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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Resident Evil lumbers toward a 5th movie like one of it's brain dead zombies

I am a fan of simple and streamlined story telling; so I enjoyed the first movie in the Resident Evil franchise which came out in 2002. The story was easy to follow and enjoy - killer day at the office when all of the employees of the evil multi-national Umbrella Corporation are killed and turned into zombies by a super virus. Survivors and rescuers must fight their way out. I was totally there.  I was not such a fan of the second movie and pretty much ignored the third except for a glimpse here and there on cable.
 My desire to check out "Resident Evil: Afterlife" was driven by being a sometimes but enthusiastic Milla Jovovich fan ever since first seeing her in the dazzling, hyper-kinetic, Jean-Paul Gautier drenched movie "The Fifth Element".  For her fans I have some good news and bad news. You will see a lot of her in "Resident Evil: Afterlife", including, I counted, 11 clones in the opening scenes, but not much of her acting skill. My first big complaint is that she is nothing more than post-apocalyptic eye candy to fill the space between supposedly impressive 3D effects.
I was hoping this movie would have the prerequisite amount of zombie action sprinkled with dark humor and basically repeat the first movie because repetition is not always a bad thing. Nope. Instead there are 97 minutes of what feels like nothing except set up for a fifth movie. Sure there is a story (loosely) where Alice encounters a group of survivors but some of them are so expendable and cliched they are a waste of time. It all moves too fast and there is never a connection.
 I don't know what to say about the 3D, really. There was some stop action moments which if you took the time examine them were visually trippy and interesting but they were overshadowed by the multitude of slow motion fight sequences which were over wrought and boring. So much slow motion in fact that I began to wonder if someone had slipped a valium into my blueberry slushy(?).  Not to mention that this over used effect turned the big bad villain into a tired Agent Smith impersonation.
In the end Alice and her cohorts are on a giant ship full of survivors who look like they work for an Apple store in 2020. An army of black clad Umbrella agents are on the way promising an overblown and empty showdown for the next movie.  A funny note. Even though I am sure most of the audience, like myself, were heading to the restrooms, we all turned back to the screen like cattle for a super special bonus scene at the end. That's the last slight of the movie because I did not even know who the female villain reveal was until I got home and Googled it. Shame on them. Don't do that people who have to pee.


Brent said...

Thanks for the review! I always waffle about the Resident Evil movies because I love to watch Milla kick ass. but yeah your review confirms my fears.

lax airport hotels said...

Have you ever asked to do something totally crazy, but you can not find the right time, maybe the right person or maybe you just were not looking to do enough?! I saw this movie as a great experience and motivation to never give up your dreams.

Mocking Movies said...

Who doesn't love Milla kicking ass? ....but not worth the time or money this time. Plus she has potential to do great things when she ventures out of action movie territory. Have you ever seen her and Adrian Brody in "Dummy" (2002). She's fantastic.