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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fourth ‘Resident Evil’ flick one-third watchable

    Fourth Resident Evil flick one-third watchable

    Alice (Milla Jovovich) has been through a lot. Not only did she watch all her loved ones and most of the human race die in the zombie apocalypse, but she also lost her job at the Umbrella Corp — and in this economy, that can be a fate worse than undeath.

    In “”Afterlife,”” the fourth installment of the Resident Evil film series, Alice goes after her old boss, Wesker (Shawn Roberts), in what will hopefully be their final showdown. But vengeance is not the focus of this bipolar, 3D murderfest. Here’s how the film breaks down:

    33 percent actual zombie thriller

    If you didn’t see “”Resident Evil: Extinction”” in ’07, don’t worry. Lingering plotlines, like Alice’s superhuman powers and the army of clones that follows her around wreaking havoc on Japanese lab technicians, get cleared up in a nuclear explosion about ten minutes into “”Afterlife.”” The next chunk of story evokes old zombie flicks like “”Dawn of the Dead,”” focusing on suspense and character building instead of wire-fighting shenanigans.

    Alice and her entourage of fellow survivors find themselves holed up in a California maximum-security prison (nevermind how) while the undead horde pounds at the gates. Director Paul W.S. Anderson gets old school with chilling sound effects, creeping crescendos and narrow camera angles to keep the zombie presence imminent but unseen. In their paranoid claustrophobia, the survivors turn guns on one another, making for a genuinely suspenseful psychological thriller. Unfortunately, this soon turns to …

    33 percent cheese-ball action

    Fans of the “”Resident Evil”” game series know how hard it can be to draw a bead on the vulnerable cranium of a single zombie. Alice avoids the tedious process of “”taking aim”” by whipping out a katana, launching off a wall with Keanu Reeves-style agility and decapitating multiple enemies at the crest of a midair flip before touching down and walking it off. And her hair still looks great.

    The “”Zombieland”” code of a double-tap to the head is an apparent triviality when you’re a sexy zombie huntress fresh off the T-virus wagon. It also helps when slow-motion kicks in during all your critical combat maneuvers. Once the horde breaches the prison walls, Alice goes Neo and spends the rest of the film swinging from skyscrapers, performing physically impossible acrobatics and dodging enough bullets to outfit the invasion of a Middle Eastern nation. Her nemesis, Wesker, is a white man’s Morpheus who somehow succeeds in making CG Kung fu stodgy and boring. At least there’s plenty of …

    34 percent throwing things

    Like all films specifically produced for 3D viewing, “”Afterlife”” takes every opportunity to get in your face. This usually comes in two forms: 1) “”Look out! That zombie is trying to kill you with that thing he’s throwing!”” and 2) “”Here! Use this thing I’m throwing to kill that zombie!”” See the movie in IMAX and enjoy an extra-crisp view of whizzing bullets, sailing shuriken, spinning scalpels, giant axes and bursting brain matter all up in your goggle-clad grill. Truly, getting shot, stabbed, bombed and cannibalized has never felt so authentic.

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