Director – Paul W. S. Anderson
Cast – Mila Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Boris Kodjoe, Wentworth Miller, Norman Yeung, Kim Coates, Spencer Locke, Sienna Guillory, Kacey Barnfield, Fulvio Cecere, Ray Olubowale
Release Year – 2010
Reviewed by John of the Dead
After enjoying the first two installments to the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse, I noticed a decline with the third installment, Resident Evil: Extinction, but I had not idea of the horrors I would face with this fourth installment, Resident Evil: Afterlife. Sadly, the horrors I experienced were not the horrors I wished to see, but horrors often associated with truly bad films. As you may be guessing by now, Resident Evil: Afterlife is a bad film.
In this film we follow events occurring approximately 2 years after the events of Resident Evil: Extinction. Alice continues her quest to find a safe haven from the undead and lead the world’s remaining survivors to safety, which takes her to the city of Los Angeles. When she arrives the finds the city plagued with the undead, but manages to reunite with some old friends she had feared for dead. Surrounded by a sea of undead, including a giant executioner referred to as The Axeman(The Execution in RE 5 video game), the group of survivors must battle against unspeakable odds if they wish to find safety, which becomes the least of their problems when they find “safety”.
I really did not plan on seeing this film so soon after the release date, but it was “date night”, and we needed a movie to watch, and much to our bad luck all that was available at such a late hour was the last showing of Resident Evil: Afterlife, in 3D, on opening day. Given my lack of enthusiasm for seeing this film, I went into this watch with low expectations, which usually tends to aid a film if it gives me the slightest amount of positive nature, but that was just not the case with this film.
Paul W. S. Anderson(Event Horizon, Resident Evil, Alien vs. Predator) returns to the director’s chair in the Resident Evil series for the first time since the initial entry, Resident Evil. While he did a OK-to-positive job with Resident Evil, his direction in this film is completely ridiculous and lackluster. The moment I saw that this film was going to debut in 3D I knew it would doom the film, and it did. I have never been a fan of 3D films in general, and when you throw it into a modern horror film then you are only asking for trouble, and trouble answered the call in this one. While Paul W. S. Anderson has always had a knack for throwing in some ridiculously brainless fight scenes in his films, he really did himself in with his execution in this film’s numerous fight scenes, which were most likely a result of the film’s 3D delivery. Every chance Alice had to kick someone’s ass she had to spend about 30 seconds in mid-air before she laid the first hit on someone, which at first was decent at best, but as the film progressed this tactic become sillier, and sillier, and sillier, to the near point of nausea. As if this could not sound any worse, it gets worse. This cheap tactic was used for numerous other characters in the film, each bringing in horrendous acting as well. I really could not believe just how bad the acting was, which goes to show that Paul. W. S. Anderson had to be OK with the acting jobs from his actors, a staple of the low amount of respect this man deserves.
Sadly, the direction is not the worst element of the film, the writing is. Unsurprisingly, director Paul W. S. Anderson also served as the film’s writer, which just adds to the ugly. Beginning with the storyline, we get a completely incoherent and non-cohesive storyline in which simply put…nothing happens. In a nutshell, Alice looks for survivors, she finds them, they come across a few zombies on their way to a safe sanctuary, then they encounter a super-being much like Alice’s former self, and they fight him. After the film ended a friend of mine made a joke stating that the script for the film was most likely around 10 pages long, and while it was a joke, it sure seems plausible given just how bad things get in reference to the writing job. To make matters worse, we get some of the worst dialogue imaginable thrown in as well. You know, there are two types of bad dialogue in the horror realm: good bad dialogue, and bad bad dialogue, and this film comes with a lot of the bad bad dialogue. When you mix that bad dialogue in with pathetic acting and crappy direction, you really have a putrid concoction that can only be referred to as Resident Evil: Afterlife.
Overall, this is a highly pathetic attempt at cashing in on the Resident Evil franchise by giving us horrible direction, a pathetic story, horrendous dialogue, and equally horrendous acting. Definitely not recommended.