Ho boy. You might remember me admitting to completing my RE movie collection and stating I would probably go see Afterlife. Allow me to reiterate my stance on the RE movie franchise:
I saw the first RE at a sneak preview. That means I didn’t have to pay for it. I was even kind of excited, because I loved the games. 20 minutes into the screening, I was checking my watch. I wanted my money back that I hadn’t paid.
I caught the second one on cable and because I had no expectations, it was mind-numbing “entertainment”. It didn’t physically harm me, as some movies have, but it wasn’t impressive in any way.
I purchased them on DVD as a double feature.
I bought the third one because it was directed by Russel Mulcahy (Highlander, Razorback) and it was cheap. That, also, turned out to be a mindless flick.
All three are something to play in the background as I write or read. I can glance up and see pretty gun flashes or whatever.
Now, the new one utilized the 3-D tech that James Cameron helped develop for Avatar. I figured, if anything, the 3-D would look amazing and the movie would chug along for the ride.
Yeah, that’s pretty much what I got.
The storytelling/film-making abilities of Paul W.S. Anderson are so astoundingly poor that it baffles me. The first 40 minutes, or so, contain so many “fade to black”s that it seemed like the movie was a slow-motion strobe light. I imagine Anderson making a check list of everything he needed to tie up before moving on to the new story.
“Get rid of the Alice clones. Check. Get rid of those ridiculous powers of Alice’s. Check. Get Ali Larter back in the movie. Check. Introduce new characters. Check. Great, now to move on….wait…damn, I better wrap this up quickly!”
Oh, and he needn’t have bothered with the removing of powers, as Alice still runs around like a fucking X-Woman.
There’s no character development. Nobody grows as a character. Hell, sometimes Anderson just throws things into the movie with no explanation at all! Where in the hell did that Executioner come from with the huge axe? Why is he nearly invulnerable, even to shots to the head? Why are there zombies that look like shitty impersonations of those vampire-eating-vampires from Blade 2? Is it just because they were in one of the games? That’s fucking lazy and inexcusable. At least make a goddamn effort, you complete and utter DOUCHE!
*ahem* Sorry. So, I had a lot of issues with the film, which is not surprising. I expected no less from such an esteemed director. However….
The 3-D was absolutely amazing.
Avatar tried my patience because Cameron believed he was telling a fantastic story and didn’t want the 3-D to overshadow his deeply layered script. Ha! The 3-D was the only thing that kept my attention.
Here, it’s “almost” like Anderson knows his story is shit, so he plays around with the new tech every chance he gets. And it helps. A lot. But even that can start to get ho-hum, after a while. Especially since Anderson loves his slo-mo so dearly.
Right from the start, the movie starts fucking your eyeballs. The opening credits take place over, behind, in the middle of a dark and rainy street. You can actually see the rain drops splashing off the letters in the credits. Impressive.
But here’s the problem: When this movie comes out on DVD, they will have to release it with anaglyph 3-D. If you’ve purchase a 3-D DVD, recently, you know the conversion doesn’t work very well. They don’t even tell you how to properly adjust the color on your set to get the maximum effect.
My point is this: By focusing more on the toys he could play with and less on the story/acting, this movie is going to be pretty dull at home.
With 3-D Rating: 4 (out of 5)
Without 3-D Rating: 2 (out of 5)