Review: 'Resident Evil: Afterlife'
State-of-the-art 3D effects add a welcome dose of visual freshness to the fourth installment of this video-game-based franchise which, like its central character, has managed to kick butt. Marking the return of director Paul W. S. Anderson to the series, 'Resident Evil: Afterlife' certainly will please its fan base and possibly attract newcomers thanks to its arresting visuals. But as with the first three installments, those looking for anything more than a series of slam-bang action sequences will find little of interest.
The film, which Screen Gems released on Friday, certainly opens strong, with its fearsome heroine, Alice (Milla Jovovich, in fine form), leading a siege on the evil corporation that years ago set loose a virus that has reduced the world to a post apocalyptic nightmare overrun by flesh-eating zombies. (That the film is set in a burned-out Los Angeles certainly adds verisimilitude.)
The elaborate sequence, with Alice brandishing heavy artillery and well-sharpened knives while mowing down endless reserves of hapless opponents, is staged in expert, mock-video-game fashion.
Unfortunately, things go downhill from there as the plot kicks in. After a quick sojourn to Alaska and a reunion with her old cohort Claire (Ali Larter), who has amnesia, Alice makes her way to L.A. There she joins forces with a ragtag group of survivors trapped in a futuristic high-rise prison, with thousands of zombies growling at them from below. Among the group is Claire's inmate brother Chris, played by Wentworth Miller, who, after 'Prison Break' and this, seems less in need of an agent than a parole officer.
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