Resident Evil: Afterlife Review

 As I said in my review of Resident Evil: Extinction, the following film would have to do quite a lot to redeem it, and to my surprise, it did everything in order to redeem the film, and the film series as a whole.  Running down the previous three films, the first film was a good film on it's own, but did not end up being a good adaptation. Apocalypse ended up being an amazing adaptation, but as a film on it's own, it wasn't as good as it should have been. Extinction decided to be neither. It was not a good adaptation of any of the game's stories or characters, and ended up being a pretty dull film in it's own right. I was hoping for Afterlife to take the good adaptation quality from Apocalypse, and the genuinely good film prospect from the first film, in order to make an all around good film. And did it? You bet your ass it did!

Resident Evil: Afterlife opens where Extinction left off. Alice's clones storm the Umbrella HQ in Tokyo. This sets off the film's opening act, as Alice's clones are soon all dispatched by Wesker, as he flees in a jet. Little does he know, the real Alice is on board, ready to attack him. Before she is able, he injects her with a serum that strips her of all of her powers. Soon after, the jet crashes, and while Wesker's fate is unknown, Alice stumbles away from the crash.

This time around, the traditional zombies of early RE games, as well as the previous three movies, are gone. They have been replaced with a hybrid of them and the newer Las Plagas/Uroborus infected enemies from RE4 and 5. While they still clearly are zombies, they display the flower-like element that protrudes from their mouths, that is present with the village maniacs in RE5. The "zombies" in Afterlife also no longer shamble along, and are more akin to the fast moving zombies from Extinction. Never once in the film are slow moving traditional zombies present. While it's sad to see the slow-moving dummies that disappeared in traditional RE games years ago, also no longer appear in the film series, I'm pleased to see the films are moving forward in the games, instead of sticking solely to elements from the early games. As all of the films feature at least one big bad-ass "boss" characters, what with the mutated Licker from part 1, Nemesis from 2, and a Tyrant in 3, this time around, The Executioner from Resident Evil 5 (although only credited as "Axeman" in the credits) make an appearance. His physical appearance is taken right from the game, with seemingly nothing lost in translation, the monster itself is made a little weaker, but at the same time faster, and still as earth-shattering as his game counterpart. 


                                                                 out of 5
                            Adaptation Value - 4.6 out of 5
Movie Value - 4.7 out of 5
                      Story - 4.1 out of 5
                      Direction - 3.9 out of 5
                      2nd Viewing - 4.4 out of 5 


Months later, Alice finds Claire in Alaska, and is attacked by her. A scarab on Claire's chest caused memory loss which led her to attack Alice. Breaking away from the story synopsis for a moment, I think it's clear I did not enjoy Ali Larter's performance as Claire Redfield in Extinction. It just wasn't Claire. This time around, Ali vastly improved her performance, and while, like most game characters in these films, was still not exactly the same character, it was a lot closer. New game characters introduced in the film include, the aforementioned Albert Wesker, as well as Claire's brother, Chris. Why it took the film makers four films to bring in, who is arguably, the game series' central character, is beyond me. Leon S. Kennedy is still absent this time around, so clearly the film makers are in no hurry to introduce important characters. Chris and Claire's reunion is handled delicately. None of the cheese-filled waterworks from Code: Veronica/Darkside Chronicles are present, because of Claire's memory loss, but the two eventually form a bond, and work well together. The reunion was handled exactly how it should have been, given the film's plot line. As Claire's search for her brother, as well as the relationship between them is a major element in the games, especially early on in the series, I'm pleased to see the film makers handled it right, and didn't simply ignore their relationship all together.

I was very pleased to see Afterlife improve on the slow moving previous installment, and return to the faithful adaptation quality that was present in Apocalypse. In addition, like all of the previous films, Afterlife ends on a big cliffhanger, one that will most likely be followed up with in the following movie. I won't give it away all together, for those who have not seen the movie, but all I'll say is it involves Jill Valentine, in her Resident Evil 5 role.

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