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Non-Resident Evil

Last updated on: September 09, 2010 16:16 IST

Elvis D Silva reviews Resident Evil: Afterlife.

While watching Avatar or any other 3D cinematic extravaganza if you ever wondered what the Matrix movies might have looked like in the added dimension, get set, because this latest edition of the Resident Evil franchise attempts to answer that question.

Let's run through a checklist of a few of the scenes shall we?

Woman in tight black clothing? Check.

Woman in tight black clothing firing guns? Check.

Woman in tight black clothing firing guns while falling backwards out of a glass window? Check.

Does said woman also shoot up a building's lobby while dispatching of faceless bad guys wearing dark militaristic gear and carrying big, bad machine guns? Check.

And if you've realized that most of these visuals appear in the far inferior Matrix Reloaded movie, give yourself a pat on the back because that is another thing this movie has in common with the cyberpunk sequels that severely diminished the value of the first movie.

Milla Jovovich is back as Alice, and at least for that opening sequence she is both Trinity and Neo. Ali Larter also returns as Claire, but it appears that any acting skill she might have picked up over her years in Hollywood were left locked in her garage when she turned up on set.

Of course the Umbrella Corporation is still to blame for everything that is wrong with the world. I just don't think anyone will care.

After a tense and dramatic opening scene set in Tokyo, the rest of the movie plays out like a series of cut scenes from a cheap video game (which is ironic considering the origins of this movie series).

Sure, things look interesting as they fly towards the audience in 3D but that effect gets old pretty quickly. Paul W S Anderson is back wielding the director's megaphone for this film and one has to wonder whether he took his directing lessons from Bollywood's less savoury filmmakers.

It's not just that several shots or scenes from Resident Evil: Afterlife look like other movies, in several cases it appears that the director had the specific scenes playing on an infinite loop on set while he was directing this new movie.

The movie references its own past as well as the aforementioned Matrix and the (much) less-seen but no less enjoyable Equilibrium without adding anything new to the mix.

Stuff blows up, secondary characters die and once in a while extreme slow motion is employed so that we, the audience, can really appreciate what a bullet, or flying glass, or coins, or drops of water can look like in 3D. Great advertisement for the technology, terrible showcase of storytelling.

So there you have it, another sequel, another collection of disposable thrills. All the players running through their gamut of stock expressions, spouting stock lines and labouring gamely to collect another pay cheque and set up another sequel. If this sounds like a good way to spend your weekend be sure to go up to that multiplex window and ask for tickets to this stellar example of Hollywood trash at its most trashy.

Or else you could wait for the next screening of Dabangg. Especially this weekend, there's sure to be a new show starting very soon.

Rediff Rating:

Elvis D Silva in Mumbai