Picking up not too long after the events of Resident Evil: Extinction, Afterlife features an opening which finds Alice clones taking on the Umbrella Corporation all Matrix like. The opening is extremely cheesy and probably would have looked good in 3D but in standard just feels hokey and that’s saying something for this series.
As soon as the opening concludes our fearless heroine Alice (Milla Jovovich) is off to find the survivors she rescued in Extinction including Claire Redfield (Ali Larter). The path leads her to another group of survivors led by Boris Kodjoe (TV’s Undercovers) who are situated in a prison and holding a mysterious prisoner (Wentworth Miller).
The movie gets better as it continues. The prison angle has been done to death and really reached a breaking point in the acclaimed zombie comic series “Walking Dead”. But really the movie is more about the chase and who will live and who will get eaten. This is classic Resident Evil.
Resident Evil’s original director and series godfather Paul WS Anderson returns to the series after he left with the first one. Anderson wrote and produced the entire series but only directed the first one. He also married the series star, Milla Jovovich in 2009. Anderson has never been that great of filmmaker but his Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat stand out as probably the two best “video game” translated films ever. I anticipated his return to Resident Evil but I found this sequel lacking.
It starts what seems mid-sentence, then boom, boom, crash, scream, prison, chase, gore, swords, boom, boom, ship, evil dude, cliffhanger. The characters are weak, the sequences all feel rushed and well nothing, and mean nothing, is discovered or examined when it comes to Alice’s character development or to progress the story. Just more of the brainless same.
I compare Afterlife to what I hated about Apocalypse. It added nothing to the series. It was just filler. And that is what this is. It also sets it all up for an inevitable fifth movie which is funny since this was supposed to be Milla’s swan song as Alice and they were going to reboot the series.
As for the performances, Milla is exceptional as she always is. This girl knows how to deliver even if the material is half assed. This Russian beauty is gorgeous, brilliant and deadly. Milla’s Alice is a career making character. If Milla makes #5 she will surpass Sigourney Weaver as the most resilient female action franchise heroine. Weaver has 4 Alien films, Kate Beckinsale has 2 Underworlds, Angelina Jolie has 2 Lara Crofts. Uma Thurman 2 Kill Bills.
Ali Larter sleepwalks through the movie and is more eye candy than anything else. As much as I love her, she just had nothing to do here. She deserves a better career than this. The more I watch Boris Kodjoe, the more I think he’s Shemar Moore without the sass. Stop being Melba Toast buddy and show me what your made of! And then there is Wentworth Miller who is basically playing Michael Scofield again in this movie except with zombies hunting him.
Afterlife needed the jaws of life and a breath of life to sustain the series after Extinction. And well it never seemed to have a chance. I will watch any Resident Evil movie as long as Milla is in it but I’d say Afterlife is only a sliver better than #2 maybe it was better in 3D.
2.5 out of 5.
So Says the Soothsayer