Saturday, September 11, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3-D in review (movie spoilers!!)

Executioner says "There Will be Spoilers"
Okay so let's make a couple of things clear first off.  I won't be covering the previous three movies because I did a damn good job of covering them last year.  I do recommend you have a working knowledge of the movies since this takes a dive off Pier 9 from the game franchise (in oh so many ways).  Also anyone looking for 'intelligent' entertainment had best get yourself over to Inception, because the Resident Evil movies were never meant to be 'intelligent' entertainment.

Where We Were
At the end of movie 3, two things help to shape this movie: 1) Claire, K-mart (still very confused girl) and some random unnameables are off in a helicopter that can apparently fly them from Las Vegas to somewhere in Alaska (I thought they were only good for 200 miles or so?). 2) Alice was kicking suped up Dr. Issacs of the creeper tentacles, found clones of herself, freed one, and then told off Wesker (via holo-image), while her clones woke up.  Wesker's response?  BETTER ARTILLERY TIME.

Where We Begin
But ignore all that as we watched, in 3-D awesome, the first zombie of Tokyo.  We watch Tokyo resident walking around for minutes before she attacks and Japan is doomed.  Then Alice does her voiceover as we watch how doomed the World is and then finally we end up on some random snipers in Tokyo.

Dear LJ, I think I may have overdone things a little...
Oops lost contact with all of them!   Holee--suped up Wesker (who is still hot, but what's up with that ever-changing accented voice?) knows what the deal is and while telling all the Japanese people to just stay put and hold the line he hot foots it to the hanger bay.  Meanwhile Alice Clones kill somewhere over 500 people (at least that's what the handy counter of causalities claims in the corner) and Wesker is like 'lol stfu' and goes to purge the facility.  And when Wesker says purge, he means purged.

So off Wesker flies and oh noes an Alice clone snuck aboard and...oh its the real Alice (distinguishable by her chopped haircut) and Wesker is like 'totes saw that coming', hits her with a needle and then they crash.  Which Alice walks away from.

6 Months Later
Oh-ho so we skip some many months later and some many months in the future Alice is flying around looking for 'Arcadia' Alaska, keeping a camera journal about how long its been since she saw people and basically being very emo.

Then she runs into Claire, who is all feral oh snaps Ali Larter heard Heroes was truly canceled! and they have a girl chat and fly off into the sunset together to search for...something.  And thus do they end up in Los Angeles and they run into the most mismatched group of cannon fodder candidates you will ever meet.
Obligatory Hot women in water scene

Cannon Fodder Candidates in the RE movie Universe
Check it, in the first movie (aka "Genesis") everyone is armed, everyone is combat ready and with a few exceptions they're all pretty  common sense appreciative.  They were cannon fodder, but they fought like devils.  In movie the second (aka "Apocalypse") the cannon fodder came in two types: the ones who were armed and the ones who were not.  Unfortunately a lot of the armed Fodder just had to save the unarmed Fodder and thus died.  Still, the ratio was in the armed Fodder's court.  In movie the third (aka "Extinction") the cannon fodder is much less able and there are way fewer who can protect themselves in any capacity.  The ratio is steeply in the unarmed Fodder territory.

So its not really surprising that in movie the fourth (aka "Afterlife") the fodder is mostly useless, prohibitive and a good way to warn the armed Fodder about an attack.  They also lasted way less than in the previous movies.  In the span of about 20 minutes everyone but Alice, Claire, Luthor and Chris are dead or disappeared.  So don't get attached.  At all.

Meanwhile back at the plot
So Alice and Claire land, meet the Cannon Fodder Crew for this movie, learn that Arcadia is really a ship and plotting commences on how to escape from their prison.  No its a literal prison--the Cannon Fodder Crew actually holed up in a useful place, a prison!  Strong walls, running water, food, they made a good choice.

If this was any of the other movies at least.
If there was a God, he'd let this man save me.

After meeting the crew Alice goes off with Luthor (the Basketball playing, watch advertising Marvel of a man that he is) to meet their resident psycho.  This whole story point makes little sense but well its full of irony at least; Wentworth Miller plays Chris Redfield (yes related to Claire) and he knows how to escape from the prison they are in.

Wentworth Miller was in a little show called PRISON BREAK, in which he (or his brother/father/mother/girlfriend/whoever) would break out of a prison, into a prison or both at once routinely.  So yeah it makes sense in a weird way that he knows how to escape their current prison.
Anderson said to Miller "Talk like you smoke a pack each hour"

As For the Bad Guys
They suped up.  You have the Executioner (Axeman on the top of this article) and the 'Las Plagas' (fancy name for Zombies who have a Glasglow Smile upgrade) and despite what the third movie said about the Zombies degenerating as they don't have fresh flesh to fest on, these zombies looked mighty okay to me.  And they were fast.  Continuity check!

Back to the Plot
So...Cannon Fodder Crew is cut down and thus do the remaining folks escape through the sewer system to the coast where they catch boats to get to Arcadia (by this time we are down to THREE).

Wanna guess what happens next?  Wesker!  After some meandering around, figuring out the grand scheme of things and learning that, yes Umbrella really is the Bitch Corporation of Evil, Wesker tells Alice he just wants to eat her to save himself.  So reasonable right?  I mean I think this lovers' quarrel has gone on long enough, the two just should make up or break up!

Claire and Chris attempt to fight Wesker and considering how suped up he is they make a good show of being regular humans.  And he gets beat...sort of.  With many overkill shots.

The End
Thus does our merry band march out into the sun...oh shit you mean Wesker wasn't dead?  Who's surprised?  Anyone?  But Alice totally called that and tricked him and there was a pretty light show.  Meanwhile everyone aboard Arcadia is now officially saved...except for those nasty looking black helicopters of death swarming towards them.

How I Feel
Look I was looking forward to this movie so much and it didn't let down in that regard.  It was my first 3-D movie ever, as well, and well let's just say Lexie can't do 3-D movies anymore (not unless I want to die of blindness and pain).

Stylistically you can tell there was way more money put into this film then either of the other three.  Not just because its 3-D, which didn't always make it look better in my opinion, but also because there are more explosions and effects and 'bullet time' things.  Which I'm not a fan of the bullet time thing happening EVERY TIME A BULLET IS FIRED.

Alice was awesome, Claire was at least not actively hating on Alice, Chris was...I don't know.  I didn't like Chris in the games and Wentworth Miller truly spoke like he smoked all the time.  I do appreciate his love of firearms however.  I'll be doing a post on Wesker later on, but while I liked him, he wasn't my Wesker.

Was it worth the $15 to see?  I think so.  I'd recommend if you aren't keen on that, or if you are a more casual fan, find a coupon or something to see the movie.  I do think you need to see it at least once in the theatres, but don't go into it expecting it to be anything that its not.  Its pure fun, mostly Plot What Plot and brainless entertainment.

(thank you to Resident Evil Web for the promo stills, which I borrowing for this review)