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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Movie Review: Resident Evil Afterlife

Well, I wasn’t expecting myself to go see this movie but there weren’t any other good alternatives this week so me and my friends went off to see this. I personally couldn’t believe that they made yet another sequel to the horribly decayed adaptation of the Resident Evil games. Especially after the previous movie where someone came up with the brilliant idea of throwing psychokinesis into the mix. Seriously, espers in a movie based on a game about surviving a horde of zombies by blasting your way out of trouble with knives, pistols, rifles, grenades, sometimes a laser and finally a rocket launcher.

Thankfully, they realized the error of their ways and took care of that little snag right at the beginning of the movie with a sequence that would not look out of place in the Matrix trilogy or Akira. What follows after is a plot that I can actually admit to living up to the games’ premise though that too comes with a mixed bag of sentiments from me. Basically the main character finds herself on a search for other survivors as well as the mysterious sanctuary, Arcadia. She flies in where the survivors from the previous movie were supposed to have landed but discovers the location to be a desolate graveyard of planes. Finding a lone survivor suffering from amnesia, she makes way with her new companion in tow for Los Angeles where they find another group of survivors holed up in a prison complex as well as the mysterious Arcadia. Going through the usual survivor horror movie clichés, we are shown scenes of some of the survivors making it to Arcadia only to discover that Arcadia is not the sanctuary that it made itself out to be. They then have a last boss fight there, one that’s surprisingly faithful to the source material, after which the movie ends on a cliffhanger that just made me groan. There’s also a bonus scene halfway through the credits that made me wonder if they actually expected it to make us want to see the next movie even more.

As you can probably tell, I don’t think very highly of this movie and its series overall. The characters barely have any personality at all and are all just trying way too hard to be cool. The main character in particular is very guilty of this. She kills zombies on a daily basis and is a total badass by anyone’s standards but she walks and talks like a noob trying to be all that. Her actor really isn’t very convincing at this role. Even the Redfield siblings looked more badass than she did when she wasn’t performing stunts. The black guy had a similar vibe to him but I think the trope subversion he pulled off was amusing enough to like him. Not only was he the last of the cannon fodder to get taken away by the zombies, he was the only one to survive and show in a scene near the end.

I do have to admit one thing though, I was very impressed with the special effects they put into the movie. My eyes just popped wide open when the energy explosion just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Then the bubble imploded and I let out a low a whistle as it left gigantic hole in the middle of an apocalyptic Tokyo. The slow motion sequences they littered about throughout the entire movie however did not. Not only did they fail to make the action scenes any more exciting or enjoyable, they actually made them look completely silly.

All in all, I’d have to say it was a halfway decent movie. However, if you’re not like me and you don’t analyse the movie as you watch it then you can take the previous sentence and leave out the halfway part. For those of you who are still on the fence about seeing this movie, feel free to check out the list of holes I’ve found in the movie that I’ve hidden in the spoiler box below. Lastly, don’t expect a rocket launcher in the last boss fight. Apparently it was so faithful to the RE5’s last boss battle that I’m still doubting what my said about it not finishing up with a rocket launcher like in the prequels.

List of Holes

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