RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE: What this Horror Franchise Movie did Wrong

Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Shotguns

I watched Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Resident Evil: Afterlife starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, and Wentworth Miller. Most of what the viewer was expecting from this horror franchise film is what they received. There are many things that the Resident Evil horror film series has done right: (initially) evolving lead character, moderately effective rock-and-roll score, Rated R violence, and an interesting – though severely flawed – plot. The plot was always nonsensical with massive plot holes, cop-outs, and was never scary in the slightest. What was surprising was that some of the things that the series did right were not mentioned in Resident Evil: Afterlife. If some were carried over from Resident Evil: Extinction to Resident Evil: Afterlife, they were dropped within the first fifteen minutes of the film. It wasn’t all bad though. I did like when Albert Wesker (Jason O’Mara) was approaching the the plane bleeding after the Tokyo facility attack. That was a well-shot scene and seemed like a segment from a far greater film outside of the Resident Evil universe. The other *begin spoiler* was the Resident Evil: Afterlife: Jill Valentine Sienna Miller scene *end spoiler*.

Here is a comprehensive list of what went wrong with Resident Evil: Afterlife:

Clone Death

All the Alice (Milla Jovovich) clones were killed at the beginning of the film.

The Powers

All of Alice’s “powers” got taken away at the beginning of the film. What a cop-out and lack of writing prowess this script decision was by Paul W.S. Anderson. If Alice retained her powers, she would have been in virtually no danger from the enemies present in the film and something different and far more powerful would have had to have been her adversary in this film. This decision was a house cleaning, wiping the slate clean like David Fincher did at the beginning of Aliens 3. My question is: Why build Alice Abernathy up in that way if you did not know where to take it or her? Her escalating powers made her unique – a Firestarter if you will – in a zombie horror film. By taking her powers away, Anderson made her character less interesting.

The Logic Needle

Why didn’t Albert Wesker take Alice’s powers away and poison her coterminous with the same potion? Why go through the “recall” speech, which inadvertently was one of the better sections of dialogue in the film, and try to shot her afterward instead of that quick and easy approach?

Jason O'Mara, Resident Evil: Afterlife

My guess is that Anderson felt the audience had come on a journey with Alice and should continue with her, the original Alice, instead of a clone or the clones. I can understand this common writer’s logic but it was a non-forward thinking decision. It would have been far more interesting with multiple Alices in the series from that point on, each one trying to stake their own claim on a separate identity instead of the communal one they were born into.

The Trip Abroad

How did Alice get the clones to Toyko, Japan in that apocalyptic world?  If they flew, wouldn’t Umbrella’s satellites have detected a plane or helicopter? They did later in the film. Big inconsistency.

The Goram Plane Crash

How did Alice survive the Wesker plane crash at the beginning of the film…without a scratch? She had her powers taken away i.e. no Wolverine-like healing factor. She was not strapped into a seat and went flying forward when the plane hit. How is that possible? That’s not even possible in a comic book. The plane suddenly stopped yet everything in the plane not strapped down continued forward at that speed. How could she survive that (with nothing broken no less)? Then in the next scene, she’s flying some other plane with no scabs, scarring on her face or neck of any kind yet is wearing make-up. Why? For the audience?

Why didn’t Wesker put the plane on auto-pilot after injecting Alice, before giving the “recall” speech? Planes do not fly themselves unless programmed and instructed to. Did he seriously forget he was the only one flying the plane? This was an severely asinine plot point by Anderson.

Ogre Champion

What is that giant in the film? How does that exist? Where did it come from? There is no human on the planet nine and half feet tall.

Salon Factor

As was mentioned in part under The Goram Plane Crash, why is the female cast of Resident Evil: Afterlife wearing make-up e.g. lip stick and how is their hair perfectly conditioned and styled? This is extreme nitpicking but that does not make it untrue. I know Resident Evil has always and will always be nonsensical popcorn-fare. This is what Screen Gems and Davis-Films want. I guess some beauty parlors and make-up shops never close, not even after a zombie apocalypse.

Body Armor

Body armor is either not worn or does not work in the film e.g. the Umbrella security guards. Bullets strike their chests and kill them. Why don’t the Alice clones wear any body armor at the beginning of the film? Wouldn’t it be prudent to protect your life as much as possible going into a dangerous situation?

More Gripes

Why does Alice’s plane never run out of gas yet is flying all over the world it seems?

How does Alice recharge her camcorder?

The amount of torches and their placement in the prison are completely ridiculous. Come on. Seventy or Eighty of them it seems. Thirty feet off the ground? Their going to go through all of that extraordinary effort (like this article) to light a single room? Please.

How does Alice know what plane Wesker will choose to escape the Tokyo facility in?

How do the people garbed in white in those tubes at the end of the film eat, drink and re-leave themselves? No tubes were hooked up to their mouths so they could eat or to their privates so they could excrete.

Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil: Afterlife

The Absence of The Queen

The A.I., Red Queen (Michaela Dicker) – nor its later incarnation White Queen (Madeline Carroll) – are present in the film. I was very happy that the A.I. was upgraded in the third Resident Evil film from the first film. The viewer was presented with a cleaner hologram in Resident Evil: Extinction and it made sense.

Madeline Carroll, Resident Evil: Extinction

All of that was dropped in the Resident Evil: Afterlife. White Queen could have been present in the Tokyo Umbrella facility at the beginning of the film and on the ship at the end of the film. This was another unfortunate story decision by Paul W.S. Anderson. It would have been good for continuity between all of the films. That’s why the original Alice has been kept alive all this time, hasn’t it?

In Conclusion

Before anyone says anything, I know I analyzed and scrutinized this popcorn horror film far more closely than the film deserves, than the person that wrote it, and the team that read the shooting draft of the script and green-lit it. I’m well aware of these facts. I may even have too much time on my hands. These are all entirely possible. What is also true is that this horror film franchise continuously wastes the vast resources put into it, the talent bestowed upon it, and its intrinsic potential.


About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

  • I wish you would write more editorials like this one. I enjoyed it.

    Gramatically, there is an error in paragraph 4, which has the text “what a cope out…” I think you are going for cop out. Also, if I put on my English literature cap, putting a warning, like the one in your last paragraph, works best in the first. You absolve yourself of some of the responsibility of your critique to readers:)

    Personally, I think that the Ogre is a result of the t-virus. An abnormality.

    I also think that you are right. Taking away her powers in the beginning and killing of the clones is a way of closing out the previous film, too neatly. Nice observation.

    Good read,

  • I thought I caught all the errors. Guess I had gone blind on it by that point. Thanks.

    I would love to write articles like this all the time. Two things: 1.) I have other responsibilities and 2.) a 1200+ word article takes a long time to put together. The drafts, the edits, its time consuming. Its far quickly to publish the latest movie trailer that I find cool. Glad you read and enjoyed it though.

  • Robinsonj69

    this movie sucked

  • Robinsonj69

    all the others were great, and the games even better. but this was very dissapointing

  • I would take the first Resident Evil game for the PS1 over all the films.

  • Guestwhatever

    I did not mind this movie but I do agree that there were so many plot holes that it could, in fact be a piece of swiss cheese. I completely agree with your view on the characters looks being almost allways perfect when such would be unlikely given events. Finally I most certainly agree with your statement about the White Queen. Her unexplained abscence is very odd as her abilities would be invaluable to Alice and her clones although I will say that you appear to believe that the White Queen and Red Queen computers are 1 in the same. This is not the case as the Red queen was destroyed in the 1st movie and while there are some similarites between the 2 the White Queen is a different computer that simply uses the same but more advanced tech. Sorry long winded LOL.

  • FB


    Good point about Red and White Queen but I do not believe I implied they were one and the same. I meant they were pieces of software, like windows.

  • Lsd_357

    haloo evrybody sory for bad english when time frize and camera pas the wesker there is alis and suringe or neadle if you like going towards alis. and she is super human again :))) you need to watch the movie the hole picture noth the F hair

  • The substance in that needle dosen’t imbue powers, its takes them away. So even if that needle was going towards her and stuck her again, it would have no positive effect.

  • Well for the surviving the crash without a scratch and the powers, it took a while so wouldn’t you think the serum to take them would also be slow, so she still them(healing) minutes after Wesker injeting her. Also the Ogre was from the games so they just put it in for the fans and Finally the Queen for the Tokyo facility and ship may exist, remember they were for contamination security and only came on with the initial infection oubreak and when the doctor injected and was testing on himself, so Wesker as head of Umbrela would not want the annoyance in both places he was at because he is also infected and they may try to intervene and stop him.

  • Once Wesker injected her, she instantly lost her strength and her psychic powers. You’re saying she lost those powers but her healing was still in place? Why would that be? The root of all the powers comes from the same place, the same process. The serum counteracted that and destroyed it. They would have all disappeared at the same time or all disappeared slowly at the same time.

    the Ogre shouldn’t have been in the film. His existence made no sense and was never explained.

    ” Finally the Queen for the Tokyo facility and ship may exist, remember they were for contamination security and only came on with the initial infection oubreak and when the doctor injected and was testing on himself, so Wesker as head of Umbrela would not want the annoyance in both places he was at because he is also infected and they may try to intervene and stop him.”

    That is a great point. I never thought of this. The logic behind it is sound. One possible monkey-wrench in it though: Wasn’t Red Queen online before that vile was broken in the first film or did she come instantly online when the outbreak was detected? Doesn’t one of the Umbrella response team members in the first film say Red Queen runs The Hive? If that is true, she was always there, always online, always watching and your sound theory of “only came on with the initial infection outbreak and when the doctor injected and was testing on himself” goes out the window.

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