Monday, September 13, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife - Have Icee, Will Suspend all Disbelief

I've recently fallen in love once again with an old friend: the Icee.

It's a decadently sweet frozen treat, with just a hint of bubbles that spread the cherry-flavored sugar over your tongue in brain-freeze inducing bliss, and there's not an ounce of redeemable value in it, but isn't it just delicious?

It was the perfect beverage to accompany me when I went to go see Resident Evil: Afterlife in 3-D. I've been a longtime fan of both the movies and the video game series of the same name, and I've been waiting for the fourth installment with a giddy excitement that only comes with being a bit of a groupie.

Part of the reason is my weakness for all things zombie. The other part is the fact that for four movies, a female action hero has carried a movie with the same amount of badassness that a man would, and aside from an occasional Angelina Jolie vehicle, those types of characters seem to be regulated instead to character-driven dramas on cable.

Now, let me just get this out of the way: Resident Evil: Afterlife is a silly, silly movie. It's not nearly the horror-laden gore-fest that the first Resident Evil movie was, it's not the 'band of survivors zombie flick' that the second movie became, and it's not calculated and smart like the third movie.

And I'm not going to even try to mention the Resident Evil games, which are magnificent and genuinely terrifying (at least some of the better incarnations, like Resident Evil: 4). The simple fact is, the film franchise's heroine Alice is not in ANY of the videogames.

Resident Evil: Afterlife really just becomes a zombie-inspired Charlie's Angels flick, with action scene followed by action scenes, completely implausible situations, the ability to walk away from helicopters crashing into mountains and and find perfect make up when there's not a Wal-Mart to be found.

No matter what the circumstances, from being the last standing survivor in a apocalyptic world, to being drenched in sewage and blood, the leading ladies of Resident Evil: Afterlife will never look anything but slightly unruffled. Even Ali Larter's 'Claire', who begins the movie covered in dust and acting like a wild woman in arid Alaska, soon cleans herself off and has found mascara, blush, eye shadow and the perfect shade of lipstick, ready to stand beside Milla Jovovich and compete for the 'best pose while dripping wet in slow motion' award.

The script itself? Hokey and full of plot-holes the size of Antartica, following a formulaic-brand of shock-and-awe that leaves very little surprises. Two lead actors and a bit player jump into the water to swim to an armory. Guess which won't come back? Two lead characters and a bit player stand at the edge of a hole. Guess who is going to be sliced in half by the boss character who just showed up for no reason?

It kind of goes like that for the entire movie. Time for a fight scene! Time for Alice to look bad ass! Wait, has someone been mauled by a zombie in the last five minutes? Fixed it! Wait, we need some slow motion fight scenes with a completely implausible exit! Done! Let's have a guy keep a plane from sliding off a building with only his brute strength! He can do it! Yes he can!

But that's the point, isn't it? Resident Evil: Afterlife was shot in 3-D, with that same technology that brought us Avatar, and the result? A great looking movie. Everything about it is visually stunning. The women are stunning, the action is stunning, the cinematography is gorgeous, and it goes down as sweet and as sugary as an Icee.

The point is, if you're looking for a zombie movie? Rent Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead. Go see Resident Evil if you want to see hot chicks kicking ass, looking fantastic while they're doing it. Go see Resident Evil if you want to see awesome fight scenes, and get your adrenaline pumped. Resident Evil: Afterlife is worth watching if you can suspend your disbelief, go with the flow, and tell yourself that it's all just pretty movie-making.

And splurge a little and buy yourself an Icee to go with it. Trust me, it helps.

1 comment:

  1. if you can suspend your disbelief, go with the flow, and tell yourself that it's all just pretty movie-making. - I am SO good at that. Seriously, that's how I am able to enjoy so many movies.

    And ye Gods, those women were pretty. Mgr. Roomie and I were *unf*ing the whole movie, especially the shower room scene.