Resident Evil: Afterlife
is the best video game movie ever made. That's a surprising conclusion considering that, as the fourth entry in the film franchise, Afterlife is farther removed from the generations of Capcom games it owes its existence to than any of the prior films. Plot wise, Paul W.S. Anderson's latest has almost nothing to do with any of the games, the only commonality between the two being a few of the supporting characters (not even Milla Jovovich's Alice is based on a character from the games). So, in actuality, as far as adapting the specific qualities of the renowned survival horror games goes, Afterlife is straight fubar.

Where Afterlife does succeed, however, is in capturing the essence of mindless third-person action games. Its plot is a vacant playground in which characters can run and gun, jump and gun, dive and gun, fly and gun, gun and gun in ways that just aren't humanly possible. Logic has no place in its world. Continuity is a wholly unreliable commodity. The script is only competent enough to move the player from one action extravaganza to the next without them falling asleep. And if you happen to be the kind of person that can play mindless shooters on end and who doesn't care if action movies have the decency to make sense, then Resident Evil: Afterlife is a soul mate.

That's not said in jest, either. There's a lot to legitimately like about Anderson's film. For example, its middle stretch, which finds Alice meeting up with survivors who have taken over a prison feels like a high concept, old school zombie flick, is a career highlight for the director. Unfortunately that chunk of the film is sandwiched between wraparound segments so relentlessly ludicrous they will cause anyone who isn't already tolerant of this particular film series to intellectually implode.
categories Reviews, Cinematical