RE: Afterlife

I went to see the new Resident Evil: Afterlife movie. (Spoiler alert).

Since I am in Elko, Nevada, I could not see the film in 3d which is really too bad. I think the film was meant to be seen in 3d.

In general, I felt the film was pretty good. The film picks up where the last film ended. The emphasis in this film is on action and atmosphere. It has all the look and feel of an RE4 title, with a lot of action.

(As most people probably know, Mila Jovovich and Paul Anderson married.)

Character development seems a bit sparse and this film seems to focus on the action rather than any kind of emotional depth. I feel that there was more character development in Extinction and that Afterlife attempts to bypass its own character development by importing it’s characters which leaves a bit of emotional flatness.
What is not emotionally flat, is the relationship between Anderson and Jovovich which transcends the film. It is clear that Anderson has made this film for his lover and that she in turn takes her part very seriously. There are plenty of scenes in which you stare at nothing but Jovovich’s face on screen.

In general, I think the entire cast does a very good job in the film. Ali Larter, from Heroes, is rewarded with a fairly choice action sequence. The one weakness is with Wexler’s character. Wexler, unfortunately, is a rather one-dimensional character. Compared to Salazaar and the other nemesis from RE:4 (the game), Wexler has very few notable moments. Wexler appears to be a somewhat cardboard Camus’ Caligula.

I like the start of the film’s nod to the OP video game player. The film actually begins by ending the last movie. Alice (her clones) are OP and can basically kill people by using her extraordinary powers. This is similar to how the video games themselves play out. In RE:4 (a great title), I have unlocked all of the extras and my character is basically OP. Nevertheless, if I ever get a PS3, I can play RE:5, where presumably I would start with none of my extras. Video game sequels often follow the path of Sisyphus: you roll the rock up the hill, just to watch it roll down and start over. RE: Afterlife certainly has that feeling to it as Alice’s superpower are deprived of her at the beginning of her new adventure. (Being OP is only interesting for so long and Anderson seems to understand that.)
The adaptation of video games to films is not easy, but the Resident Evil franchise continues to do it in a way that understands both. Given the strength of the supporting cast, it appears that people are buying into Anderson’s vision.

If you are a fan of Resident Evil, then you should probably see this film. I enjoyed watching it even in 2d, but would have preferred to see it in 3d.

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