Sunday, September 12, 2010


RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE (action thriller)
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Spencer Locke, Wentworth Miller, Shawn Roberts and Boris Kodjoe
Writer-Director: Paul W. S. Anderson
Time: 93 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

Larter and Wentworth in AFTERLIFE

PREAMBLE: Unless you have just woken up from a month-long coma, you would have heard or read that Resident Evil: Afterlife is the first video-game movie filmed in Stereoscopic 3D made famous by James Cameron in Avatar. Writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson even used the same 3D camera rigs that Cameron used - ostensibly to lend that extra element of in-your-face thrills to viewers.

Alas, no one seems to have bothered about the plot - and it is not only 'two-dimensional' but has also become more imbecile and ludicrous.

THE SKINNY: As the T-virus scourge continues to turn people into zombies, Alice (Milla Jovovich) carries on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her battle with the Umbrella Corporation, led by the dastardly Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), reaches new heights. However, Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend (played by Ali Larter as Claire Redfield) in Alaska.

A new lead that promises a safe haven from the zombies takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead -- and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.

HITS & MISSES: The main attraction has to be the new 3D gimmick which director Anderson often renders in super slow-motion just so that vidgame fans can appreciate and go 'wow' at the action. The second attraction is of course the leads Jovovich (left), and her clones of sexily-clad Alices, and the pouty Larter. But once we get over the novelty of these offerings, the movie goes downhill.

In his bid to take advantage of his new 'toy' that is stereoscopic 3D, Anderson includes stunts that do not make any sense. "It's the reason why Milla has an airplane in this movie -- so I could shoot over these fantastic glaciers in Alaska with a tiny plane over a huge white landscape," he told the media recently.

His additions to the cast seems to be just as mindless: Basketball player Boris Kodjoe is obviously hired for his brawns and looks to lure sports fans, while Wentworth Miller's role must have been a silly insider joke. His Chris Redfield is imprisoned by a group desperate to escape the zombies - even though he tells them that he knows of a way out. Haven't they seen Prison Break on TV?

THE LOWDOWN: Alas, this is another movie that requires patrons to leave their brains at the door and 'wow' themselves silly at the gimmicks.


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