“My name is Alice. I worked for the Umbrella Corporation in a secret laboratory developing experimental viral weaponry. There was an incident. A virus escaped. Everybody died. Trouble was, they didn’t stay dead.”
The Scoop: 2010 R, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller, and Shawn Roberts
Tagline: She’s back…And she’s bringing a few of her friends.
Summary Capsule: Alice starts out in Tokyo, goes to Alaska, and then ends up in LA.
Eunice’s Rating: Milla Jovovich, I wish I knew how to quit you.
Eunice’s Review: I’m gonna fill you in on what’s happened so far in case you’re coming into this cold. To the folks at home, if you saw all the other movies, or plan to and don’t want to be spoiled, feel free to skip the next three paragraphs.
Oh Alice, it’s been such a long strange journey we’ve been through together. Remember in the first movie when you woke up? Having been knocked out by being gassed by a super computer, you didn’t know who you were or what was happening. You found out you were a scientist in an underground Umbrella Corp. bioweapons lab in Raccoon City, USA, or maybe you weren’t. And you were married, and you found your husband, or was he? And that somebody (possibly you) had released a piece of nastiness called the T-virus that spread by being bitten and turned dogs inside out and made dead people undead and hungry. Then you fought your way out of the lab with a plucky group of military zombie elimination chow by your side only to be taken captive by Umbrella Corp.
Then in the second movie you woke up again, only this time out of a coma in a hospital where Umbrella Corp had been doing experiments on you. The hospital was in disarray and you shuffled outside to find that the virus had not been contained to the lab, instead spreading to the city leaving it full of undead and desperate people being locked in under quarantine. You joined up with Jill Valentine, that guy from The Mummy (aka Oded Fehr [who is hot]), and Skut Farkus from a different plucky military group called S.T.A.R.S. (a name that always makes me want to do jazz hands). You went up against Nemesis (who was the guy who was your not-husband from the first movie, I think???), got captured by Umbrella again, and got some powers from whatever the heck those experiments were that Ser Jorah Mormont did to you. Then you broke out -was allowed to think you broke out by Umbrella- while being aided by the remaining S.T.A.R.S. [*jazz hands*].
I had a terrible headache when I saw the third movie, Alice(and I might have went to sleep somewhere in the middle), but I remember we opened with some craziness that ran through scenes from the prior two movies and had you dying [!] before you woke up this time. Not to worry though it was only an Alice clone that Ser Jorah Mormont killed. But part of Code Alice is that -you- Real!Alice is psychically connected to clones back at the ranch, while you went and played Road Warrior in the Nevada desert. See having failed to keep the T-virus contained to the lab, Umbrella also failed to keep it contained to Raccoon City. RE: Extinction was a post-apocalypse tale full of ghost towns, Waterworld-esque mysterious map following, inside out dogs were replaced by Hitchcockian Birds on steroids, it was chaos. Eventually you re-met surviving S.T.A.R.S. [*jazz hands*] member Carlos who had since joined with a group of plucky survivors led by Claire Redfield (Heroes alum Ali Larter) and had a guy who could tell what was in unlabeled cans of food (I don’t know why I remember this). It all ended with you sending Claire and the remaining survivors off in a helicopter following the mysterious map to Arcadia, Alaska and you breaking into yet another Umbrella lab to save your clones and promise revenge on the Corporation, most specifically Albert Wesker (that guy from Terra Nova).
And then we come to Afterlife.
Afterlife has, hands down, my favorite opening of the RE movies, despite being completely Alice-less. It’s the dead center of Tokyo. A woman stands in the middle of one of those iconic pedestrian crossings in the rain. Just stands there while people flood past her and the camera pans up. She bites a random person, leading to mass panic. Then the camera pulls out and we see the lights of Tokyo go out in sections of spreading darkness to convey the spreading virus and the passing of four years. Now Tokyo is an abandoned cityscape, Umbrella employed snipers sit on roof tops taking out the undead.
Into this comes Alice filled with vengeance and gunning for Wesker (no longer that guy from Terra Nova). She cuts through security like a hot knife through butter, all while wearing six inch stiletto boots, then she dies. It’s the old clone switchero again, only this time there’s a lot more Alice clones to go around. It’s all still Resident Evil, a fluffy action horror flick showcasing Milla Jovovich, like it still has that look and feel it’s still completely ridiculous and over the top, but this opening shows more balance, better composition, is just more aesthetically pleasing. Good job, RE.
Real!Alice ends up on a plane with Wesker after he nukes this branch of Umbrella, and half of Tokyo, killing all of the clones. Just when Alice is about to put Wesker down, he injects her with something that is destroying the T-cells in her body: No more telekinesis, super strength and speed, no more accelerated healing. It’s like someone said, ‘Alice is too overpowered and we have no where to go with this story with her like this!’ So now she’s just an Alice who instead of being able to make guys’ eyeballs melt in their heads, is wise in the ways of butt kicking.
And NOW we come to the end of the second beginning of the movie and go into beginning number three, which actually leads to the main part of the movie: Six months after beginning 2, Alice is flying to the coordinates for Arcadia. Via video diary, we learn she has seen no signs of life in 177 days, since she left Japan. Landing in Alaska she finds a makeshift airfield, that more resembles a graveyard, an empty beach, and a Claire that’s gone feral after losing her memory from a serum crab (look, I didn’t come up with that, that’s what it is okay?) attached to her chest. The two hop back into Alice’s plane and head down the coast eventually coming to LA. On the way Claire regains the ability to speak, but still cannot remember what happened to her, the other survivors, or Arcadia.
While flying over the city, which is crawling with masses of undead, they spot a building with flares coming from it and the words “HELP US” on the roof. After some tricky flying Alice and Claire find themselves in Dawn of the Dead – Resident Evil style. The building is a prison and the plucky LA survivors include: a basketball player, a weaselly producer, his assistant, a failed actress, two other dudes, and a guy who they found locked up who was either a guard or a really bad inmate and since they’re not sure which they keep him locked up. The group assumes Alice and Claire are from Arcadia, which turns out to be a ship that just so happens to be anchored out in the Port of Los Angeles. Sorry RE: Extinction survivors! Now don’t you just feel silly!
Of course this is when the undead find a way into the prison and the only one who knows a way out is mystery locked up guy. Who turns out to be none other than Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller), Claire’s brother! Who she doesn’t remember! Oh dramas! Meanwhile weaselly producer guy gets all weaselly and steals the plane Alice and Claire flew in on, killing some people in the process, because this is a zombie flick and that’s how it goes. The rest is about Alice and crew fighting their way to the Arcadia and what they find there.
The Resident Evil series is a good example of popcorn action flicks. They’re as fluffy as something with zombies ripping people apart and decaying dobermans can be. While I always enjoy them, I find that I have a hard time remembering the second half of them (I think my brain just kinda tunes out). Afterlife is no different, but I will say I haven’t had as much fun watching a RE movie since the first one. Those beginning scenes are pretty nice. I like the toned down powers Alice. There’s small things that I like, like the fact the basketball player gets to use his ability to jump (now that I type that it sounds weird, but I promise in the movie it’s a nice touch), the airplane graveyard, the (as I choose to interpret it) snarky almost shower scene, or what Alice does with the quarters was cool.
But Milla still growls out her dialogue like Christian Bale doing Batman, and Wesker seems to be channeling Agent Smith, the Axeman is kinda goofy, and it is still just a fluffy survival horror actioner. Oh and cliffhanger warning if that sort of thing makes you crazy.
Pretty much if you like the rest of the series you’ll like Afterlife, if the rest of the series makes you foam at the mouth in hatred, it’s more of the same.
- The serum crabs and Axeman come from the game Resident Evil 5, as well as a good chunk of the big battle with Wesker (the sunglasses bit the “inconvenience” line). Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker, and Jill Valentine were introduced in Resident Evil and Claire Redfield in Resident Evil 2. In the games Chris and Wesker were also members of S.T.A.R.S. [...*jazz hands*].
- All the umbrellas. Get it, get it?
- As much as I love the first opening, the thing I always notice is the Japanese woman’s eyes don’t look messed up. If she has the T-virus shouldn’t her eyes be messed up?
- How come Alice can drop undead by shooting them in the chest instead of the head?
- In the wide shots the shower is turned off in close up it’s on.
- “It’s a trap!”
- Is It Worth Staying Through the End Credits? There’s an extra scene with Jill Valentine.
Alice: My name is Alice. I worked for the Umbrella Corporation in a secret laboratory developing experimental viral weaponry. There was an incident. A virus escaped. Everybody died. Trouble was, they didn’t stay dead.
Alice: Is that anyway to treat a lady?
Wesker: Put simply, the Umbrella Corporation is taking back its property. You just didn’t work out, so you’re being recalled.
Alice: Thank you.
Wesker: For killing you?
Alice: For making me human again.
Wesker: I’m what you used to be. Only better.
Luther: Nice landing.
Alice: I think technically it’s called crashing.
Luther: That’s right: Star power, *******!
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