Resident Evil: Afterlife – review

Claire and Alice, up in your 3-Dimensional grills

(C) 2010 Screen Gems/Capcom

So, with the usual time-lapse between postings, it falls to me to gather my previously-trailed thoughts about the latest “Resi” movie, “Afterlife” and put them into some kind of order.

I liked it well enough – it’s a solid, if not especially series-reinventing entry, with a (mostly) well-considered use of the Pace/Cameron Fusion camera system. Despite being a B-man at heart, Paul Anderson didn’t really use the camera as an excuse to lob objects directly at the audience too much. Which is nice.

This film’s story takes Alice (and her clone army) on a global revenge trip against Albert Wesker and the remnants of the Umbrella Corporation, flitting from Japan to Canada, then to a Zombie-overrun LA and a climactic showdown on a converted trawler which serves as a floating Umbrella lab/cryo-prison.

Not, then, the latest Alan Bennett film.

The action comes thick and fast – you’re never more than ten minutes away from some gunfight or Zombie melee – and doesn’t really suffer for the 3D treatment.

The issue, if I have one, is that Anderson’s still so enamoured of “The Matrix” that much of this film feels like a bunch of Cosplayers got the funds together to make an uber-budget mash-up of the Wachowski’s great opus and the “Resi” games and didn’t know quite how those two, disperate universes would happily coalesce. He really would benefit from ensuring that future entries in the series ditch the bullet-time, villains in long black leather coats and that all concerned find their own style.

As indicated prior to release, Anderson doesn’t waste time in setting up the next sequel, including a post-credits scene with Sienna Guillory, reprising her role as Jill Valentine. Lots of shock troops, military hardware and the slight sense that this film series may finally be abandoning all pretense at Zombie horror and instead taking up arms as a straight-ahead sci-fi horror series.

And, as this is the highest-grossing entry yet in the films, it appears that Anderson and co. must be doing something right.

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