By: Bryan Montgomery
Rating: 7 out of 10
The Resident Evil series has been marred in its existence by sub-par efforts at replicating the spirit seen in the successful video game series. The newest installment, Resident Evil: Afterlife, is the best installment yet in the series, mixing plain fun with great visuals and enough action to help fans easily forget the bad acting and barely passable plot.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with the undead. The Umbrella Corporation seems to have everything under control until the deadly T-Virus gets out and turns the recently deceased into zombies. Now one of the Corporation’s secret projects, Alice, attempts to find a safe place to hide, only to walk into the most dangerous traps that Umbrella has set.
When you walk into a Resident Evil film, you are not expecting Gone With the Wind. You know that it will be a shady movie at best, with action, violence and a lot of blood. Resident Evil: Afterlife is no different, but it simply manages to do it better than any other movie in the series so far. The action is easily the best part of the film, bar none. It is constant and worth it, as all the sequences are carefully planned and executed.
The series also steps up the visual aspects. Whereas the first three movies the first ten minutes of Resident Evil: Afterlife will blow you away. Much of the attention was paid that the film was made for 3D during its theatrical run, but even so, watching it on DVD and the home release was just as nice to watch from a visual aspect.
However, the acting absolutely kills the film. It is your standard stereotypical action film, you have the characters that are simply brought in to die and also those that are meant for comic relief. One addition that could had been much better used was Albert Wesker. Any fan of the video game series knows that Albert Wesker is one of the ultimate characters in the series. Although it was nice to have him in this movie, he is severely mishandled and is the low point of the entire movie. No character is more mishandled than Wesker, and it is a drastic disappointment.
The other major shortfall of the film is the slow motion. Those in charge of the cinematography uses slow motion so much it is absolutely distracting and annoying. I’m sure that in theaters it looked great, but at the same time its hard to imagine that it would be a positive in anyone’s eyes because of how frequent it appears on screen.
Overall I was impressed with the fourth installment of the Resident Evil franchise, I felt that it kept the spirit of the video game franchise while still adding enough originality to stand on its own. The additions made in the film to please the fans worked well, the as adding Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker and the Executioner definitely made me look at this film from a different perspective as the first few installments. For fans, a must-see film. For non-fans, the movie is definitely still worth a rental, especially if you’re an action junkie.