When Resident Evil: Extinction came out in 2007, I was able to attend a sneak preview with some friends in tow. How was it? The poor souls who came with me to that screening still do not forgive me for their experience seeing a free movie. Resident Evil: Afterlife is just as painful.
Imagine a thirteen-year-old boy who has never seen a film in his entire life. Until one day he sees The Matrix. If he were to immediately make a film of his own following that one awesome experience, it would look a lot like Resident Evil: Afterlife. Techno bombards you, slow-mo draws out action moments, and all bullets hit their target save for the ones aimed at the protagonist. Anytime one of these elements drops into the film, you can just hear the director Paul W.S. Anderson saying, “ISN’T THIS SO COOL?!” This of course is what makes the film so damn annoying. Didn’t we all hate the kid who tried to be so cool?
If it had some sort of glue to hold together these self-conscious moments–something like story or character–the film might make you give a shit. But it doesn’t and you don’t. The film’s main bad guy, Wesker, is laughable since he looks like an 80’s goon and sounds like Sean William Scott. Yes, the scary man sounds like that douche from American Pie. Donning sunglasses that are supposed to bestow a menacing presence, he just looks like an idiot trying to be a bad guy. Toss in some product placement, survivors who are remarkably well-kept after four years of being besieged by the undead (who feel like an afterthought), and finally a zombie thug that swings an axe more appropriate for cos-play or Final Fantasy and you have your turd sandwich.
Afterlife was one of the few 3D films this year that was actually shot in 3D – and it still wasn’t great. The 3D does not add any extra joy to the film experience; it just makes things darker and is a way to further pilfer your wallet. I am not against 3D, but I am against the hype surrounding the technology as it has yet to meet the claims made by the industry. Give me a call when a film makes me feel like I am truly sharing the same space with what’s on screen and I will gladly praise it. But not even Avatar could do that, so I’m not going to hold my breath.
If Afterlife knew that it was a bad movie and played into that conceit (like Machete did), it could be enjoyable. Unfortunately for audiences, it takes itself seriously while we roll our eyes and sigh with annoyance.
My review: This film sucked. Do not feed it your money.