"B Movie Thrills"
As B movie entertainment, the RESIDENT EVIL movies keep getting better and better, but there’s still a lot of very strong, bloody violence and some strong foul language. There are also still a couple quirky things in their worldview content. Even so, the fourth one, RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, has a very good villain and many spirited, riveting action scenes with plenty of heroic derring-do and some interesting science fiction twists.
A brief prologue explains that the Umbrella Corporation’s genetic experiments created a virus turning people into flesh-eating zombies. Four years later, the corporation’s genetically enhanced superwoman, Alice, sends clones of herself to destroy the corporation’s “impregnable” Tokyo headquarters. The corporation’s chairman, Wesker, a megalomaniac who has enhanced himself like Alice, sends dozens of his soldiers to stop the clones. The spectacular battle sequence leaves the Chairman fighting with the real Alice in his getaway helicopter as he presses the self-destruct mechanism for his Tokyo base. During the fight, the Chairman injects something into Alice to remove her genetic enhancements, a version of the virus that produced the zombies. The fight ends with the helicopter crashing, and Alice walking away from the wreckage.
Alice finds a small red plane to follow her friends from the third movie to Alaska, where some people calling themselves “Arcadia” are broadcasting help, safety and food to non-infected humans. She finds no Arcadia and all her friends gone, except for Claire, who has a small robot spider on her chest that makes her attack Alice. Alice knocks Claire out and removes the device, but Claire has forgotten what happened to their friends.
Alice and Claire fly to Los Angeles, where they spy a small group of humans on the roof of a huge prison fortress surrounded by hungry zombies. After perilously landing the plane on the roof, Alice finds out Arcadia is actually a ship and it’s sitting nearby in the Los Angeles harbor. The question is, how can Alice and the others avoid the zombies and get to the apparent safety of the ship? Especially when some of the zombies seem to have tunneled their way into the prison’s cavernous basement.
Despite the overdone violence and bloody parts, and a couple apparent plot holes, AFTERLIFE has many exciting action sequences. Of course, at the end, there’s another battle between Alice and the Chairman on the ship, but this time Alice has some help. Adding to the movie’s exciting mix is Milla Jovovich as Alice, who seems to have grown into the part pretty well, making it her own. She is ably supported by an interesting mix of actors and characters, not the least of which is Shawn Roberts as the evil Chairman and Boris Kodjoe as a black basketball star named Luther. Furthermore, instead of just being about fighting and killing zombies, this third RESIDENT EVIL flick has an excellent diabolical super-villain. There’s also another, smaller villain, a Hollywood agent who betrays the others and tries to help the Chairman. All this increases the viewer’s identification with Alice and her friends, the good guys.
Regrettably, about two-thirds of the way through, the movie starts adding some strong foul language to satisfy the pagan fanboys who want more hard-edged, gratuitous R-rated content. Although the foul language is thankfully brief, relatively speaking, it’s still annoying. There’s also a brief shot of a pornographic magazine where viewers may or may not see the exposed breasts of some woman. (Please see the above content section for more details.)
AFTERLIFE contains strong moral content where people help others, heroism is displayed and diabolical evil is fought, but there is still a lot of zombie killing. In many ways, zombie movies like this are a symbol of the cheap quality of human life in today’s world. Part of this comes from environmental pagan extremists on the left, who think the whole human race is a disease infecting the planet. If it’s a disease, some of these blockheads theorize, then it must be wiped out completely. Or, at least extremely curtailed. Battling against this dehumanization, somewhat contradictorily, is Alice, who shows concern for protecting and preserving humanity, including as many individual people as possible.
AFTERLIFE also has the head of a corporation as its main villain. In some respects, this reflects the libertarian and socialist anti-capitalism of our day. On the other hand, AFTERLIFE uses this plot device to make an implied statement against tyranny, which, using the movie’s own symbolism, turns people into raving, destructive zombies or robot-controlled servants. In that respect, the movie overall seems to have an anti-socialist or anti-communist and anti-fascist message. It also clearly speaks out against genetic experimentation on humans.
Thus, all in all, RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE deserves three stars for entertainment value, production quality and some cleverness, but the violence, language and very brief nudity warrant extreme caution. Whether it’s really worth the high price of an IMAX 3-D ticket is another question entirely.
(BB, ACAC, H, Pa, O, Acap, LL, VVV, S, NN, M) Strong moral worldview about saving people and fighting socialist, communist, fascist tyranny (which turns people into raving zombies or robot-controlled servants) but diminished by very strong violence that results in a partial humanist, pagan devaluation of human life, plus man wears a crucifix but it doesn’t seem to mean anything, woman seems to have a special occult power to destroy objects but all her powers are taken away and some anti-capitalist elements where a huge corporation run by a megalomaniac is the villain but the movie’s anti-totalitarian message seems a bit stronger; 20 obscenities (including about seven “f” words), two strong profanities and two light profanities; extreme action violence that’s sometimes bloody and scary includes zombie bites man’s neck, extensive battle between female clones wielding guns and swords and guards wearing battle gear, point blank shootings, decapitations, large zombie with huge hammer axe tries to kill humans, much shooting into zombies, long distance shot as plane flies low over zombies and leaves a trail of red i.e. blood, scary monster zombie dogs attack people, scary octopus tentacles come out of some zombie mouths and mouth of head villain to attack people, woman stabbed in arm, man stabbed in leg, large explosion, helicopter crash, etc.; no sex scenes but man appears to be reading a pornographic magazine and a light seduction innuendo to shower together is virtually ignored and, in effect, politely turned down; no live nudity but viewers may briefly see photo in a magazine where woman is exposing her breasts; no alcohol use; no smoking; and, genetic experimentation but it’s rebuked, woman contemplating taking a shower in an abandoned prison facility finds a man trying to peep at her before she takes her clothes off so she kicks him out, betrayal, one man sports tattoos, and villain is a megalomaniac.
In the fourth RESIDENT EVIL movie, AFTERLIFE, Alice, the genetically enhanced heroine, comes up against the evil Chairman of the Umbrella Corporation whose experiments unleashed a zombie plague on Earth. In a fight, the Chairman reveals he has genetically enhanced himself. He also manages, using a hypodermic, to genetically remove Alice’s enhancements. Alice escapes again. She and her friend Claire, who’s suffering amnesia, join a ragtag group of humans in a large prison fortress surrounded by hungry zombies. Alice and the group have to avoid the zombies to get to a ship in the harbor that may offer safety, food and shelter.
As B movie entertainment, the RESIDENT EVIL movies keep getting better, but there’s still a lot of very strong, bloody violence, some strong foul language and very brief nudity in one scene. There’s also a couple quirky things in their worldview content. Even so, the fourth one, AFTERLIFE, has a very good diabolical villain. It also has many spirited, riveting action scenes with plenty of heroic derring-do and some interesting science fiction twists. Strong moral identification with the good guys helps viewers identify with Alice and her friends.