The Resident Evil game franchise is not renowned for having an amazing narrative, so it is quite surprising that the series has been able to carve out a series of moderately successful films for nearly a decade. Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth and latest entry into the series and if you have not previously watched the Resident Evil films you may just want to stop reading here and go about the rest of your day because Afterlife is deeply entrenched in the overarching narrative developed by the previous three films. If you have in fact experienced the up and down roller coaster that the Resident Evil film series is you may also want to stop reading here and go about the rest of your day because Afterlife is not just a bad film, it is a bad Resident Evil film.
Afterlife picks up shortly after the closing events of Resident Evil: Extinction. Alice (Milla Jovovich) has decided to wage war on the evil bio-chem company Umbrella by using an army of clones to attack a secret underground installation in Japan. Despite having an army of identical superhero supermodels, the opening assault on the Umbrella facility is one of the most bland action sequence put to film in recent memory. Imagine the lobby shootout scene in The Matrix but suck all the fun out of it and you may have an understanding of how Afterlife opens.
After the sleep inducing opening sequence the film enters La La Land, Alice loses her superpowers and travels around the barren wasteland of earth looking like Amelia Earheart. She sets out to find her friends but just ends up with a conveniently amnesiac Claire Redfield (Ali Larter). From there the film begins to make less and less sense as Alice decides to land her small plane on top of an old prison surrounded by zombies (the only ones actually in the film) to team up with a movie producer, his assistant, a waitress and a basketball player.
If it all sounds like a bad joke then you’ve figured it all out because it is a really bad joke. Do you want to hear the punch line? Wentworth Miller plays Chris Redfield, Claire’s brother that she doesn’t remember. He is locked up in the prison but knows how to escape it. Hysterically ironic isn’t it? After all Wentworth Miller was the star of Prison Break. That is about as smart as the film gets and I have a feeling it was not intentional. The film has giant gaping plot holes around every corner and with the execution being so utterly devoid of fun there is nothing redeeming about it in any way shape or form.
Say what you will about the series narrative in the previous films and the games but it is at least entertaining. Afterlife is just stupidity put to film. Writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson delivers an absolute turd with Afterlife. Its not good on any level. It is not even good in the so bad that it becomes entertaining kind of way. It is just absolute garbage and worse yet its boring garbage presented in 3D, so it costs you more to self inflict the torture for nearly a 100 minutes.
1 out of 5