Reviewed Apr 10, 2012
There are many films that are so bad they're good. Unfortunately, RE:A doesn't fall into this category. After opening with a bang the films becomes a slow motion nightmare. Jovovich returns and she's perfectly fine, same as she has been in the other films - she says her lines and shoots guns, all while looking remarkably well kept. The remaining characters, including a memory-wiped Ali Larter and newcomer to the series, Wentworth Miller, get very little screen time and even less development. The set pieces are so bogged down in 3D gimmicks and slow motion that no matter how cool they have the potential to be, you're just praying for them to be over so the film can at least return to normal speed & viewpoint.
The undead also take a second place seat to everything else in the film and feature, if I recall correctly, in just two sequences - yet some how manage to have more charisma than Wentworth Miller, who is particularly wooden. A character from the fifth game arrives unannounced and takes part in a ridiculous action sequence, that is again overshadowed by gimmickry and slow motion. Anderson simply has no idea how to construct an action sequence, create tension or inject any characteristics into his cast. A finale aboard a boat does little to redeem the film and the wrap up yet again completely misses the point but rest assured, a fifth film is an easy jump off.
Anderson is now eight films into a career. At some point earlier you'd have thought he'd have learnt to frame action or have at least one memorable set piece in each film (well, memorable for the right reasons). Instead he relies on very loud heavy metal, slow motion and cliché, having moved on very little from his second film, Mortal Kombat. But at least that was entertaining. I think what annoys me the most is that in the right hands, the Resident Evil franchise has great potential. For once, I'm happy to call for a reboot of a franchise with an entire new cast & crew.