[Screen It]

(2010) (Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter) (R)

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Sci-fi horror: After a virus infection has turned much of the Earth's population into zombies, a ragtag group of survivors struggle to stay alive.
The genetically altered Alice (MILLA JOVOVICH) returns to do battle with the evil Umbrella Corporation responsible for unleashing a virus on the Earth's population that caused a global pandemic and turned millions into zombies. After laying siege to the company's headquarters in Tokyo and doing battle with evil corporate head Albert Wesker (SHAWN ROBERTS), Alice reunites with an amnesiac Claire (ALI LARTER) in Alaska to resume the search for human survivors.

They find a ragtag group in Los Angeles. The survivors are holed up inside a local high-rise prison and dream of making it to a nearby anchored ship called Arcadia. They include Luther (BORIS KODJOE), a former sports superstar; Bennett (KIM COATES), a slimy Hollywood producer; Kim Yong (NORMAN YEUNG), his brown-nosing assistant; Angel (SERGIO PERIS-MENCHETA), a good-hearted mechanic; Crystal (KACEY BARNFIELD), a former actress wannabe; and Wendell (FULVIO CECERE), the resident complainer. Also in the mix is the jail's last remaining prisoner, an enigmatic soldier named Chris (WENTWORTH MILLER), who swears he can be trusted.

All concerned want desperately to get to Arcadia, an anchored ship in the L.A. harbor that has been broadcasting on various frequencies that it offers an uncontaminated environment with plenty of food, water, safety, and shelter.

OUR TAKE: 4 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits.

"Resident Evil: Afterlife" is an exercise in what I like to call "Make it Stop!" filmmaking. The whole movie I just wanted to yell at the screen: "Make it stop! Make it stop ripping off 'The Matrix!' Make it stop ripping off 'Children of Men!' Make it stop ripping off 'Dawn of the Dead!' Make the soundtrack stop flogging my eardrums! Make the 3D stop pillaging my eyeballs! Make it stop!!!"

The marketing for this fourth film in the "Resident Evil" series wants you to know that this is the first movie based on a video game to be rendered in Digital 3D. Followers of Fellini, Truffaut, and Hitchcock may form a suicide circle as a result. But, then again, this film isn't aimed at them.

It's aimed at the shopping-mall, multiplex crowd who place down ridiculous sums of money on the latest first-person, shoot-'em-up games. On the plus side, here is an action franchise that features two strong women (Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter) as its main protagonists. On the minus side...well, there's pretty much the rest of the movie. If you are not a fan of the franchise, this won't make you one. I give it, at best, a 4 out of 10. (T. Durgin)

Reviewed September 10, 2010 / Posted September 10, 2010

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