Have yourself a fashionable apocalypse: Resident Evil: Afterlife

(with apologies to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas")

Have yourself a fashionable apocalypse
May your days be bleak
And if infected zombies rule the world
You can at least dress chic.

Have yourself
A fashionable apocalypse
May your bad guys sneer
And if they seem to have wandered
over from The Matrix,
They have, or somewhere near.

In the new Resident Evil: Afterlife
The fourth video game flick in a row,
Alice infiltrates the evil
Umbrella Corp. compound
Under Tokyo.

With swords, replicants, and witty quips
Like "Is that any way to treat a lady?"
Alice mows down innumerable jackbooted goons
In slow motion, hardly getting sweaty.

Later, she flies into the
City of Angels swarming
With crowds of the undead--
What a mess!
Isn't that the definition of zombies--
They don't know how to dress?

There Alice crashlands amidst
A ragtag team of survivors
Seeking safety on an Arcadia ship.
Doesn't she know that
This idea was from
The superior Children of Men ripped?

Doesn't Alice realize
that the apocalypic genre
Has gotten tired
Like westerns, rom-coms,
Musicals, and noir?

Doesn't she ever get weary,
Doesn't she recall,
That in every other scene,
She's always escaping
From a fireball?

Have yourself a fashionable apocalypse
May your days be bleak
And when you throw those ninja stars,
Always do so to a techno-beat.

Related links:

Jovovich plans for a fifth crowd-sourced Resident Evil

Glenn Kenny's thoughts

interview with director Paul W. S. Anderson


Dempsey Sanders said…
well that was a very different way of writing about this movie, I liked it. The resident evil movies are a guilty pleasure of mine I must admit, I havnt seen this one yet but am looking forward to it.
Jason Bellamy said…
This reminds me of when I reviewed 2004's Yes in iambic pentameter. (Seriously.)

Fun review.

You know, the other day it hit me: I like Milla. I wish she were in more movies. I'm glad she has this little cult franchise. But I also haven't seen a single Resident Evil movie. Not even Milla can get me there.
Richard Bellamy said…
Resident Evil is a classic that I adore.

So I kind of feel required to see the endless sequels.

Saw Afterlife today and it was diverting at times but ultimately boring.

First of all, I can't stand 3D. The glasses darken the image, and I feel distanced, not pulled into the movie. I don't see the point of things flying into my face. I just don't get a charge out of it.

I like Milla. I like her grimly determined, scowling eyes. I liked the scene on the rooftop when she weaves her way confidently through the mob of zombies.

I liked the hooded giant with the axe-headed bludgeon. Who was that masked man?

The film is more of an action footage music video than a story. There's one very lengthy shot of objects and bodies frozen in air - when the copter is crashing - that went on for a long time! Huh?

Too much like The Matrix. A big ho, hum, in that department. With the bad Umbrella guy even doing an Agent Smith imitation!

I liked the battle with the giant in the water. Rain and puddles and wet actresses always make scenes like that fun. Also like how Ali Larter got to be the star of that scene.

I love Milla's clothes.

I'll be happy if this is the last zombie movie ever made.
Thanks, Dempsey,

Resident Evil 2 and 3 were also guilty pleasures of mine. I liked this new one less because it seemed to me that Paul W. S. Anderson was largely repeating himself, and the mise en scene is very grey and dreary much of the time.

Thanks, Jason,

This post most definitely does not scan. It struck me that a random Christmas song set the right tone for a reply, something that befits a blank movie built around sensation (although I agree with Anderson when he says that he likes to see female action heroines.) This Resident Evil views like fifth generation low budget souffle Fifth Element with bits of The Matrix floating around in it like raisins. The one bastardly producer guy struck me as a distant echo of Mr. Smith in Lost in Space.

Thanks for your thoughts, Hokahey. I hope that you will write your own post on the subject. I still think there is potential for good new zombie films, as Zombieland shows. Resident Evil 4 tends to treat zombies as so much computer-generated greyish swarming backdrop, something for Milla to wade through when needed, but lacking the dramatic force of the zombies in the 28 Days Later films or even the first zombie in the graveyard in Night of the Living Dead. I still think zombies foreshadow some point in the future when the population bomb goes off and the human die-off causes mass amounts of people to turn to cannibalism to survive, or some such cheerful scenario.

I like Milla too. She just needs better material.
rtm said…
Fun review is right, and who knew Resident Evil could be so poetic? ;)

I've never seen a single movie of this franchise and I don't think I ever will. Milla is beautiful though... she clearly looks very different here than in the Ann Taylor mailer I received this past Summer. Not exactly dainty.
Thanks, rtm. I don't blame you for not wanting to see the Resident Evil series, but Anderson does have an intriguing low budget action heroine aesthetic. He fetishizes Jovovich with her weaponry, the slick yet slightly butch fashion sense (I like the boots), and the slow motion shots. It's very cheesy and yet at times quite fun. You can also count all of the film influences. Claire (Ali Lerter) at first appears as quite feral with an Umbrella Corporation evil device attached to her chest. She reminded me of The Feral Kid (Emil Minty) in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.

I also find zombies way more interesting than, say, vampires. Zombies exemplify Don DeLillo's theories that we live in the Age of the Crowd, where one of the big risks is the loss of individuality. Zombies represent the loss of control, restraint, and personal hygiene. Zombies are all about the reduction of humans to mindless appetite. They are stupid monsters, but they still have metaphorical resonance.

Zombies also supply the filmmaker with convenient villains that the heroine can slaughter without guilt.
The Resident Evil Saga, in my opinion, has turned into a cult series. I still believe the first one was the best, but the Afterlife still gives you the chills
Unknown said…
This was just one of the worst "movies" (if one can call it that) out of the RE series. No wait, it was one of the worst movies period.
I mean I watched it with a friend of mine, and after it'd ended we both looked at each other going: WTF?!
Great review though!
Love the rhymes ;)