Aster’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m trying not to immediately compare it to other Anderson RE films and just let it be, but I can’t help it and I don’t know if I’m as into this as I am Afterlife and Retribution. But this baby’s got moves.
Three initial thoughts:
1. Less about the logic of video games and more interested in giving visual style to Anderson’s philosophy of change, transformation, mutation, and adaptation. Everything is constantly moving in relation to the independent movements of everything else: characters, bodies, their allegiances, politics, the literal landscapes and environs, and the sociological terrain. Nothing stands still. This movement—this mutation—is neither good or bad. It is simply the most basic fundamental of existence. Umbrella sets something in motion, that something has its own unique trajectories that then feedback into Umbrellas response, which continues to effect even more unique responses from its actors. There is no beginning and no end. There isn’t even a continual middle. There are forces at play, both physical and ephemeral, like greed, power, and of course love.
2. Less about artifice and simulacra and more invested in how the real and the authentic (a problematic term I despise but need at the moment) are distributed across multiple proliferating mutations. Anderson’s RE films raise the question of the post-human through engaging transformations of the body and the consciousness, displacing it, changing it through invasive corporate and militaristic interventions, but then not condemning these transformations. Alice is never just a clone (nor is Dr. Isaacs). Each variation is a unique composition with its own limits and parameters, each of which can be challenged, resisted, and changed. A trinity of bitches, indeed.
3. Anderson’s relationship to montage is different here. Could be the presence of Doobie White on the cutting board. Time and space constantly folding in on each other. If Jacques Aumont is correct, which I believe he is, that all editing is trauma that filmmakers either attempt to dull or exacerbate, Anderson is definitely in the latter here. Its sequences displace the image—by which I mean the individual composition—and subsume it into flowing passages of emotion. Anderson was already doing this, but something distinct emerges here. The feeling is the anchoring logic of the sequence and man, I fucking dig that.