Resident Evil--Afterlife

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Remo D
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Resident Evil--Afterlife

Post by Remo D »

I was looking forward to this film for several reasons... First and foremost, the RESIDENT EVIL series, while never approaching genuine "greatness," had always managed to keep me sufficiently intrigued to see what happened next. Second, I've always liked Milla Jovovich, and the focus on her continuing "Alice" character has kept the series from being a simple cloning of the Romero DEAD series (despite the obvious inspiration). And finally, I was quite interested to see what the return of original director Paul W.S. Anderson would supply--particularly as he was shooting in genuine 3-D (not a conversion job) for the first time.

Well, as it turns out, the 3-D is just about the ONLY saving grace of this fourth installment. Let me say this much--Anderson has never been what I would call an "innovator." Virtually all of his films to date have played as "cover versions" (if not out-and-out ripoffs) of previously established themes--which didn't stop me from enjoying them. I still think EVENT HORIZON represents his high point--even if you thought you might have "seen it before," it still provided strong, visceral horror deployed against a fine cast. And for similar reasons, I quite enjoyed DEATH RACE--there was absolutely nothing "new" there, and it certainly failed as a remake of DEATH RACE 2000, but the cast and the 100% authentic vehicle action still hit the spot and supplied fine entertainment, the likes of which I couldn't find in any other contemporary source.

Where last we left the RE saga (as handled by Russell Mulcahy), Ali Larter and her ragtag band were headed for the promised refuge of "Arcadia" while an army of Alice clones prepared to strike at the Umbrella Corporation's Tokyo headquarters. AFTERLIFE dispenses with the latter plot twist in the first fifteen minutes of the film. It's a promising opening--we get a terrific opening credit sequence followed by most of the action you saw in the trailer, and then we get a promising plot twist that robs Alice of her superpowers (though that scarcely seems evident).

Things stay reasonably okay as Alice checks out Arcadia for herself and runs into Larter again, but once the newly-reunited teammates hit the roof of an L.A. prison, it's unfortunately time for deadly dull "rehash" material for a long stretch. The utterly disposable (I mean that literally--they get killed off and the main players immediately stop caring about them) supporting characters are duly introduced as they re-enact the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake and start a pilgrimage to retrieve a super vehicle. We get interminable slow-motion fight sequences (with the obligatory bullet-dodging business... I swear that THE MATRIX still stands as the best film that I wish had never been made!!!), betrayals, alleged twists and that same clone of a sunglasses-wearing villain that does everything but snarl "MISTER Andersen..." at every turn. We get the Venus Flytrap mouths that were cool in BLADE II but scarcely beyond ("yeah, but it's in 3-D this time!" seems to be the excuse throughout). Oh, and when all of the surviving heroes think they're walking into a trap, they all step through and let the sliding metal doors close behind them anyway.

Okay. I did enjoy Alice's use of U.S. quarters as ammunition. And I REALLY liked the huge, executioner-hooded monstrosity that showed up with a gigantic war-hammer/battleaxe, but I guess that the video game players will have to tell me just what the hell it was and where it came from, because the movie sure didn't.

But that's about it. ONLY see this in 3-D. And prepare for yet another cliffhanger. I sure hope this one pays off. I don't hate this series and I don't want to hate this series... but this one is easily the least to date.

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Darth Tanner
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Re: Resident Evil--Afterlife

Post by Darth Tanner »

Nice review Remo. I've never kept up with the series since the first movie, but I was looking forward to this one just for the 3-D and the awesome trailer. It's nice to hear that it's real 3-D this time and not just another conversion job. I'll probably go check it out later this week.

Quick question though.....does watching this one require any familiarity with the previous two films or is it something that can stand on it's own? As I said, I haven't seen the last two entries so I was wondering if it would really matter in terms of following the story/characters despite being a video game adaptation.

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Remo D
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Re: Resident Evil--Afterlife

Post by Remo D »

Well, there would be some things you'd wonder about... like "where did all the clones come from?" etc., but they stop mattering soon enough. There's a bit of flashback and expository dialogue for anything that really "matters." And then they throw stuff at you with no explanation, anyway. You'll "get" it pretty much as well as I did in the end...

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Darth Tanner
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Re: Resident Evil--Afterlife

Post by Darth Tanner »

Well I caught this the other day and actually enjoyed it a little more than Remo probably did. Sure it was nothing original and the MATRIX stuff was a little embarassing, but the 3-D effects were awesome and there was plenty of action to keep me entertained. I must admit that I liked this one a little bit more than the first movie (I "might" decide to catch up with the APOCALYPSE and EXTINCTION entries at some point). Milla Jovovich was terrific but I would have like to see Ali Larter do a bit more with her character. Keep your expectations low and you're sure to have a good time. I'm definitely looking forward to the possible next entry and am hoping it will at least be a fun ride.

I have to admit that 2010 has been a pretty good year so far (for me at least) and I hope the pace keeps up.

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Kimberly
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Re: Resident Evil--Afterlife

Post by Kimberly »

i thought it was probably one of the worst movies i have ever seen. it was very painful to sit though and watch.

i'm finding that with 4 films, their seems to be a pattern (imo)

good
bad
good
bad (actually, beyond bad)

the only thing that i liked about this film, and i mean REALLY liked, was the score. absolutely loved the score.

did i mention how terribad this movie was?

HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME CHUCK! IN SHAME!

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Darth Tanner
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Re: Resident Evil--Afterlife

Post by Darth Tanner »

Kimberly wrote: HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME CHUCK! IN SHAME!

We're not going to start arguing now are we Kim? :devildoll

But seriously, I had a good time with this movie and actually enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (as much as it saddens me to say). It delivered what I expected so that's all that counts in my book even if it is just a one-time viewing. Yes I can see why people wouldn't like this movie but if we all agreed on everything there would be no room for discussion, right? I do have to agree with you though that I also thought the score was awesome.

As for hanging my head in shame, I've done that after seeing countless other movies in the past. Movies such as HOUSE OF THE DEAD, CURSED, BLADE:TRINITY and THE FOG remake were IMO all worthless piles of crap compared to RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE. Hell even PHANTOM MENACE was way better than any of those other "worthless" movies I mentioned :)

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Kimberly
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Re: Resident Evil--Afterlife

Post by Kimberly »

;)

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Bloodiah
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Re: Resident Evil--Afterlife

Post by Bloodiah »

I would honestly rather have my skin removed and be thrown into a salt mine than sit through that piece of crap again.
Paul W.S.Anderson should personally give us all refunds, and I may take off on a South Park inspired adventure to get my $20 back!
The movie was shot in 3D, but, due to a botched surgery in early childhood, I have monocular vision, so, no 3D for me, which basically left the "plot"- George Romero's retarded cousin Corky could've come up with something better, the "characters" "Hi, I'm Chris, your brother, I don't give a fuck that I haven't seen you in years, or that I've been trapped in a prison cell for a while, or that I, you, or even your friends have NO personality whatsoever, let's go through some terribly predictable plot "twists", and all come out fine, unless we're minorities, in which case, well, you'd have better luck as a no name actor wearing a red shirt on Star Trek..."
The visuals were pretty cool, but if I wanted a 2 hour special effect, I'd watch half of Transformers...
Booooo Paul Anderson, booooo..............

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