And this time is no different. In fact, if anything this one beats the previous two entries hands down on pure entertainment alone. Yes, yes, "Res Evil 4" is the best of the series since 2002's Resident Evil!
I would say that this is largely due to the return to the director's chair of series scripter Paul W.S. Anderson for the first time since the aforementioned first film... but since everybody seems to have a dickish comment about the man, I'm thinking I'll skip that and just salute him in Private.
Look, man, I know he doesn't make the BEST films, but he beats the ever loving munched ASS out of that Dick City guy any day!!!
Okay, let's face it... the main reason this flick is so much fun is that super-hottie ass-kicker Milla Jovovich is back again for the fourth time as Alice, still kicking asses much less perfect than her own, still looking for the last survivors on this quiet Earth and still carrying one serious mad-on for those freaks at The Umbrella Corporation!
And that goes triple for one Albert Wesker (here played by Shawn Roberts)! Luckily Alice, Sweet Alice still has all of her incredible Umbrella-granted superpowers, not to mention all of those super-powered Umbrella-granted Alice clones, right?
You'll find out. Let's just say that the answer is probably the worst thing to hit Tokyo since Godzilla!
In the mean time (very, very mean), the foretaste and promise of finding the shining civilization of Arcadia where there are happy humans and no Umbrella-granted T-Virus Zombie plague is Alice's next proverbial Wonderland! To this end she soon recruits the aid of our familiar friend Claire Redfield (again played by Ali Larter) and on to the mystery of the surviving humans the pair of ASS KICKERS go! In a Prop-Plane, no less, man! Huzzah!
Unfortunately, they find themselves in prison!
Aw, dick move!
It's a Los Angeles prison that has taken on the duty of keeping the Undead out instead of keeping the wicked in... The problem is with the Undead all around them, aren't they just as imprisoned as these walls were meant to imply? And if so... what's a survivor supposed to do, man?
So who are these last survivors of all humanity amongst the undead? Well, let's do that thing again!
Once the ever-amazing Alice and Claire show up, the prison-dwelling freedom fighters realize that it's high time to get the Eff-You-See-Kay out of Dodge. And who... pray tell, WHO... could they possibly get to help break them out of Prison? How about good old Wentworth Miller... the star of... Prison Break? That's right... and if that's not appropriate enough for you, guess who he plays in this here Sci-Fi Zombie Flick! Okay, I'll tell you! He's Chris Redfield, featured Zombie Buster from the video games Resident Evil and Resident Evil 5! That's not even to mention that he's Claire's big brother (if the name wasn't a clue)! Fans should be overjoyed!
Or... will they? The Resident Evil series contains some of the few video games I actually play, but I'll admit to not being an expert on the saga. My daughter on the other hand... well, as hard as it may be to watch a Comic Book movie with me... that's how hard it is to watch a Video Game movie with her. This kid might as well have a PhD. in ResidentEvilOlogy, man! Watching this flick with her is like watching Grey's Anatomy with a Nurse.
In short, although The Executioner (or "Axeman" as he's credited) shows up courtesy of big Ray Olubowale and more than an ass load of Video Game Series Homages pop up all over the place... these things can be both good things and bad things. Being one of the few major series stars, fans might question why it took four movies before Chris Redfield even showed up and nitpickers may wonder whether Anderson (as writer and director) is truly respecting the man's back-story. Other fans might actually start asking "Okay, great... we've got Wesker, Claire and Chris now... where in the name of Saddler is Leon Kennedy???"
Speaking of which... where, oh where is the promised surprise guest star Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory)? And does Paul W.S. realize that "Blonde Haired Jill is totally different from Brown Haired Jill" as my daughter pointed out? Keep your eyes peeled, True Believers... you might get lucky and see her! Hell, she's EASY to see!
It's also not hard to see just where Anderson is mining his ideas from. My daughter pointed out how similar to the plot and surprises of the aforementioned Resident Evil 5 game this is with just a few changes and character replacements. The best bet you can follow is to realize this is an alternate continuity that's still a hell of a lot of fun... even if you don't have a Game Controller in your hands.
Still, let's not forget what this is... this is, at core, a Resident Evil flick and no amount of excuses, hot babes or zombie action can make this into a model of modern post-classicism! Just as with the other films, there are fizzled plot points, stretched belief and fractured continuity, not to mention convenience, contrivance, an over reliance on what might look "cool" in a five-second period (often freeze-framed for maximum effect), indulgences in CGI and the occasional eye-roll inducing slice of dialogue. Hell, there's a full half hour before we actually see any Zombies and they never quite do any people-eating or brain munching. It's a Zombie Flick... but a very qualified zombie flick if I do say so my damn self!
When I say it's the second best in the series, I mean it, but if you hate the series on the whole then this one still isn't for you, I'd wager Do-Nots to Dollarhydes! Still, Paul W.S. Anderson handles the action wonderfully in many cases, even if the feature on the whole fails to live up to the sum of its parts. There are times that Anderson's blending of CGI with live action doesn't feel self-indulgent but looks as cool as he really wants it to, especially when you throw in the extra conceit of 3-D! Dare I say it without losing every third reader I've ever had... there are times that Anderson is actually... Artistic?! Whew! Further, Milla is still as cute as Leeloo and as sexy as Violet while remaining every single bit as tough as ALICE has always been. She leads a good (if not universally capable) cast that is picked up and completed by the cocky and capable Wentworth Miller.
No, this won't ever be a great film but I haven't even the slightest regret for giving Three Stars out of Five to Baiohazado IV: Afterlife in 3-D... and I don't care WHO knows!!! It's equal parts Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Thriller, Zombie Horror Flick and Pop-Corn Action Flick. So until those pesky T-Virus zombies really do show up to take revenge upon me and open up one massive Corporate Umbrella up my ass, I'll see you Zombie Fighting Babes in the Next of all Next Future Reels!!!
The Zombies run like Lemmings
To this Link because they're so very HUNGRY
For More Reviews!!!
What a bunch of BULLSHIT!
There's no way you thought I didn't know. I knew the WHOLE TIME!!!
What's New? Alphabetical Listing of Reviews! SearchThisSite: Advertise With Us! About... Lynx Links: F*A*Q