010, the release date would be changed several times before it was finally released in September of 2010. IT was released on 4700 theaters, over 2000 of which were 3D capable, making it one of the biggest 3D releases at the time. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $296.2 million off of a $60 million budget, which made this the highest grossing movie in the franchise, but most of this is attributed to the higher cost of 3D tickets as it would actually have the lowest opening weekend attendance of the series at the time.

I know that in late 2009/early 2010, 3D movies were the new big thing, but this is a movie that didn’t really need to go that route. Actually, I kind of wished that they had not made this movie because this was one of the worst of the bunch. The acting was really decent from some characters, but incredibly bad from others. Milla Jovovich (Alice) and Ali Larter (Claire) did a good job in their roles and actually pulled off better performances than they did in the previous movie. I also liked Wentworth Miller (Chris), Boris Kodjoe (Luther), and Kim Coates (Bennett) in their roles but I thought Shawn Roberts (Wesker) was absolutely terrible, especially because he came across as a poor man’s Agent Smith from The Matrix. The story was interesting, especially the idea of the safe haven being a ship, as well as it being a setup for Umbrella to capture people for experimenting. The special effects were pretty good as far as the zombies go, but the thing that I honestly hated was the majority of the 3D effects. Now some of the subtle scenes were actually really good, especially the scene of the burnt out Los Angeles, with the ash drifting up on the screen making for a really haunting visual. But all of the action scenes that the used them on were slowed down so you could REALLY see the 3D effect, which completely killed the flow of the movie almost every time. I like the new 3D technology in movies but this is definitely a case where less would have been better. So kudos to the movie making a lot of money, but it would have been better if the movie had been a lot better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5


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