Resident Evil: Afterlife

Resident Evil: Afterlife

2010, R, 97 min. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts, Wentworth Miller.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 17, 2010

It pains me to say it, but Afterlife, the latest installment in this seemingly eternal zombie apocalypse franchise, is considerably more entertaining than George A. Romero's most recent exhumation. As in Survival of the Dead, the herky-jerky stiffs seem like a narrative afterthought, tacked on because they're expected by precedent. In both films the dead play second funereal fiddle to the living, but at least Anderson's schlocky living includes Jovovich and the hilariously hamtastic Roberts (doing his very best "Val Kilmer as Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith in The Matrix" impersonation). Compared to the epic bummer of Romero's patently nihilistic and increasingly, depressingly accurate critiques of mankind, Resident Evil: Afterlife is a breath of fresh air. Well, not that fresh, but presumably fresher than the darkened and reeking garret in which most of the original otaku fans of Capcom's mid-Nineties video game exist. Granted, gamers – like film critics – have come to depend on the work of director Anderson to offer up semiannual mediocrities that, somehow, still manage to entertain. I, for one, have come to appreciate Anderson's bizarre casting choices, arrhythmic pacing, and stilted dialogue as a necessary – no pun intended – evil. Resident Evil is 21st century popcorn fun, perfect for rainy Saturday afternoons but not much else. That said, Afterlife is a cut above its predecessors, thanks in large part to the vast amount of time the cameras spend focused on Jovovich as she dodges bullets in slow motion and mows down snarling mutant mastiffs and nail-studded behemoths with overgrown meat tenderizers. The plot? Does it matter? Alice (Jovovich), the bio-engineered savior of humanity, goes up against the evil Umbrella Corporation and looks damn good doing it. And that's all you really need to know, apart from the (pointedly obvious) fact that, yes, like hurricanes and human rights abuses, there will be another Resident Evil within the next 36 months. Anderson tags a virtual trailer for that one onto the end of this one just so you won't forget and move on up to Red Dead Redemption.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Paul W.S. Anderson Films
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
The final(?) nail in this action horror franchise

Josh Kupecki, Feb. 3, 2017

Pompeii
A gladiator slave must rescue his secret love before Vesuvius erupts.

Marc Savlov, Feb. 28, 2014

More by Marc Savlov
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
Intimate, semi-improvised last night at a dive bar sees delight in the dregs

July 24, 2020

Hill of Freedom
Delicate South Korean tale of love lost and found finally gets U.S. release

June 12, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Resident Evil: Afterlife, Paul W.S. Anderson, Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts, Wentworth Miller

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle