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:: Resident Evil: Afterlife

It’s not surprising that the latest installation of the Resident Evil video-game-cum-cult-action-movie was made in 3D. It’s the kind of movie that really makes the most of the visual effects; lot’s of fight sequences, guns, bullets and other projectiles to come hurtling towards the audience, not to mention the glorious Milla Jovovich, who you’ve most likely seen in more sedate circumstances, smiling alluringly from within a Mabelline advertisement. Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth movie in the franchise, following on from Resident Evil: Extinction, which enjoyed success at the box office back in 2007.

Producers tossed up the idea of a sequel even back then but it was not until 2009 that filming for the second movie kicked off in Toronto, Canada. Director Paul W.S. Anderson has been at the helm throughout, having fallen in love with his now wife Jovovich while working on the first film in 2002. Whether it was Jovovich’s supermodel body or ability to cut zombies in half that captured Anderson’s heart is anyone’s guess, either way he knows how to make her look amazing on film.

The fact that Jovovich is attractive and there’s lots of action is a good thing because it means you can sit back and watch the zombie-bits fly without getting too distracted by the plot. There is a plot, but it’s used less as a story-telling device and more of a string-the-fight-sequences together device. Jovovich continues her kick-ass role as Alice, saving survivors in a world torn apart by a virus infection that turns its victims into bloodthirsty zombies. If you haven’t seen any of the other movies, and naively shun video games in the notion that fresh air and physical activity is healthier for you (Studies have shown video games improve problem solving skills and managerial abilities, quick, tell your parents now, even if you’re 30 at least you can get one up on them!!) just think bird-flu, with a zombie twist.

Afterlife sees Jovovich/Alice continue battling the evil Umbrella Corporation, which was responsible for the virus (All good corporations have a couple skeletons in their closet, be it oil spills or zombies). Alice travels to Alaska to find the survivors she saved in the previous movie but only manages to find the conveniently equally-attractive Claire Redfield (Ali Larter). Claire’s had her memory wiped by an Umbrella Corp mind-control device, which means we don’t have to be bothered trying to understand what happened to the other survivors and can instead concentrate on how the two girls make combat-wear look so good. Alice and Claire then fly off to Los Angeles in search of more human-humans and manage to find a handful among all the other zombie-humans. The rest of the movie sees Alice, Claire and the steadily decreasing cast of survivors try to fight their way to the rescue ship Arcadia.

Critics have said this movie is quite bad and simply riding on the success of its predecessors. It is kind of, but at the same time, if you are a fan of the other movies then you should go and see this one too, if not only so you can tell people that you’ve watched all of them and which was your favourite and why you don’t like the last one. It will make good, possible slightly inebriated, pub conversation. If you haven’t seen any of the previous movies, this one is probably not the one to suck you in.