Resident Evil 4: Afterlife
Resident Evil 4 opens with something unexpected — hundreds of non-infected humans residing in Tokyo, Japan, projecting an idyllic scene of normalcy in what has been a franchise built on "anything but."
True to the genre, our sunny vision suddenly turns dark when an unsuspecting bystander gets his throat ripped out and we are once again plunged into reality. A reality where the Earth is populated by speedy undead and grotesque creatures that merely want to snack on your cerebellum — and a few other choice parts. It's here that we realize Umbrella is still in existence despite the virtual annihilation of life, courtesy of Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts). That is if our super heroine Alice (Millia Jovovich), and her hoard of clones, don't put a stop to him first.
Invading Wesker's headquarters beneath the trendy district of Shibuya in Tokyo, Alice's army appears as sleek and sexy ninjas with matching katanas and shurikens (throwing stars). They easily dispatch Wesker's guards before attempting to take him on themselves. Wesker narrowly escapes in his private helicopter before purging the site, effectively killing all of Alice's clones. It's there that the original Alice confronts him, only to be injected with a serum that kills the T-Virus, her body ridding her of all the powers she's accumulated since the experimentation on her in Apocalypse and Extinction. Wesker proceeds to exterminate her for good, but crashes, allowing Alice to escape.
Six months pass, and Alice is now searching for Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and the other survivors who went to a supposedly virus-free colony in Alaska, called Arcadia. Managing to make it to the location through coordinates given by a continual broadcast, Alice makes an unnerving discovery — a graveyard of propeller planes and military helicopters with no signs of life. It's here that Alice meets up with Claire once again, and they continue on Alice's search to find out what happened to the others. It's in her journey down from Alaska, across the West Coast that she discovers a small group of survivors barricaded into a L.A. County maximum security penitentiary. Desperate to get them out, she enlists the help of Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller), Claire's estranged brother. The reunion has unfortunate timing as zombies resembling Las Plagas of the Resident Evil 5 video game penetrate the prison's defenses. Things quickly escalate as a character called The Axeman, similar to RE:5's Executioner, makes his debut.
Filmed entirely with a Sony F35 camera, the same landmark 3D technology used by James Cameron for the film Avatar, Afterlife's visual effects and cinematography don't leave something to be desired. Describing the look of the film, Visual Effects Production Manager Eric Roberts said "It's so clean and tight along with some real darkness too that may evoke a bit of a feel of Silent Hill. So we've got the extremes, but it's definitely a unique look for this incarnation and it's been fun to see those looks."
Written and directed by series originator, Paul Anderson, this film finally pulls in key story elements from the video games that have remained absent in the series until now. Following an obvious zombie flick formula, the betrayal of a character costs the lives of others. I feel though that the real treat of this film comes during the credits as Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) makes a brief cameo.