Trailer Talk: ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’

— by ROB COX —

Since 2002’s original “Resident Evil,” I’ve mostly avoided this series. I remember leaving the theater after that film thoroughly underwhelmed, thinking there was no place for the series to go beyond developing into an uninspired retread of the zombie genre. Since then, what I’ve seen of the two subsequent films has only reinforced that perception.

Now comes “Resident Evil: Afterlife” and I must confess that the most intriguing part of this two-minute teaser was seeing James Cameron’s name flash onto the screen. “James Cameron’s involved in this?” I thought, rewinding the clip and freeze framing at Cameron’s name. When I did so, this is what I saw:

    Filmed with the

    James Cameron/Vincent Pace

    Fusion Camera System

The Fusion Camera System is, of course — as the trailer proudly informed me a few seconds later — the “world’s most advanced 3D technology.”

Of course it is.

And of course, the chances of James Cameron actually taking a hand in a “Resident Evil” production are probably about as good as the zombie-inducing virus of the “Resident Evil” world ever being cured. Why wouldn’t Cameron license the use of his cameras though? Why not allow the system’s name — and his name — to be flashed onscreen? That’s more money in his coffers, after all, and, one suspects, a couple extras tickets for “After Life.” Everybody wins.

Everybody except the audience, that is. Beyond several shots of various objects and characters hurdling toward the screen — 3D’s biggest selling point — this teaser doesn’t appear to add anything new to the series. Yawn.

I, for one, have never been terribly enamored by the whole 3D thing anyway. It strikes me as just another gimmick, a crutch to supplement mediocre storytelling — “Resident Evil: Afterlife” being case in point. And don’t get me started on the “3D TV” fad manufacturers are currently trying to push. Until 3D sets can be engineered that don’t require special glasses, I greatly doubt the public at large will ever buy in. But that’s another story.

“Resident Evil’s” last installment, “Extinction,” was advertised as the series’ final. That was before Cameron’s superduper new camera system and “Avatar” inspired Sony Pictures and Screen Gems to contrive a new installment though. Thank you James Cameron. In any case, I suppose if you’re a fan of the series to this point, “Afterlife’s” 3D upgrade will be a welcome entry into the fall movie season. Anyone else in the mood for a zombie flick would be better steered toward other, better-done films in the genre — “Zombieland,” maybe, “28 Days Later,” or a host of others.

If “Resident Evil” style zombies fashioned in glorious 3D are your thing, though, “Afterlife” and its gaudy plastic glasses will infect the masses Sept. 10.

“Resident Evil: Afterlife” stars Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Wentworth Miller and Spencer Locke.

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6 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    although i agree that 28 days later is a much better movie. I still really enjoy the Resident Evil series, can’t help i love a kick ass chick. And am actually really looking forward to see it. In fact gonna have a Resident Evil marathon before had so i can refresh =D

  2. Robert D. #

    I am a total sucker for the Resident Evil franchise so I have to completely disagree. The third film might have lost its way a bit but Afterlife looks amazing and watching the trailer gave me chills. I’m with jess I think I’m going to have to have a marathon of Resident Evil also.

  3. 3

    ^ Robert, doesn’t it seem like forever ago that you wrote this?

  4. Robert D. #

    Haha yea I’m looking forward to seeing those pictures come to life.

  5. annielicious14 #

    I can’t wait to see this. I love the Resident Evil movies and I’m totall girl crushing on Milla! giggle!!

  6. Rob #

    Wow, looks like I’m in the minority here. Regardless, I respectfully stand by dislike of this series. To each his/her own though–girl crushes included;-). Admittedly, the 3D glasses ARE kinda cool; with “Hot Tub Time Machine” being the current flavor of the millisecond, George McFly is certainly in right now. He’s the first person those plastic frames call to mind.