Resident Evil Sequel Month carries on here at B-Movie Enema. I… I don’t know how I feel about this.
We’re at the halfway point of the month and I can say that while I didn’t like the original entry in the series, it wasn’t as bad as the second. However, the third, Resident Evil: Extinction, despite it being the worst reviewed movie in the series, surprised me in a lot of ways. Sure, we can debate exactly why Umbrella is still operating like a company when the world is apparently a total wasteland, or what they were still doing with experiments and so forth, but it was a different movie that mixed some good elements of Day of the Dead with Mad Max and so on. I approved.
There also appeared to be some glimmer of hope in the third movie’s conclusion that Alice (Milla Jovovich) is going to punch all the bad guys while Claire (Ali Larter) was going to lead as many survivors as possible to the supposedly infection-free area of Alaska. I like hope. I like the idea that there’s a chance the world can come back from the brink.
Let’s see how Resident Evil: Afterlife fucks this up!
Extinction left us with a whole maggle of Millas (yes, that is the scientific term for a group of Milla Jovoviches) cooking in little bubbles as she’s about to unleash a whole bunch of clones out after the Umbrella people. I feel like that money shot just before the credits was more than good enough to act as a hard promise that I’ll get a whole pile of Millas. Just a ridiculous number of Millas in a huge bucket. They’ll be flying around and kicking and punching everything in sight. That’s what I want. I feel like after watching half the series, I’m owed this shit.
With the return of Paul W.S. Anderson to the series, I feel pretty good about my prospects.
Before we dive right in, it’s important to note something I haven’t really talked too much about in the past articles – these movies were becoming more and more popular and made more and more money at the box office. The first made just over $100 million on a $33 million budget. The second made almost $130 million on a $45 million budget. The third had the same budget and made almost $150 million.
Resident Evil: Afterlife was made on a $60 million budget. It grossed $300 million. This one launched the series into the stratosphere for Sony Pictures. While the next one we’ll talk about next week dips to about $240 million on a $65 million budget, the final entry made roughly $315 million on what would be, shockingly, the lowest budget since the original film coming in at about $40 million. These are unbelievable numbers for movies that are mostly devoid of anything that would be have a semblance of anything that is good. Whoever it was going to these movies ballooned the box office haul for the second half of the series somewhere in the $850 million range. That’s a testament to… something. I suppose?
The movie opens with something we wouldn’t necessarily expect to see – life in a city. We see the hustling and bustling streets of Tokyo, Japan during a rainstorm. A girl stands in the center of the crosswalk. She seems dark, brooding. I’m sure she’s gonna do something fuckin’ bad ass. I mean it looks like she’s gonna do something awesome.
Nope. She sizes up a dude, and then turns into a zombie and attacks him. I don’t know if that was a past moment in the story, or what. Alice introduces herself and explains the same stuff we have seen in previous movies. She’s awesome. She worked for an eeeeevil corporation. She is hunting down the bad guys. As it turns out, the guys who run the Umbrella Corporation are hiding out in Japan and still doing stuff with the T-virus that created this whole mess. I kinda feel like, at this point, you should pack it up, guys. You’ve killed everyone. Time to let up.
I guess that opening in Tokyo was indeed previously because we see that it is four years later. In the secret Tokyo base, Chairman Wesker, dressed in bad guy black with bad guy black sunglasses with vaguely bad guy European accent with bad guy slicked back hair is checking in on the situation. Lots of guys have been attacked and dead, but it doesn’t appear to be a zombie or monster attack. It’s a Milla Jovovich attack.
She uses her telekinesis to wipe out a bunch of the soldier guard dudes, but when more approach, she gets shot from behind before she can do the trick again. I’m guessing that’s a disposable clone, because three more Millas show up. I want to point out a few things about this fourth movie. First, it was the first movie, in what would become standard for the series, that was done in 3D. While much of the effects have improved over the series where digital effects are getting blended into the film better, this looks very bad.
Look, I am not a SFX dude. Shit. When it comes to B-Movie Enema: The Series (check it out, season 2 happening right now on YouTube), I’m lucky to get half of that to look good and that has no special effects. But you know what I am? A human. I have eyeballs. I have a brain. And when things don’t look real, my brain rejects it outright as not being real. This is not three human beings standing there with digital effects to make them all look like Milla Jovovich. These are three cartoon characters. The lighting is off on all of them from the head down and the figures all look very flat against the background.
The Milla on the left? She’s like the one goofy goober head of King Ghidorah in the 2019 Godzilla flick that is a total goon. She’s over there with that shit-eating grin. You know she didn’t prep for this mission. The other two are, like, deathly serious about fuckin’ up some bad guy corporate dudes. Milla #3 is just happy to shoot things. She’s probably hungover, or still currently drunk and possibly railing on cocaine. But it’s cool. Whatever. Give her those Uzis and release her on these fuckers, and don’t worry that none of this looks real.
Chairman Wexler wants to flood the place with gas to kill the Millas, but when a guy foolishly reminds him that they have people in those floors, Wexler shoots the guy. You can’t have a bad guy who won’t shoot his own goons. Speaking of things not looking real…
That gun Chairman Bad Guy is holding look real to you? I grew up in the 80s. You know, the awesome era that everyone wants to love, but barely remember outside of toys and cartoons and bitchin’ hits on the radio and the MTV? So I had access to a shit ton of toy guns. Cap guns, water guns, Megatrons, plain ol’ plastic guns. When I was little, holding a gun that would have likely gotten a kid killed by cops which then ruins the fun of everyone forever would have looked like the above picture. I would be there with my black clothes, my shades, and my slicked back hair holding a plastic toy gun (likely colored neon green) and it would have looked like what that gun looks like in his hand. Again, I’m no gun expert, but my eyes work and my brain registers things. That gun doesn’t look like it can be securely held because it is too big to be real.
And he’s got two of them.
Anyway, he shoots a Milla – probably the goofy one. Still, the goofy Milla came to party. When Chairman Bad Guy rolls her body over to look at his handiwork, two grenades roll out of her hand and explode pretty much the entire compound. Chairman Bad Guy escapes with only a few flesh wounds. He wipes out the facility which does quite the number on Tokyo. That wipes out all the Millas, except for one – the REAL Milla. She’s stowed away on Chairman Bad Guy’s chopper.
So, uh… Question. Did Alice know that he was going to escape and blow up the facility? Or did she plan to use the chopper to get her clones out of there after they laid waste to the compound? If it was the former, did she send in the clones to die? Isn’t that kind of cruel? Did she just commit infinite suicide? Wouldn’t you think that would fuck up a person something fierce?
Oh fuck it…
Wexler, apparently expecting this too, stabs Alice in the neck with a syringe. This syringe has a bunch of microscopic snot globules that target and remove Alice’s powers. Because she’s just a normal girl now, Wexler is able to beat her up pretty good. Apparently, he’s got powers like she had too. He plans to kill her, but he kind of forgot to fly the chopper he was in, so it crashes. Both he and Alice fly out but she somehow emerges only a little worse for wear. Thus closes the story of the previous movie.
Six months passes and Alice is on her way to “Arcadia” – the place in Alaska Claire and her survivors were headed. This place was free from infection. It’s still got water, life, and it was completely zombie and monster-free. She’s not found anyone, but she sees a whole bunch of planes that seemed to also be seeking this haven. She finds the Umbrella chopper Claire and the survivors took and, inside it, is the journal talking about Arcadia. There’s not really anything that indicates there was any kind of place that was safe.
Alice starts to lose hope. She begins to think she is the only person left alive. I mean she killed all the people in Umbrella (or so it seems), and Arcadia seems to be a total bust, so she is starting to feel like this is some sort of cosmic justice she’s paying for. Just then, she sees someone in her periphery. She investigates and gets attacked by a woman – Claire. Claire seems a bit wild and crazy, and there’s this robotic spider-like device on her chest.
Alice removes the spider thing. Claire wakes up a few hours later. Claire doesn’t seem to remember anything about anything. She doesn’t remember Alice, Carlos, or even K-Mart. Who could forget K-Mart? Alice takes off with Claire and flies south along the Pacific coastline. Claire is still mostly passed out. Alice relays to her video camera that she is using to document her search for people that the spider thing was injecting Claire with a drug that was causing memory loss. Claire wakes up and says she doesn’t know why she was so mad, or who she even is. Alice tells her that her name is Claire Redfield and that just doesn’t seem to register at all.
At least Alice was kind enough to bathe Claire and shared her makeup with her.
Alice and Claire head to the ruins of Los Angeles. There appears to be no sign of anything. No people. No zombies. No monsters. Nothing. I’m not entirely sure what she thought she’d find or be able to see from an airplane, but it ain’t there. She does see something, but not before I notice there are a lot of buildings on fire or smoldering. I’m a bit curious about that. The apocalypse as we know it from this series was maybe 6 or 7 years ago now? So those smoking buildings should probably not be a thing anymore. Or it would indicate that there is some sort of life or activity happening.
Oh fuck it.
Anyway, we see there are a few survivors in Los Angeles. There are also a WHOLE BUNCH of dead things. But they are centered around a single building – a prison. The survivors reveal that Arcadia was not a town in Alaska. Instead, it was a ship that sails down the coast to pick up survivors. There have been no transmissions from Arcadia for the last 2 days nor has it moved since the last transmission. Claire reveals that she remembers people coming from the ship to help them, but she doesn’t remember why she didn’t get on board or why she was left behind and in the state that Alice found her.
It should also be noted that there has been a satellite tracking Alice for a little while. It’s able to hear some of her conversations and her recordings. I assume it probably has something to do with Wexler, or Umbrella, or both and the fact that she was kind of messed with by them. However, it is also weird that this series kind of has a propensity to set up concepts for further exploration but kind of also dropping those concepts if it doesn’t fit the story of the following movies. For example, at the end of Apocalypse, Alice appears to have something in her brain that allows Umbrella to control her or track her or something. Then, in Extinction, that’s ultimately turned into something that can be used to disable her. It’s also immediately tossed aside as a danger when she snuck into an Umbrella facility and was able to learn how to avoid the satellite that can track her. In Extinction, it’s said that the T-virus has affected the geology of the world. It dried up oceans and lakes and turned everything into a desert. In this movie, there is no real indication that is the case.
You almost have to hand it to Anderson to continue to write sequels that only takes the meat that is most needed to further the story and toss out everything that didn’t quite, or won’t, work for the subsequent entry.
Okay, so back at the prison, Alice is shown around, and meets some of the survivors. There’s an English girl, Crystal, who came to Hollywood to be an actress, a Hollywood producer and his intern, Bennett and Kim, a basketball player, Luther, and a couple other guys. She also sees someone being held in a cage, Chris (played by Wentworth Miller). He says he’s been mistakenly imprisoned. He says he was with the military and was using the prison as a staging ground. Things were bad as it was, but as they were pulling out, Chris got grabbed and tossed into the cell. He thinks the prisoners thought he was a guard. Luther thinks that the guy is a killer, but he has no proof.
Underneath the prison, some zombies have begun tunneling. They are slowly making their way into the prison up through the floors. Also, there’s something else coming.
And he’s bringing his axe.
Alice is taken to the shower room so she can get cleaned up. Luther waits outside the room, but Alice starts to get a bit antsy when she hears some sounds. However, it’s just a guy named Wendell who is one of the inmates. He’s just trying to sneak a peek at Alice. She tells him to get out, but she’s not going to have to worry about him trying to get another look because the zombies that tunneled up through the floor nabs him and eats him.
They decide that they have to let Chris out of the cell to get his assistance on a way out. Chris sees Claire and immediately recognizes her. She doesn’t remember him. Because spider drugs.
The big giant monster with the hammer axe thing is working to bash his way through the gates. Luther and Claire work to try to secure the gate while Alice, Chris, and Crystal go get more guns and a couple of the other guys cut the jammed lock off the door that has an armored vehicle in it that they can use to get to the coast. A zombie gets Crystal, and a bunch more chase after Chris and Alice. The team working on the door get it open to get the armored car. And speaking of cars, Claire and Luther try to stick a cop car up next to the gate to secure it from the giant axe monster.
Angel, one of the guys at the prison, Bennett, and Kim get into the garage, they realize that the engine has been removed from the car so it is basically useless. Bennett decides to shoot Angel. Why? I dunno. I think it is just to show that Bennett is, indeed, a coward bastard.
I’d say it makes as much sense as the giant monster with the giant hammer axe pounding on the gates. Is this a creation of Umbrella? Why? What is this thing’s purpose? In a video game, who cares why this monster exists. But in a movie, I’m a bit curious. Nemesis made sense because it was clear they were working on some sort of perfect monster creation or something to maybe sell to the military maybe?
So Bennett takes off with Alice’s plane. Zombies are flooding in and somewhere that big dude is roaming around. Alice holds off the zombies while Chris, Claire, Luther, and Kim head back to the cellblock. Meanwhile, to get herself away from the zombies, I’m not sure if this is awesome for this movie or hilarious that my life has come to the point in which I’ve spent many, many hours watching the Resident Evil movies because Alice jumps off the roof while attached to some cables and we see zombies flinging themselves over the roof after her and it slows down for us to see this glorious moment in all its… uh, glory.
You know what? The next several seconds turned out to be just as nutty and awesome. So, here’s this whole escape sequence with Alice and the zombies.
You know, there are lots of things I could think about or question or outright bemoan, but I’m most curious about her tossing those guns away. I mean… Guns aren’t disposable. She took those revolvers and were like, “Fuck these things. I don’t need ’em anymore.” But I assume you can get bullets for this Ma’am? “Nah, let these zombies learn how to shoot. Then it will be more of a fair fight!”
These movies are ridiculous. At least Ali Larter and Milla Jovovich are sexy as hell doing stupid action things.
Speaking of Ali Larter…. She fights the big axe monster after Luther and Chris head for the holes the other zombies made in the floor so they can escape out the sewers and into the storm drains and to the sea where the Arcadia (that in no way is suspicious because it hasn’t answered any messages or signals for the last few days) will be waiting for them. She’s almost as good at the action schlock as Milla Jovovich is. Did I say “schlock”? I’m sorry, I meant SCHLOCK.
Just as the foursome appear to be getting away safely, Luther is grabbed by a zombie and pulled back into the sewers. Shortly after, Alice and the Redfields make it to the Arcadia. The Arcadia is empty. They find an Umbrella logo in the cargo hold. Claire begins remembering other things. She and her other survivors from her old caravan were approached by people from the ship, and the guys started sticking spider robots on them. Claire escaped while the others were loaded up. The spider robot things are called scarabs or something. But they are to make people more compliant and easier to keep and store so they can do experiments on them. Claire finds all her survivors stored in these tubes.
They find K-Mart and release her so they can get the scarab thing off her. Alice goes to release the others, but finds that some of the tubes have a bunch of bloody smears all over them. She follows the blood trail into another part of the ship – which happens to be pretty fuckin’ huge if you really think about it because she keeps going into more and more and more rooms. I’m beginning to doubt this ship’s ability to float. She finds some of the people from various survivors on slabs and kind of gross and a little zombified.
She finds Wexler in this control room. He’s sitting in a throne-like chair like the fuckin’ Emperor in Star Wars. Wexler has the T-virus and it saved him, but it wants control of him. He has been able to fight off becoming a super monster by ingesting fresh DNA. Because she’s the only person to have ever successfully bonded with the T-virus, he believes eating her will cure him. It also should be no surprise that the turd Bennett is also working for Wexler now. He also looks like he’s turning into a monster too – or at least sweaty and gross, but he might have been that from the beginning.
You know, remember the first three movies? Remember how it all began as this evil corporation who was dabbling in evil shit ended up having a catastrophic event happen that created a bunch of zombies and they had to also cover it up and shit? Then, remember how they moved the second movie out into the streets like a good ol’ fashioned zombie apocalypse movie? Then, the third decided to take us pretty much to a barren wasteland to play Mad Max? It almost seems like none of that matters anymore. It’s all random monsters coming from who knows where to beat down a prison gate. It’s a lead bad guy whose only purpose seems to be to kill people but dressed in Matrix clothes and doing Matrix stunts.
I spent most of this main climax mouth agape. This is the pinnacle of insanity. It’s just the most maddening of fight choreography and editing and… just… everything. It’s somewhat amazing because you know half of the theater watching this on opening night were cheering the pure immature stupidity of the fight scene while the other half was laughing their balls off. Seriously, there was likely several dozen pairs of balls at the bottom of the theater auditorium for the ushers to clean up. Whether you were in the immature cheering camp or the laughing your balls off camp, both sides had to feel pretty damn good having seen this sequence.
If you’re in the English-speaking part of the world, you should be able to see what I’m talking about below. If you aren’t in that part of the world, but reading this, I am both sorry and relieved you can’t see it without doing some digging on your own.
Now, you might be thinking this is the end of the troubles and Wexler has finally been defeated, but, nope. He gets into a supersonic helicopter plain thing and plans to blow up the boat. However, Alice is smart. She took the explosive device and put it on the plane. So Wexler just blows up himself – except he’s smart too. He parachutes away and survives to fight another movie. Turns out that Luther is not dead either. He’s still fighting his way out of the sewer and storm drain.
Alice decides that Arcadia should be the beacon it was meant to be. So she re-records the message that is broadcast to lure people into Umbrella’s trap. Right after, a whole bunch of Umbrella plains descend on the Arcadia carrying troops. They are being given their orders by none other than a scarab-controlled Jill Valentine.
Now, if I was one of those goofballs in the nazi stormtrooper uniforms on this plane with Jill, I’d have some questions. First, “Are you not going down there with us?” She’s not dressed like she’s ready for action. Sure, she’s got a couple machine guns strapped to those sexy thighs of hers, but it seems like she’s not going down there. Second, “Ma’am, what’s that thing on your chest… Uh, I’m not staring at your chest (though your uniform’s neckline seems to invite it)… But if that thing gets knocked off, will it chase me?” Third, “If it doesn’t chase me, are you still our boss? I’m an employee for Umbrella, and I am fully aware of the nefarious shit we get up to around here, so I’m curious how well our nefarious shit has taken hold so that if that thing, like, unhooks itself from your chest, are you going to potentially kill me because you’ll realize you’re not one of the bad guys anymore?”
See what I mean? I’d be concerned. Of course, the goons might also be wearing scarabs. I mean, I guess you could become a goon for Umbrella because it’s your best chance to stay alive? I dunno.
Overall, this is a very silly movie, but still better than the first two movies. There are enough over the top batshit action scenes to laugh and enjoy. I did have questions that I couldn’t shake while watching this movie, and I explained them above. At this point, these movies are kind of the Fast and Furious of the horror set. And that’s okay. At this point, going forward, I cannot expect any entry to be as good as Extinction or as bad as Apocalypse. I do hope they are at least as fun as Afterlife.
But, we’ll have to wait until next week to find out if this continues the trajectory that the series is on. The next film on the docket is Resident Evil: Retribution. We’ll be taking a look at that next. If you want to be sure to stay on top of when that happens and when it is released, you can follow the blog by clicking the little button at the end of this article or over there on the side of the screen. You can also follow B-Movie Enema on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll see when new stuff happens.
Tomorrow, B-Movie Enema: The Series hits episode #6 of the second season with Scream Blacula Scream! We covered the first Blacula movie way back in October 2016 in text form, so it’s time to look at the sequel in episode form! Subscribe to the B-Movie Enema YouTube channel so you can be notified of when that hits as well as catch the first season of the series and each episode thereafter that will be released as season #2 nears the midway point!
See you all back here for the next chapter of the Resident Evil saga and I’ll be sure to get all those robot spiders tuned up and ready for action!