Sunday, January 29, 2017

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Afterlife

The fourth installment of the Resident Evil franchise takes Alice (Milla Jovovich) across the Pacific to Japan and what is believed to be the last Umbrella corp. underground lair. We soon learn that Alice is not alone but taking on the underground lair with help of all of her clones toting samurai swords and ninja stars. She takes out this group but loses several of herself in the process. She is also injected with a weird serum that reduces all of her superpowers making her a normal human again.

After stopping in Tokyo, Alice flies back to Alaska in search of her friends. She doesn't find a haven but is reunited with Claire (Ali Larter) who has no memory of what happened. They fly back down the West coast where they meet a group of survivors holed up in a prison. This group includes Bennett (Kim Coates), Luther (Boris Kodjoe), and the imprisoned Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller). This group ekes out survival but when a new mutated form of zombie with a split open tongue burrow through the walls, the team has to escape. A giant monster with a hammer also starts knocking on the gate hurrying the evacuation.

Paul W.S. Anderson wrote the previous two installments but is back directing this fourth film so there is an increase in slow-motion. This movie also appealed directly to the 3D boom making up for the sloppier 3D release of the previous one. The evolved zombies make for a little more action and a necessity for special effects that work a lot better than before. Zombies having their face split open and tentacles shooting out seem to be the natural evolution of these creatrues for several properties and Resident Evil is no different. 

The recurring villain who takes center stage as the final boss is Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) who led the Umbrella corp. and then is infected with the T-Virus that makes him extra strong. It turns out that the boat they south for safety, Arcadia, was in fact just another test facility for Umbrella. The villain throws all of the familiar monsters at Alice including mutant dogs with faces splitting open, but, even without special powers, she comes out on top. 

One additional surprise is Chris Redfield is actually married to Claire and they must be a couple from the video games that fans would recognize. Once the action is wrapped up it is revealed the Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) has a red spider attached to her chest that is a symbol of the brainwashed victims of Umbrella and she leads a helicopter assault of the boat. Another Resident Evil franchise achieves a modicum of success with only a requirement of zombie gore and action scenes, which it pulls off. This sequel beats out the original and the third but still behind the second.  

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