Resident Evil: Afterlife – now with more slow-mo than ever

10 Aug

I’ve watched a lot of garbage recently – films so truly crap I’ve not been able to actually pull an article out of them – I didn’t think “This is utter garbage” would be one of our more popular posts. Also, I couldn’t be bothered. But mostly the former.

I’ve taken it upon myself to decorate my flat. As in the whole thing – not a single wall is safe. While painting every visible surface, I like to watch films – especially ones where people are kicking ass (apparently it’s motivational) – so Netflix has become my best friend through these trying times.

Netflix summaries Resident Evil: Afterlife as the following: “The Undead Apocalypse continues super-soldier Alice finds her way to a supposed sanctuary in Los Angeles, which may just be a deadly trap.” Now, I’m no expert, but I think if I were Alice I’d have started doing Admiral Ackbar impersonation at every available moment now, but I digress…

Apparently, this installment was the supposed to be shown in 3D because it was filmed with the most advanced 3D camera available blah blah blah… I’m not a huge fan of 3D though – for the most part all it seems to do is add extra pointless nonsense to films just to get a few “Ooohs” – and I don’t have that kind of fancy gadgetry at my disposal. Anyway, the film opens with a scene of Japan being infected, followed by a pretty awesome sequence showing Alice and some Alice clones attacking an Umbrella Corporation facility. It’s a heck of a scene – lots of daft slow-mo and incredible bullet-time fighting. The bad guy, Wesker, seemingly dies – but not before using a serum to obtain Alice’s special powers.

We then join Alice as she’s flying solo, literally – she’s in a plane. She’s on the lookout for Arcadia – a place which has broadcast on the radio as a safehaven. Along the way, she meets up with a familiar face in the form of Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) last seen in R.E: Extinction. Together, they travel towards Arcadia and find a band of people holed up in a prison. Obviously, this includes the usual band of stereotypical zombie-fodder – the most notable of which (for me anyway) were  ex-pro footballer Luther West (played by Boris Kodjoe) and Wentworth Miller (of Prison Break fame) as the eye candy Claire’s brother, Chris.

Not being a huge fan of the games (I’ve played a little but I’m a giant wuss), I didn’t put two and two together and notice that Claire and Chris are from the games until I saw one of the promotional photos.  Shows how much I pay attention. It a nice touch that they’re adding more from the games but Miller doesn’t really bear much resemblance to the Chris from the games.

Chris and Claire

Together, they discover that Arcadia is actually a large ship docked at the nearby harbour but to get to it they need to pass through a ton of zombies – including a very large hooded creature wielding a ridiculously huge axe. The following fight scene was one of the highlights of the film – crazy slow-mo gun battle with bullets flying and heads exploding and jumping off buildings and shooting coins instead of bullets and unicorns and the kitchen sink exploding (some of this may not be true). It’s nothing short of glorious!

*Goes off to make a cup of coffee in pretend slow motion*

Without spoiling it too much, all of this is followed by a lot of zombie-bashing (surprise!), a boss fight (surprise!), some infected dogs, and a slow-mo pinata explosion… (One of those things may not have occurred. It should have, however, just because.) You should probably watch it just out of curiosity now. Are there really crazy dogs? Is there an exploding pinata? Does mild-mannered, butter-wouldn’t-melt Alice really beat up a bunch of harmless ex-humans?

As you would expect with such a big-budget film, the special effects are obviously top-notch. It does feel a bit like the director’s just got a shiny new slow-mo camera and really, really wants to use it for literally every possible scene at times though. As Resident Evil films go, I’d say this is middle-of-the-road – it has some awesome moments, but it feels a bit muddled. The storyline is pretty patchy – it doesn’t seem like much happens – and the ultimate bad guy is ridiculously over the top in all his Matrix-esque clothing and dodgy sunglasses.

BAD

That said, the creature with the giant axe is a much better monster than the Nemesis from RE: Apocalypse, and both the effects and music are obviously awesome. I’d also like to note that the people responsible for the costumes in these movies are absolute geniuses – I always come away from them thinking “Man, that’d be an excellent Halloween costume!” I’m not sure where these people find their amazingly fitted tactical clothes during a zombie apocalypse but I want their stylist’s number – I’d like to look good while running away screaming.

Acting-wise Milla Jovovich does a stellar job of looking immense while kicking infected butt. Wentworth Miller doesn’t exactly do much besides his trademarked ‘stare into my soulful-yet-sharp blue eyes’ expression but then that’s nothing new – he never seems to get many lines in films and I’m not sure if it’s because he can’t act or not.

Overall, while it does have plenty weak points it lives up to the expectation of bad-ass zombie killing.  It’s certainly not the best of the bunch but it’s decent switch-your-brain-off-and-shovel-popcorn-in-your-face-hole action.

6 slow-mo bullets out of 10

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One Response to “Resident Evil: Afterlife – now with more slow-mo than ever”

  1. Jon Arnott August 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    If i watch this movie, i won’t get Admiral Akbar out of my head 😀

    Like

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