Resident Evil: Afterlife
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Sequel to: Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller, Shawn Roberts, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Boris Kodjoe, Kim Coates, Spencer Locke, Sienna Guillory, Kacey Clarke, Norman Yeung, Fulvio Cecere
Seen on: 10.9.2022
Alice (Milla Jovovich) is still on her mission against the Umbrella Corporation. When she has finally dealt them a harsh blow, she heads to Arcadia, supposed safe haven, to catch up with her friends. But instead of paradise, she finds Claire (Ali Larter) in a bad state and with some amnesia. Returning to LA, they receive a call for help from a group sheltering in place in an abandoned prison, surrounded by zombies. The group does have news about Arcadia, but no way out. Unless the mysterious prisoner Chris (Wentworth Miller) speaks the truth. But can they risk it?
Resident Evil: Afterlife is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from this movie series. That is: it’s okay, but not great, with some good action and some questionable narrative choices. But to really love the movies, you’ll probably have to have played the games and I didn’t.
The movie starts with the biggest WTF for me, on a character and narration basis: Alice has obviously teamed up with her clones, giving the film the opportunity to shock us by showing how she dies but her not being actually dead. And in the coolness of that effect, what the film doesn’t consider at all is that those clones are more than just Alice’s copies. Even if you’d consider them easily replaceable robots and not people (which would be fucked up if you ask me, but also a take), giving Alice no reaction whatsoever to watching somebody who looks exactly like herself die in the most brutal ways over and over again basically makes Alice an unfeeling robot. It’s weird to say the least.
But then again the films really haven’t stood out to me in their insightful considerations of the ethical and emotional impact of their stories. They are much more interested in Alice looking sexy and cool (as the series progressed, the emphasis became more and more on the latter rather than the former) and fucking shit up. And there are some nice touches to the fucking shit up part here.
I think my favorite part was the new iteration of the zombie dogs that we get at the very end of the film. And I’m also a fan of heist plots, and the breaking out of prison part went in that direction. Speaking of, casting Wentworth Miller in a Prison Break plot is both incredibly, facepalmingly obvious and kind of fun. It’s the casting equivalent of a dad joke. The other updated/hyped up zombies were a little much, but I guess they worried that things would get boring if they had stuck with regular zombies only.
Instead they could have expended a little more energy on plot and characterization. But either way, I wasn’t expecting that. Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter are very cool, though.
Summarizing: if you have come this far in the series, you know what you’ll get.