Resident Evil: Afterlife

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If you enjoyed the previous installments of “Resident Evil,” one of Screen Gems’ most profitable franchises, based on the popular video game, you will have a decent, mindless time at the fourth chapter, pretentiously titled “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” and the first saga to be shot in 3-D.  Structurally the picture is a mess, and thematically a rehash with very few variations of the previous chapters.

 
The series' star, Mila Jovovich, seems more confident and self-assured (or is it just aggressive?) than ever before in this segment, again playing Alice, a beautiful femme who could be deadly tough and ultra-violent when the situation calls for it. 
 
Strictly for the fans: The only reason this fourth installment was made was commercial, to cash in on the popularity of the series thus far, and if "Afterlife" does well at the box-office, rest assured that there will bea fifth one.
 
As written, directed and produced by Paul W. S. Anderson, once again, we are placed in a world ravaged by a virus that turns its victims into murderous zombies, and with a protagonist who’s ever more committed to search for survivors.
 
This time around, the battle with the creators of the global plague reaches new heights, as Alice is trapped in a burned-out Los Angeles, overrun by thousands of the undead, facing a threat she had never anticipated.
 
There are other familiar faces by now: Ali Larter and Spencer Locke reprise their roles from Resident Evil: Extinction. But it was smart on the part of director to add some fresh blood, the new faces of Wentworth Miller (“Prison Break”), Shawn Roberts (Edge of Darkness), Boris Kodjoe (Surrogates), Kim Coates (“Sons of Anarchy”), Sergio Peris-Mencheta (Love Ranch), Kasey Barnfield (BBC's “Grange Hill”) and Norman Yeung.
 
Anderson, you may recall, also wrote, produced and directed the original Resident Evil, and the earlier sequels, Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction.
 
Based on Capcom Entertainment’s massively popular “Resident Evil” video game series, the Resident Evil films are part of a global brand that also includes books, merchandising, DVD collections and more.
 
The tale of “Resident Evil: Afterlife” begins four years after the initial outbreak of the T-virus, designed by the Umbrella Corporation to combat aging and nerve-based diseases. The virus’ unfortunate side effect is its ability to reanimate dead cells, transforming its hosts into ravenous zombies. After sweeping the globe, the virus has turned the world into an unrecognizable nightmare where the rapidly evolving undead hunt the few remaining humans.
 
Living in Japan, Alice is armed with superhuman abilities and leading an army of her own clones against her longtime nemesis, Umbrella Chairman Albert Wesker. After leaving Wesker for dead in a showdown that destroys her army and strips her of her powers, Alice commandeers a small airplane and flies to the frigid Alaskan wilderness. Her goal: to find survivors at the mysterious Arcadia—purportedly the only place on Earth not ravaged by the T-Virus.
 
But Arcadia is no promised land. The only sign of life is Alice’s old comrade-in-arms Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), now suffering total amnesia. With Claire in tow, Alice’s search for answers leads her to the ruined city of Los Angeles, where she meets some other survivors barricaded into a former prison, tenuously holding an army of the undead at bay. She also learns that Arcadia may be closer—but also more deadly—than she thought.
 
While Claire slowly recovering her memory and martial prowess, Alice leads her band of survivors on a harrowing rescue mission, and in the process discovers something far more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.