The Resident Evil series has always pushed the envelope of balls-out zombie smashing, and this time they've pushed it into the third dimension. How does it stack up?
We're in the fourth segment of Paul W.S. Anderson's epic spinoff of the popular Capcom video game series (which is in itself only up to five "official" games), and if you dug the previous movies, you're not going to be disappointed with the latest. Milla Jovovich returns as Alice, traveling to Los Angeles to discover an Umbrella Corporation base and a group of survivors, including Prison Break's Wentworth Miller as game mainstay Chris Redfield. But the real star of this flick is the 3D, which Anderson takes to with maniacal zeal.
Unlike many recent films which were post-processed to add 3D effects, Resident Evil: Afterlife was filmed in full process, and the results are disorienting and amazing. The flick's opening sequence, which takes serious inspiration from The Matrix, transcends its predecessors with the loving way it treats the actors moving through space. Milla Jovovich shines in these scenes, as her gorgeous, balletic body is truly believable doing crazy flips and shooting people. Scene after scene, Anderson uses 3D to add depth to his compositions, resulting in one of the most fully-featured modern moviegoing experiences since Avatar.
Some may complain about the movie's lack of plot, which doesn't give us much of a reason to care for the survivors and, despite the first meeting between Alice and series antagonist (and Umbrella CEO) Albert Wesker, doesn't deliver too much emotional punch, but those people are missing the point. Resident Evil: Afterlife is an adrenaline spike to your throat, not something to sit and ponder. It takes the latest moviemaking technology and cranks it up to 11, and when you're sitting in the theater letting it beat you to a pulp, you'll be saying "Thank you."