I’m not sure when it started, but the whole zombie attack phenomenon has lead to survival books as thick as encyclopedias, small villages of fan groups, countless video game plots, and also lies at the heart and soul of “Resident Evil: Afterlife.” The quick transition between scenes and overall length of the movie make it seem as though it is just another walk through the cemetery for lead character Alice (Jovovich), a survivor of previous Umbrella Corporation mutations and experimentations.
Joining in on the 3-D bandwagon, “Afterlife” starts as the dual sword-wielding major butt-kicking, oddly attractive Alice drops in to pay the Umbrella Corp. a special visit. After filleting countless Umbrella Corp. protectors, and destroying its massive underground headquarters, she crash lands while trying to kill the escaping Albert Wesker (Jason O’Mara), head honcho of the Umbrella Corp.
Alice survives the crash landing and travels from Tokyo to Arcadia, Alaska where an eerie radio transmission offers food, shelter, and most importantly, human hospitality.
Alice travels from spot to spot with a camcorder to document her survival, strapped in the cockpit of a single prop plane. The travel from Tokyo to L.A. would have been interesting to include in the film. It would have been a great element to include what the rest of the world looked like during such a horrific time period.
Throughout the movie’s fast paced scenes, Alice takes out an entire headquarters in a matter of 10 minutes –– I was really surprised that the movie never slowed down after that. Wentworth Miller (“Prison Break”) makes an appearance in the film, however, the story behind each character and how they ended up in the movie itself is almost nonexistent. It’s obvious they are still trying to survive, but the question of how they made it thus far still remains even as the credits roll.
“Afterlife” puts in bits and pieces of 3-D during fight scenes, and this really gets your blood pumping, as if the quiet “something is about to happen” moments don’t already. As the team of survivors make their way through the story, even those who have never watched previous Resident Evil films can easily predict when someone is about to get sliced in half or dragged away by the undead.
“Afterlife” was produced by Paul W.S. Anderson, the man who brought you the first two “Resident Evil” movies, as well as “Mortal Kombat” and “Death Race.” “Afterlife” has plenty of zombies and a high-security prison armory full of weapons, yet the lack of contact between humans and mutants makes it seem almost too easy for the cast to survive this wave of zombies. There is also a part in the movie where Wesker, the Umbrella Corp. leader, sports a black trench coat and sunglasses while flipping past bullets and dodging in slow-motion (Matrix Trilogy much?). The acting was solid; the zombies in this movie look realistic and their creepy moans are dead on. The survivors appear malnourished and fatigued with worries. The actors/actresses depict characters who are willing to take any risks necessary to survive the outbreak. Once someone dies, the mourning is short-lived, and characters flee before whatever just ate their friend comes back for dessert. I wish that there were a few more encounters with zombies, or maybe a larger array of different creatures as a challenge. Although there is one zombie in particular that is way different from all the others, the rest just looked like typical people but with the speed and agility of Usain Bolt.
The ending hints toward a sequel, and if it is created, I hope they slow things down a bit and make the audience feel a little more helpless, instead of rushing us through scenes. This movie is neither a waste of 96 minutes nor an outstanding example of frightening creativity.