My rating of Resident Evil: Afterlife: 3.5/5
Directed by: Paul WS Anderson
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Wentworth Miller, Boris Kodjoe
Studio: Sony Pictures
I cannot recall any movie trailer in recent history that got me as vexed as the one for Resident Evil: Afterlife did. Let’s all watch the trailer first before I explain why. Better still, watch a literal interpretation of the Resident Evil: Afterlife trailer. (I promise it’s going to be unlike any trailer you’ve ever seen.)
The trailer made a good first impression on me since it uses The Outsider by A Perfect Circle as its soundtrack – a track that I can keep on loop the whole day on iTunes and yet not feel the urge to hit the skip button. But then, the trailer shows this:
Resident Evil: Afterlife is the first film after Avatar to be filmed using the same Fusion 3D camera system created by James Cameron, but saying that front-and-centre in the trailer seemed to be a lame way of invoking his name in the hopes of pulling people in. After all, if, say, Uwe Boll got his hands on a camera previously-owned by Alfred Hitchcock at an auction then that doesn’t necessarily mean that Boll(ock)’s next movie will be ‘pure gold’ instead of merely ‘comedy gold’ (in a bad way).
(I realize this joke will be lost on readers who don’t know how terrible Uwe Boll is. Let’s just say that it would be an understatement if he’s called the world’s worst filmmaker.)
Moving on, I expected to be disappointed by the performance of zombie actors in this movie due to a scene in the trailer where Milla Jovovich jumps off a building. There are many scenes where Ms Jovovich jumps of a building in this movie, so I have provided an image for clarification.
Just look at that zombie. Look, I do understand that zombies aren’t supposed to be intelligent as they are essentially re-animated corpses. Still, that zombie stepping straight onto the ledge far away from food, i.e., Ms Jovovich actually is an unpardonable level of stupidity. All that the zombie had to do is head straight for the food, rather than take a course slightly off-target while not even looking at the food, i.e., Ms Jovovich.
The villain of the movie – Albert Wesker, played by Shawn Roberts (I initially thought the role was played by a now-fat Val Kilmer) – prefers to sit wearing sunglasses in a blindingly white room, as is the taste of villains when it comes to mood lighting in most Hollywood films.
Inexplicably, the villain then proceeds to take of his sunglasses and throws them directly towards the camera the James Cameron / Vince Pace Fusion Camera System (also known, as the trailer tells us, as “the world’s most advanced 3D technology “).
After having watched the movie, I can confirm to y’all that this is not criticism being taken out of context, but there really was no reason for the villain to throw his sunglasses at the camera at that point in the plot. Unless, that is, the villain was aware that he was being filmed with The World’s Most Advanced 3D Technology™ – in which case he would have realized it would make for a spectacular-yet-pointless effect when viewed with 3D glasses.
Lest you think I’m out to molest a movie based on nothing other than it’s trailer, let me assure you that I have watched it and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Avatar‘s 3D jiggery-pokery was rooted in magnificent vistas, while Paul WS Anderson uses it creatively throughout RE:A to give a perception of depth – blades of grass near a landing strip, stones on a beach, a keyboard on desk. You must watch this in movie in 3D if you have to since this is real 3D – not a shitty post-production conversion as is the wont of many ‘3D’ movies these days – and it’s 3D done well, in enclosed environments.
Don’t go in expecting a cerebral flick; this is a zombie genre film after all. I promise you won’t be disappointed – not even by the ham-acting of the zombies.
From the grandiose ending of this movie (stick around for a while after the credits roll to see Jill Valentine again), it can be inferred Umbrella Corporation does not seem to be running out the backing of its shareholders any time soon, despite the fact that it’s a postapocalyptic world and all its shareholders are probably zombies. Since it seems Umbrella Corp has limitless finances, expect many more Resident Evil films in the future.