Paul W. S. Anderson, “Resident Evil: Afterlife” (2010).

Sep 18 2010 Published by Benito Vergara under review

Resident Evil: Afterlife

See what I wrote earlier about discontinuity? Resident Evil: Extinction, from 2007, ended with Alice discovering an entire warehouse full of superhuman Alices in test tubes and a vague plan, like the Brain does every night, to try to take over the world. Well, to wreak revenge on the nefarious Umbrella Corporation, anyway. Resident Evil: Afterlife begins appropriately with an entire catsuited platoon of Alices, looking like they had freshly stepped out of a Robert Palmer video, launching an attack on the Umbrella Corporation’s Tokyo headquarters, situated miles below Shibuya Station. Ten minutes and a slow-motion hail of bullets later, that entire subplot gets jettisoned (wisely, if you ask me) by writer and director Paul W. S. Anderson — yes, that same guy responsible for writing the whole Resident Evil series, as well as Death Race and Event Horizon and AVP: Alien vs Predator. This new installment in the series doesn’t fall far from the tree, but surely there are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Russell Mulcahy, “Resident Evil: Extinction” (2007).

Sep 14 2010 Published by Benito Vergara under review

Resident Evil: Extinction

So where were we? Oh, yeah: Alice escapes from prison (naked, of course — it must be written in Milla Jovovich’s contract), and comes back out into a world now increasingly populated by zombies. (Or, more properly, “the infected.”) The virus, it seems, has now spread across the planet. So has accelerated desertification, apparently, which makes little sense, but I suppose it’s appropriately apocalyptic. (It’s obviously a narrative ploy to justify filming in the desert — in particular, the film’s disappointing set piece of Las Vegas half-buried in sand — but hey, we’ve all been asked to swallow greater improbabilities.)

The desert setting works, though, and not just because it allows Jovovich to pair brown leather garters with shorts and a tan duster. Resident Evil: Extinction does away with the dark claustrophobia of the previous two films, where it seemed that the contagion was mostly isolated. This installment feels airier, almost, and it’s a tacit acknowledgment that the Resident Evil series was never really about horror in the first place — one genre that thrives in darkness — but about action. The brightness of the desert light simply works better for kicking ass.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Paul W.S. Anderson, “Resident Evil” (2002) / Alexander Witt, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” (2004).

Sep 13 2010 Published by Benito Vergara under review

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Right now I can’t think of a more oddly discontinuous film trilogy (now a quadrilogy / quartet, but I haven’t seen the latest one yet) than the sci-fi/horror/action Resident Evil series: characters appear and disappear, both locale and tone shift radically from movie to movie, the heroine seems to get inexplicable weapon and power upgrades in each installment (inexplicable as well to her, because her memory keeps getting conveniently erased) — all this, despite the fact that all the screenplays are written by schlock auteur Paul W.S. Anderson, not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson. (I also know close to nothing about the Resident Evil videogames, but it occurs to me that this apparent discontinuity in locales resemble game levels: the city level, the desert level, and so on.)

Continue Reading »

No responses yet