Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D Review

Written by Keith Adams

Synopsis: Alice has returned, much after the events of “Extinction”, to eradicate more of the infected that’s created by a virus outbreak created by Umbrella Corporation. Reunited by Claire Redfield and joined by more survivors in L.A. including Claire’s brother Chris, Alice must do battle with the undead AND The Umbrella Corporation once more.

The Bottom Line: For most critics, the “Resident Evil” franchise is considered to be nothing more than a film series that’s on par with other video-game based movies like “Super Mario Bros.”, “Street Fighter”, “Double Dragon” or anything directed by Uwe Boll, all of which are failures in every sense of the word. However, for everyone else, the series has achieved something no other video-game based movie has done in the past: renowned popularity, a growing fanbase and most importantly, success at the box office.

This fourth installment, “Resident Evil: Afterlife” continues to prove that formula and prove it well. Four years & six months later, after the events of “Resident Evil: Extinction”, Alice (Jovovich) continues her mission to destroy The Umbrella Corporation and searches for more survivors of the virus outbreak. After a midair fight with Umbrella’s sinister man-in-charge Wesker (Roberts) leads an escape jet to a crash landing, Alice flies down to Alaska to seek out more survivors, which has her crossing paths with Claire Redfield (Larter).

Claire barely avoided capture by Umbrella, who has placed a mind-control device of sorts on her chest, wiping her memory of the previous events and everything else clean but Alice takes it off her and starts asking questions about what happened after they parted ways. Alice & Claire fly down to Los Angeles to discover a small group of survivors (Kodjoe, Coates, Barnfield, Peris-Manchetta & Norman Yueng) who have taken solace in an abandoned prison and as soon as that happen, they discover a freighter ship out in the sea.

Claire also reunites with her brother Chris (Miller), who was a soldier but was locked up due to mistaken identity. But in order to get to that ship, they must first contend with more deadly zombies, a backstabbing survivor and a brutal new creature that’s new to the “Resident Evil” film universe, known as the “Axeman” (who’s happens to be a boss character in the “Resident Evil 5” video game), but the worst part of all isn’t what their battling on land but the trap that awaits them on water.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson didn’t take the Hollywood easy way out by shooting the film in 2D, then converting it in 3D. Instead, he uses the same 3D technolgy patented by James Cameron & Vince Pace for “Avatar” and uses 3D as a way to make the film much more immersive and a great way to advance the story along. Jovovich & Larter shows us, once again, why they have joined the ranks of tough female action heroes including Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Q, just to name a few.

The moment the movie starts, it’s just kicks off with an energy that doesn’t stop until the end credits start rolling. Speaking of which, don’t leave the movie just yet. The first half of the credits stop for a moment to show you what has happened to one of the “Resident Evil” characters who appeared in the second film but I won’t reveal who it is or the Umbrella-controlled fate of said character.

Despite a few moments where the acting goes into direct-to-video territory, “Resident Evil: Afterlife” is one of those few sci-fi/action/horror sequels that’s just non-stop entertainment from start to finish.