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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Resident Evil


Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts, Spencer Locke, Boris Kodjoe and Wentworth Miller
Sony PIctures Home Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Available 10 January 2011

Based on one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, Resident Evil: Afterlife opens with Alice (Milla Jovovich) on a lonely and dangerous hunt for survivors in a decimated world crawling with the Undead. On her quest for the alleged safe-haven “Arcadia,” she finds survivors Claire and Chris Redfield (Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller), and the smoldering trio heat up the screen as they ravenously set their sights on taking down the evil Chairman of the Umbrella Corporation, Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) and hordes of the Undead along the way...

More than any other movie in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil: Afterlife has fan service elements that may well be welcomed by hardcore fans of the game, but also run the risk of alienate the more casual viewer.

The "boss" battle at the end of the movie is borrowed heavily from the Resident Evil 5 game and several of the new zombies are also lifted straight out of the there too. But by far the biggest problem is Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker - the head of the evil Umbrella corporation. Fans of the game will instantly recognise what Roberts has done with the role, but for those that haven't played the games they'll wonder what on earth the actor is doing - his delivery and lines are over the top and cheesy and certainly feel out of place. Of course if you know who Wesker is then this all makes much more sense.

In addition, fans will be pleased to see that Chris Redfield makes an appearance, while Claire Redfield also returns.

There were elements I found rather odd. For example, at the start of the movie Wesker injects Alice with a syringe full of liquid that transforms her back into a human. This it seems to do almost immediately as she can't fight like she used to. But once the plane crashes somehow Alice survives. I suppose that she isn't fully human yet, but just ignoring this makes for lazy storytelling.

While the film looks great, the plot is a strictly by the numbers affair that offers very little in the way of original material. However, listening to the audio commentary, it was interesting to learn that as this movie was filmed using new 3D cameras that the production had to go back to the drawing board when it came to using well established filmmaking processes that most director's take for granted.

Extras include Undead Vision: Picture-in-Picture (watch the movie with additional interviews and production art which opens in a small picture on the screen); an audio commentary with director Paul W. S. Anderson and producers Jeremy Bolt and Robert Kulzer; Deleted and Extended Scenes (6 min, 48 sec); Outtakes (4 min, 30 sec); Featurettes (47 min, 33 sec which is split into six different featurettes); Sneak Peak of Resident Evil: Damnation (1 min, 10 sec trailer for the new game); Trailers and the Movie IQ feature which is available on most Sony releases. There's also Blu-ray live material, but at the time of writing this review there was no content available.

While far from a bad movie, this is an average action adventure flick with a few neat set pieces.


Darren Rea

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