Horror review: Resident Evil–Afterlife

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 10, 2010

Director Paul W.S. Anderson is a real hit ’n’ miss kinda guy. The first film I saw of his, 1997’s Event Horizon, blew me away; it was a nightmarish, spooky-as-hell sci-fi shocker. But then he went and ruined that positive impression with the ludicrous 2004 monstrosity AVP: Alien vs. Predator.

Unfortunately for the both of us, Resident Evil: Afterlife sees Anderson returning to cinematic dreck with a stunningly tedious exercise in 3-D CGI wankery.

Poor Milla Jovovich returns for the fourth time—after 2002’s Resident Evil, 2004’s Resident Evil: Apocalypse and 2007’s Resident Evil: Extinction—as the ass-kicking, supermodel-looking Alice, the sole survivor of virus experiments that went awry and left the world a zombie-infested wasteland.

Because the films are all based on a first-person shooter video game, the well-armed Alice’s main goal in life is to jump around and blast the hell out of zombies—or slice and dice them with knives and swords. But in Afterlife she—with the help of a bunch of clones—spends way too much time blasting the hell out of heavily armed troops.

Boooring!

The plot sucks. Tracking a radio beacon, Alice pilots a two-seater plane up to Alaska but only finds a babe named Claire (Ali Larter) up there, so she flies back down—right over Prince Rupert!—and crash-lands on the roof of an L.A. prison surrounded by the living dead. The prison is inhabited by the usual stereotypes, including the brooding hero (Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller) and the weaselly coward (Kim Coates), all of whom hope to escape onto the supertanker that’s anchored nearby and transmitting messages of safety. Endless slo-mo scenes of mind-numbing, Matrix-like violence ensue. You’ll be truly amazed by how pointless it all is.

As wretched a video-game spinoff as RE: A is, though, there is a bright side. At least it wasn’t directed by Uwe Boll.

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