By Caesar Martini
Why do I keep going to see Resident Evil movies? They’re so consistently terrible. The first one was adequate, the second one (Resident Evil: Apocalypse) was as close to a crime against humanity as a motion picture can come, and the third one’s (RE: Extinction) main virtue was that it wasn’t as bad as the second. Sigh. Well here we go.
RE: Afterlife follows Alice (Milla Jovovich) in her quest to save what’s left of humanity after the ‘zombie’ apocalypse and destroy The Umbrella Corporation, which was responsible for the downfall of humanity in the first place. So banal was the third film that I literally can not remember a single thing that happened in it, except that it took place in Nevada and Alice burned a lot of birds to death with her brain. Unfortunately, there was no mercy for anyone’s memory gaps in Afterlife, because it begins quite briskly with no recap of any sort. I was extremely confused five minutes in as I watched ten different Milla Jovoviches blast their way through a subterranean facility with guns and leather catsuits.
My friend, who is quizzically much more enthusiastic about these films than I am, assures me that he remembers something about clones from the last one, and he was looking forward to this RE film because Alice now has all these awesome psychic powers and was going to kick some Umbrella Corporation ass. I can only speculate that he was disappointed when she lost those powers in the first ten minutes. Although, immediately after losing her powers, the plane she’s in crashes into a mountain (and not the soft, fluffy kind of mountain either) and she walks away from the wreckage, so for the entire movie I had no idea whether she had any special abilities at all.
The rest of the movie is like any other RE movie; Alice searches for survivors and a safe haven, fights a bunch of mutated monsters, almost every character who doesn’t have a last name revealed to the audience dies horribly, in the end good wins the battle but not the war, leaving the plot open for a sequel. Oh, except it’s all in 3D this time. This movie was filmed for 3D, which means lots of stuff flying in your face for no reason, and while some of the scenes are actually pretty cool, it isn’t the mind blowing three dimensional experience I was hoping for.
My biggest problem with this film (and I have many) is The Umbrella Corporation. In particular, I must ask, what is The Umbrella Corporation doing? The T-virus they developed was originally supposed to be a lucrative cure for aging or something like that, but then it turned everyone into monsters and now there’s only a few thousand humans left on Earth. So why does Umbrella keep experimenting with the T-virus and kidnapping people and creating more monsters? What do they plan to DO with their horrific genetic abominations? Let’s say they perfect the T-virus and it does exactly what they want it to do (whatever that is). Then what? They could conquer the world with their super-soldiers except there is no one out there to conquer. They could sell their inventions for money except there’s no one left to buy anything, except zombies and they have terrible credit. The only sensible thing to be devoting any time to would be a cure, but there is no mention of that at all. It’s like the Umbrella mission statement is “Be evil, no matter what.”
So in the end, Afterlife is a vehicle to propel good-looking Milla Jovovich around shooting holes in monsters and jump off high things. And, you know, that’s not without its charm, but this pretense of a story is getting really weak.