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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