Movie Review: Resident Evil: Afterlife

Hold on a second, where did all the zombies go?

Much has been sniffed about the Resident Evil film franchise and how its extraordinary commercial success dwarfs its squalid critical standing. To which I say, “Yeah, but a lot of people like baked beans – doesn’t mean they all want to hang them on their wall do they?”. So many critics have a problem with anything that’s popular don’t they? Well, I for one would like them to remember that next time they’re buying underpants or using toothpaste.

Yet even in one of my most contrary moments I couldn’t claim the first Resident Evil film, in 2002, was anything other than mildly diverting fluff. But then put me in a Blockbuster and I’ll quickly go to the mildly diverting fluff isle if there’s nothing in ‘horror’ and ‘comedy’ I want to watch. Similarly, I enjoyed the bit with the ravens in the third movie and I’m a enormous fan of the original survival horror video games the movies are loosely based on – any opportunity to see Milla Jovovich kicking a zombie dog in the cock is OK with me, whether I’m making her do it or director Paul W.S. Anderson is.

Hi, my names James McMahon, and I’ve been making apologies for the Resident Evil movies since 2002.

Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth film in the franchise, is a bridge too far. It’s the worst movie in the franchise, even taking into account the big bad in the second movie who ran around for the majority of its duration going “rarr rarr” with all the menace of Frankenstein’s monster stubbing his toe. The usual accountability for its flaws can be held with Anderson’s trademark bad direction, undeveloped characterization, unengaging set builds and the beguiling decision to give Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller a job, who I find ruins everything he’s cast in simply by looking like a tennis ball someone’s drawn a face on and then left it out in the garden to be pissed upon by a fox. But more than that, the worst thing about Resident Evil: Afterlife is that it’s got no zombies in it (well it does, but not for 30 minutes, and if you leave the cinema for a wee you’ll miss them). In their absence it’s got some helicopters as well as a big boat. Frankly, this is unacceptable.

Someday, when I am king, I will make a law about this sort of thing. Bear in mind, I won’t be a kind king either. I’ll be the sort of king that makes people dress up as badgers and dance around for my pleasure while I throw cigar stubs at them and laugh. Like this: “muwahahahahahaha”. I’ll invade Hawaii, dislocate it’s population to Scunthorpe, and treat the island as my own private playpen, sculpting statues and monuments to former Doncaster Rovers midfield general Gary Brabin out of the limbs of anyone who opposes me. I’ll build acres and acres of Crazy Golf courses, wherein I’ll execute anyone who dares to beat me with repeated hacks of a metal gauntlet crafted from desert spoons. I’ll put a tax on Flumps, demand every newborn is called Cunty McMuggins for a laugh – I’ll be a little bit like Henry VIII, but with the personality of Kanye West on twitter. And I’ll assemble death squads to reap vengeance on anyone who promises me a film with zombies in but doesn’t deliver.

In the unlikely event Paul W.S. Anderson is reading this, he better pray to his god of bad filmmaking that I never get to be king, eh?

James McMahon