Sunday, October 03, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife

Another lovely sunny day, another opportunity to go and watch some utter rubbish in 3D. Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth Resident Evil film - if you have trouble distinguishing them, the first one had Milla Jovovich and some actors, the second had Mila Jovovich and some cut-scenes copied from Resident Evil on the Nintendo 64 (and a man in a big rubber suit) and the third one at least tried to have a plot, even if it was ripped off from Dawn of the Dead. And by 'ripped off' I mean 'a photocopy of a facsimile of a crayon sketch based on a story overheard in a pub, told by a man whod once watched a pirate of a film that referenced George Romero'.

Actually, I quite liked the third one. And the first one is good to watch on New Year's Day with a hangover, but it appears the Resident Evil films conform to the opposite of the Star Trek numbering convention: even-numbered ones are irredeemably bad. (Whereas for Star Trek, odd-numbered films are irredeemably bad, and the even numbered ones are, well, Star Trek...)

It starts promisingly enough: there's a great soundtrack from Tomandandy, and although you know full well what the zombie lady is going to do, the familiarity of it is kind of engaging.

But from then on, seven shades of dire. There's an assault on the evil Umbrella Corporation's secret base, where I spent most of the time musing on what a hard life the employees must have, given that Umbrella seems to be the only employer in the world, and everyone has to do something to bring home the bacon. It seems a bit unlucky that their key job responsibility is to be shot/stabbed/blown up by Ms Jovovich, or by their boss.

Still, unlike the other characters, at least they aren't stuck in a deserted farmhouse/deserted beach/deserted prison/deserted cliched location surrounded by zombies. Although the final act of the film takes place in a brilliant-white featureless interior, which made me suspect it was actually a metaphor for the complete lack of inspiration Paul W.S. (it stands for "what script?") Anderson was suffering from when he created this bilge.

Like Piranha 3D, there are some gratuitous water-soaked breast shots, although that's in a prison shower, next to an evil undead giant butcher with a sack on his head, so Anderson didn't really raise his game to the heights of a five-minute underwater nude skank ballet. But then Piranha 3D didn't have hundreds of zombies. Just hundreds of priapic Spring Breakers with the intellect of zombies.

The action scenes all look a bit too computer-generated; without you ever being able to put your finger on why they don't look real. Maybe it's just because everything is so drab and brown - rather a waste of all that 3D if there's not actually anything nice to look at. Or maybe it's a bit unconvincing because there's an eight foot tall bloke with a sack on his head, swinging a hammer.

Not to mention the final boss, who's immune to five minutes of gunfire but can be easily dispatched with a quick thwack to the bonce. Maybe he was out of breath.

Others have criticised this film for being unrealistic. Well, it's got zombies in it, so quibbling over whether a man can absorb somebody's DNA by simply eating them, or how an unfit move producer can sprint to the top of a very tall building and learn to fly a plane in five minutes seem nonsensical intellectual exercises. What's really the flaw of Resident Evil: Afterlife (apart from the appalling title) is that nothing much ever really happens to anyone you care about. It's just a bunch of computer generated stuff titting about for an hour and twenty minutes.

Now, Resident Evil Piranhas 3D, that could work...


Post a Comment