A wise man once said “Do not reinvent the wheel, for it is round and round is good.” Of course, he then proceeded to get eaten by a zombie, but hey them the breaks. Resident Evil: Afterlife follows this non-changing wheel philosophy and delivers a wonderful 100 minutes of horror/action goodness.
Afterlife picks up more or less where the previous movie left off. Alice has an army of elite-super clones and she’s not afraid to use them against that evil Umbrella Corporation. Incidentally, the go-to guy for Umbrella Corporation’s “I’m the big bad leader dude” in this incarnation of Resident Evil is apparently played by Agent Smith, but more on that in a sec.
After some pointless symbolism involving umbrellas and rain motifs we get right into the promise of super amazing clone action against the Tokyo branch of Umbrella Coporation for no other reason than the fact that it gives the movie an excuse to use subtitles. This leads into one awesome display of Alice clone carnage as the entire base of over-confident guards quickly learns that although one Milla Jovovich is bad enough, 30+ of them becomes the following:
- See Alice run.
- Run Alice run.
- See Alice shoot.
- Shoot Alice shoot.
- See Alice slice up baddies with swords before switching to throwing stars and then shooting them with various guns and finally unleashing random psychic bursts of energy all over creation.
- …you get the idea, but like I said, multiply it by 30. And this is all in the first 20 minutes.
Unfortunately clone fun doesn’t last long. Let’s just say the bag of spilling trope applies full force here.
The rest of the movie then proceeds to relapse into the plot of the previous movie, in which Alice looks around for her friends who well…quickly find out that messages of hope in Alaska can have multiple interpretations. At least there’s a lot more action this time, and significantly less downtime. It does dip a bit more into horror territory like the first one did and the third one abandoned, but not that much. The action/horror ratio is rather similar to the second one.
Speaking of action, I’ll just sum it up simply and say that Resident Evil pretty much shamelessly copies off of the Matrix, right down to a big bad who clearly read the book on looks and fighting from Agent Smith. Let me be clear though…this is not a bad thing. Like I said in the beginning, there is no need to reinvent a round wheel, and the Matrix-style action in this movie certainly delivers. It delivers so well that it decides to stop bothering with logic and just start doing things because its just plain cool. For example:
- What was the point of the mechanical spiders latchers?
- Why was there a super crazy zombie thing running around with a giant meat tenderizer/halberd?
- Zombie dog things that show up out of nowhere?
Who cares? It was COOL. By the way, speaking of cool monsters, fans of the Resident Evil games will once again find much to enjoy with homages to some of the classic monsters. Especially if you’ve played #4.
I don’t want to say too much more in this review for risk of spoilers and the fact that I want to grab dinner before my evening class starts, but suffice to say that Resident Evil: Afterlife is an action packed good time with just the right does of horror jumpiness. 🙂