Film Corner: Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4

KISSMATE: After a week-long bout of stomach bugs and stressful IRL stuff, we continue our series of Resident Evil movies! Apologies for the delay. Today's little ditty is RE: Afterlife (2010) directed and written by Paul WS Anderson himself! At this point, Paul WS Anderson has married Milla Jojovich, the main actress playing Alice. I've heard the writing reflects this in some way. What way is that, I don't know, but we're gonna find out! Don't forget this is a joint effort between me and Ana Mardoll, so follow both, please!

After some artistic bullshit thrown in our faces that is supposed to represent the virus spreading through Japan and World, Alice explains stuff we knew from the previous movies. Then we see Snipers getting taken out by mysterious forces. I call Alice Clone Army. Ok, the 3D models in the other movies were cool because it gave us reference of space. This one almost made me puke because the camera was left of the roller coaster setting.

The Underground Japanese Umbrella Bunker (or UJUB as I want to call it) is under attack. Wesker is told and it makes his sunglasses very cross. They tried to make him more like the games, and I'm very pleased with this. The UJUB sends men out to stop the elevator, which is laughably counting down their inevitable ends. Alice has katanas and throwing stars. Oh wow, I'm getting Kill Bill and Matrix flashbacks. (Trinity Alice, or Infinity Alice? You decide.)

After ending the fight with a psychic blast, gunshots kill her in the back. I just realized that Alice is an anime character. Death means nothing, she gets new and different powers depending on the need, and she can do impossible fighting stunts. Holy fuck. Clones rush the rest of UJUB, causing Wesker to flee. Man, EVERYTHING he has is huge. His guns and his helicopter scream "I have something to prove!".

One of the Alices (supposedly the real one?) was in the chopper, but Wesker fills her with an antivirus, making her human again. She still survives a helicopter crash full of fire and destruction. What the Hell??? Next we see Alice in a plane searching for the "no virus city" called Arcadia. I thought all life was gone? No trees, grass, bugs, nothing. So why are there signs of life here? Why are there green trees? Alice finds the helicopter that Claire took (and no fuel up from Nevada to Alaska?) but no signs of the people. Save for one person who- OH SHIT, THE MIND CONTROL DEVICES FROM RE5! Well, fuck, Claire. Sorry you got that bug...

I think the transmission of "no worries, come on up" might be a trap as they're being watched/recorded by satellites focused on a field of abandoned aircraft. Just a hunch. I mean, what better way to get resourceful experiment subjects? Claire doesn't seem to remember anything at all. Our guess is the red bug injects the host with drugs that causes Hollywood amnesia. Oh, hey, they're flying over Hollywood!

All the LA undead seem to be surrounding a prison where survivors are waving on the rooftops. I swear one of them would be the spitting image of Chris Redfield from the games, but I'm being told it's NOT him. "Just some guy," my husband says. I feel cheated. Everyone is looking hella nice for being in an apocalypse. Groomed facial hair, clean clothing, white teeth, no dirt patches or sweat stains. I don't even look that good on my best days! What the fuck?!

Turns out Arcadia is this paradise being advertised every which way, to the point of sending out flares and signs in hopes someone from Arcadia will notice them and bring them to safety. When we now know it's probably a trap. I'd like to shout out to all the World of Darkness Changeling players. You, who are giggling that the legendary land supposedly full of safety and comfort actually being a trap called Arcadia. You know who you are. I salute you.

So Arcadia is a ship off the coastline. Two days ago, it stopped transmitting. When Claire is asked about it, she conveniently remembers meeting up with the ship, but nothing else. Plot memory-loss is so fucking lazy. I'm not going to say this is the worst dialogue I've heard. Far from it. But it's bland and almost predictable. Needs some salt and pepper, little cayenne.

Alice goes to witness the changing of the guard and sees a man in the maximum security cell. "Name's Chris." As in... Chris Redfield? He says he's not a prisoner and if this was the games, I would believe him. But I don't know, something feels off here. "The man is a killer! I'm not letting him out!" I mean, he's military? Does that mean he's any less dangerous? I must have missed Zombie 101, because I thought zombies (reanimated dead bodies) can't scratch through concrete floors and metal pipes without destroying themselves. I mean, this place is a prison designed to prevent humans from getting out. Why not the same in?

Even when Alice showers, she keeps her weapons within reach. She is a SMART zombie survivor. The guy reading girly mags is also a peeping tom? Someone can be a pervert and not be an asshole. OH SHIT, THERE WERE MORAY ZOMBIES BEHIND THEM! SHIT, KILL, FUCK 'EM UP! These zoms remind me of Las Plagas in RE4. Like, not the same, but enough similarities that I had to double check to be sure. I was wondering how they'd handle RE4, but it seems they waved it off for now and just went to RE5. A shame...

Peeper gets carried away down the hole, leaving everyone else to panic. A vote's taken to release Chris. He sees Claire and tries to connect with her, but her plot device of a memory prevents her from knowing him. As we get ready to leave the prison in an anti-personnel tank, a familiar face shows up at the gates to knock it down. Usually he has a chainsaw, but a big-ass tenderizer/axe combo is cool too. Again, from RE4.

I have been informed that what I thought was Chainsaw Man from RE4 was actually The Executioner from RE5. My mistake. NGL, I never played RE5, so I'm a bit in the dark on that game.

Bennet, a white man, shoots a Hispanic man, Angel, in the head because Angel would stop Bennet from stealing the plane. There's also an Asian intern, Kim Yong, who does everything Bennet says. Yay, representation. Bennet fucks them over by stealing the plane, so now they have to Gun Pose and Explode their way out. Also this movie LOVES SloMo. One cool thing is she uses quarters in her buck shot. That's something clever.

Kim got Executioned. The Photoshopped Executioner starts ripping up the bathroom while Claire and Alice dodge. It's starting to look and sound like an ad for shower gel, or something. This is stupid fun. Claire kicks ALL kinds of ass! I thought that Alice would be doing almost everything here, but she's actually down for most of the fight. I like seeing the game characters kick ass! Alice went from overpowered anime protag to an action protag. I feel like PWSA saw what happened to her in all the movies and he dropped her back down to be human again. Or he wrote himself into a corner and hit the "undo" button so he could give her conflict.

After the remaining four get down to the storm drain, Luther gets dragged away back to the tunnels. We don't see a POV shot for him after that, so... that was a pointless death. Or he's not dead because that was a BS death. Alice and the Redfields move on, now boarding the Arcadia. After searching the ship and finding no one, they find a cargo hold with Umbrella's brand stamped right in the middle of the door. Subtly was never a business creed.

They walk into the room and find the survivors in holding tubes. In another room, Alice finds Wesker sitting in a chair like a iThrone from Apple. He villains it up, monologuing how he kept tabs on her and showing how he can control the undead. Wesker is fighting for control from the T Virus. Bennet is now a zom, but a talking one. Two creepy zom dogs with too many teeth go after Alice. I'm waiting for the 5 dead bodies to do something, but so far they're motionless.

I now have a favorite scene. Wesker fights against Claire and Chris Redfield. The action is done in a way you see EVERYTHING! The music is PUMPED! Wesker's arrogance just OOZES through his motions and face! If this scene could be bottled, I swear I'd get drunk! Alice kills the Zom Dogs, frees Claire and Chris, gets a support from K Mart, and gets Wesker on the ground. The Redfields are the ones to decorate his barely living body with enough lead to kill the spongiest of bullet sponges.

Wesker devours Bennet for a health upgrade and gets a chopper revving to go. Because it takes more than that to kill a Wesker. However, Alice planted the Purge Bomb on Wesker's ride, so the ship is safe while Wesker gets exploded. And Luther's safe! YAY! Arcadia makes a message out to survivors, only this time it's Alice's voice. She says there's hope here. However, Umbrella choppers close in around them. Jill Valentine, complete with Chest Bug, leads the troops in. The End... For Now?

I gotta say, I was prepared to not like this movie. There were choices made that didn't make for an amazing story, but it was fun and good-looking all around! 7/10, grab some snacks and keep the remote close to rewatch the action scenes!

ANA: Kissmate and I are continuing our Resident Evil marathon (briefly interrupted last week when we both caught the Martian Death Flu or possibly a stomach bug). Today's Resident Evil is AFTERLIFE, the fourth one, and the one in which Wesker finally becomes kinda important. I've seen it before; Kissmate is new to all these, but plays the games religiously. He's very excited about Wesker happening.

God, the opening of the girl in the rain (surrounded by umbrellas! like the Umbrella Corp.!!) is so bananas but it *looks* so pretty.

I do have some issues--both ethical and logistical--with Alice deciding the best use of Umbrella Corp's resources is to burn the entire place down, lolsob. So much for the "I used to work for Umbrella like you" solidarity shown in the second movie. Most of those guards never did anything wrong, Alice! and we don't have a lot of humanity to waste at this point!

Then again, they had to get rid of the Clone Army one way or another. Which is a shame, because I would've liked to send them all off individually, so they could each take a city and Blade it up, but against zombies instead of vampires. How cool would that be? A chicken in every pot, an Alice in every city.

Wesker has appeared and Kissmate pronounces him done almost-properly. This pleases and sparkles. Ah, the bit that REALLY wanted to be That Scene From The Matrix so badly. What are those little, like, breastplates supposed to do, really? They aren't kevlar, they don't stop bullets! They're just sorta there to define Alice's breasts?

Kissmate: "Wait, Wesker, you're still fine?"
Me: "If you NOTICE the grenade, it can't hurt you."

Alice, surely it would've been better to come out of hiding and shoot Wesker BEFORE he blew up the facility with all your clones in it? (I love this movie, I will accept no criticism of this terrible mess.) Wesker injects her with "you got too strong for the plot" juice and we get a Matrix explosion.

Kissmate: "Okay, she's dead, right?"
Me: "If you can SEE the explosion coming, it can't hurt you!"

Give the movie this: it understands scenery shots and how to use color. The Matrix stuff is silly, but it's a PRETTY movie. God help me, I love the dynamic between Alice and Claire. They're such fun. They like each other. They have stuff in common. I adore them. Kissmate has noticed that everyone in the Apocalypse is gorgeous.

I'm delighted to learn from Kissmate that the weird chest-bugs which made NO SENSE to me and just APPEARED in the movies without EXPLANATION are an artifact from the games and wow, that explains so much. I love how, like, there's just a Silent Hill guy in here. Although Kissmate tells me he's from RE4!

The Claire/Alice/SilentHillGuy fight is so dang good? The music is a bop. (I own the soundtrack to this movie!) Claire is allowed to shine. Alice gets to be her friend. I friend-ship them so hard. I love them. I mean, I romance-ship them too because you know I'm not going to pass up a wlw ship, but I also want them to be good friends and THEY ARE, so it's very pleasing.

The Wesker battle! I love this scene so much! It's so delightfully cheesy and actiony? These movies aren't High Art, but they're FUN and I love them so much? CLAIRE AND CHRIS KICKING WESKER'S ASS.

Kissmate: "His eyes went blood red when he saw that bomb. Beautiful."
Me: "But he saw the explosion coming, so he should be fine. Because if you can SEE the explosion coming-"

Jilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, I love her so much, that's the end.


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