Friday, 17 September 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D

Jeez, the Resident Evil movie series is already at its fourth instalment? Where do the years go? I went to see this today knowing pretty much exactly what to expect. Y'see, I do enjoy the Resident Evil movies, but I probably get a bit more out of them than fans of the games as I have never really been much of a gamer. Thus I don't have to compare the films to the games. I know who the characters are that have shown up in the games, and the various plot points, but only through pop culture osmosis rather than an active interest in the source material. I love the Resident Evil movies as they are pure entertainment, which really isn't trying to masquerade as anything else.

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D was filmed with the same technology that James Cameron used to bring us the sci-fi epic Avatar, and writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson (HEY! LESS HISSING AT THE BACK! AT LEAST HE'S NOT UWE BOLL!) has pulled out every trick in the book to ensure value for money. This is the perfect sort of film for 3D- plenty of set pieces and some really rather impressive photography, as well as some frankly awesome explosions. Gotta love those explosions. Resident Evil: Afterlife picks up the thread from the climactic moments of Resident Evil: Extinction, where we got to see the clones of Alice (Milla Jovovich) waking up in their cocoons.

Afterlife starts off with a bang as those clones set about laying waste to the Umbrellaa Corporation's headquarters. That sequence is kinda odd, really, as while it is undoubtedly awesome, it also feels like the ending to a movie we haven't seen, added onto the start of this one. It kind of ties up the loose threads of the clones and Alice's superpowers, and then the film really gets started. This film is apparently much more in keeping with the games, and features a number of creatures from Resident Evil 5 (or so I'm hearing), and those elements really add some shock power to the horror scenes.

Something odd about this film is that it's a zombie movie without much in the way of zombie action, but when the zombies do show up, those scenes are fantastic. Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller are a little hammy as videogame fan-favourites Claire and Chris Redfield, but a Resident Evil movie is hardly the place to be deadly serious. The tension is kept up, the pace is nice and brisk, and Milla Jovovich gets to outdo all of her previous performances with some spectacular action scenes.

One thing I'll say is that this ain't a movie for people who suffer from claustrophobia, as a few scenes will have you chewing off your own arms with fear. Resident Evil: Afterlife looks amazing, and while the plot is a little thin, it is brilliantly entertaining. Where the film suffers is the overly silly Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) character, who is the epitome of the cartoon villain. Does the film do the series proud? Hell yes. As with the others, it has a different feel to the previous entry, but it takes the action to another level entirely and the 3D really adds, erm, another dimension. Is this the last one? Stick around and during the credits you'll find out that no, it really isn't. Mind you, on the strength of this preposterously silly but wonderfully fun movie, I can't wait for the next one.

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