You can't get much further from Disney of the last few days than the zombie-filled universe of Resident Evil, but I have to say I loved the latest installment of the video game to big screen sci-fi horror franchise.
I recently purchased the first three movies on Blu-Ray and watched them just days before seeing Resident Evil: Afterlife and I feel it's a bit like watching really good genre TV. I love how the narrative has continued from movie to movie, with plot points followed up on and addressed, with dangling cliffhangers to tease you with future installments.
It feels this version is less about the masses of T-Virus infected zombies and more about the dastardly Umbrella Corporation, which is fine for me as I watch more for the ass-kicking strong women with guns and sci-fi elements, than the gory, flesh-eating carnage.
This film doesn't disappoint with super-cool ninja action opening sequence under the streets of Tokyo, plus you learn the fate of all those 'Alice' clones glimpsed at the end of Resident Evil: Extinction.
Milla Jovovich manages to keep her clothes on for this movie, but she still looks as sleek and sexy as ever in her skin-tight outfits and Ali Larter (of Heroes fame) adds to the bad-girl brilliance.
It's all incredibly implausible, but damn good fun. In fact I think it's the best movie to date.
I foolishly watched it in 3D and I'm not sure if it added anything of real value (in fact it took three changes of glasses to view it properly which really irked me).
Resident Evil: Afterlife deserves at least three *** stars just for this very tangible universe they've created and the filmmakers continue to explore. It's fast-paced, there are zombies in water for a change of scenery, better special effects and lots and lots of action.
One of the best things going for this franchise is that Milla Jovovich is an extremely watchable action-heroine.
The only real downsides have to be the massive plot-holes, like how running water doesn't contain any of the T-Virus which is supposed to highly adaptable and contagious, and if 'Alice' is no longer superhuman how can she still take such beatings, plus of all the uncontaminated people left alive in the world that Ali Larter's character, 'Claire', would find her brother conveniently alive and well.
But you really can't over analyze these films, just sit back and enjoy the sheer spectacle.
I for one can't wait for the next installment in the franchise, which is a surprise even to me...
Buy the movies in the USA: Resident Evil - The High-Definition Trilogy (Resident Evil/ Resident Evil: Apocalypse/ Resident Evil: Extinction) [Blu-ray]