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Film / Resident Evil: Afterlife

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Milla Jovovich Is About T... no wait she already is...

"This is borderline experimental!"
Jay Bauman of RedLetterMedia

Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth installment in the Resident Evil Film Series. It was written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who took the director's chair for the first time since the 2002 film. Afterlife takes place four years after the global T-Virus outbreak as described in Extinction. In a desperate attempt to destroy Umbrella once and for all, Alice (Milla Jovovich) carries out a large-scale assault on the corporation's Tokyo headquaters. Alice's assault leaves her without the T-Virus in her system, but also finishes off the larger remnants of Umbrella and leaves chairman Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) for dead.

Six months after her Tokyo assault, Alice heads to Alaska to look for Arcadia, the supposed safe haven from the T-Virus where several other survivors had headed. Alice finds an amnesiac Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) while in Alaska, but neither of them find any sign of Arcadia, so the two fly along the coast to look for another safe haven. When they reach Los Angeles, Alice and Claire find more survivors and a few unexpected surprises — including the origin of the Arcadia message...

The film also stars Kim Coates as Bennett Sinclair, Sergio Peris-Mencheta as Angel Ortiz, Spencer Locke as K-Mart, Boris Kodjoe as Luther West and Wentworth Miller as Chris Redfield.

Resident Evil: Afterlife contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Alice uses quarters for her sawed-off shotguns; the effect is used chiefly to show off the 3D effects, but the ammo doubles as a rather good caliber.
  • Action Girl: Alice and Claire are very capable fighters.
  • Actor Allusion: Alice meets a man locked in a special jail cell; he claims he isn't really a criminal and says he knows a way out of the prison. The man is Chris Redfield, and the actor playing him is Wentworth Miller — who played Michael Scofield on Prison Break.
  • Artistic License Geography: The coordinates Alice gives for her locations in Alaska are a bit off. Her first entry is okay, as 58N by 134W puts her above southeastern Alaska, where Arcadia is supposed to be. When she actually reaches the supposed safe haven, she's met with an open field of abandoned aircraft and a lonely beach. Find the coordinates (61.13Ns, -149.54W) on a map, however, puts her on a beach in Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska and one of the only places in the state that can't be called "remote".
  • Artistic License Nuclear Physics: The bomb that destroys the Umbrella HQ is depicted as some weird swirling explosion that manages to not only suck cars in, but manages to rip buildings apart piece by piece and leave a gigantic open pit mine style crater several miles wide, and the explosion just suddenly cuts out as if a switch was flipped. Not to mention the bomb casing is somehow so light it can be carried by a person. Unless it is some fictional Umbrella-made "super bomb" that isn't nuclear, normal nuclear weapons do not detonate as shown.
  • Asshole Victim: Bennett is a self-centered dick who kills Ángel, leaves the others to die, and joins forces with Wesker just to stay alive. Wesker devouring him alive was all too well deserved.
  • Badass Boast: Wesker delivers a particularly awesome one to Alice, after she gloats about Chris and Claire showing up:
    Alice: I told you I'd be bringing a few friends.
    Wesker: You should have brought more.
  • Badass Bystander: The final mook in the opening fight picking up a second assault rifle and goes Guns Akimbo on the Alice clone. Sure he lasts only a few seconds longer than his colleagues but he died like a badass.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wesker.
  • Badass Normal: Even when deprived of her powers, Alice kicks all sorts of ass. Chris, Claire, and Luther have no powers either and manage to kick a fair amount of ass.
  • Bag of Spilling: Alice and Chris only take a single bag full of weapons with them, and they're either Throwaway Guns or dropped with explosives for some reason.
  • Bald of Authority: Luther West seems to serve as the de facto leader of the survivors and is bald.
  • Battle in the Rain: Though it's indoors, Alice and Claire's fight with the Executioner falls under this trope, thanks to the sprinkler systems.
  • Big Bad: Wesker takes centre stage in this film after serving as the Greater-Scope Villain of Extinction.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Alice's Russian coat in the beginning of the film says АРМИЯ, which means "Army."
  • Black Dude Dies First: Toyed with, but ultimately subverted - Luther makes it out alive after seemingly being killed earlier.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Alice, Claire, and Chris defeat Wesker and free the prisoners in the Arcadia — then watch a squadron of Umbrella troops led by a mind-controlled Jill Valentine descend upon them.
  • Book Ends: The message for any survivors to come to Arcadia falls under this.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Despite being based on Resident Evil, the film employs this in heavy doses:
    • Revolvers are used frequently throughout the film, but the only time anyone is ever seen reloading them is when Alice and Chris are in the armory.
    • Played with a bit in that guns can be emptied of bullets. However, everyone just tosses them and gets new ones out of the bottomless bags from the armory, except for Alice's dual shotguns, which are only fired once per gun per action sequence anyway.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Claire is briefly stuck in such state until Alice frees her in the beginning. This is also revealed to be the reason Jill is working for Umbrella.
  • Brick Joke: Luther, one of the prison refugees, appears to die during the escape — but at the end, he's still alive and none the worse for wear.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Wesker cures Alice's T-Virus infection at the start of the film.
  • Bullet Time: Usually when a "boss" appears.
  • Cat Scare: Claire shrieks when she's crawling through the tunnels and suddenly meets Luther. Earlier, Alice hears a sound when she's about to take a shower, only to find someone trying to perve on her. Then Majini attack anyway.
  • Celebrity Survivor:
    • Luther, a former pro basketball player, is one of these. A faded billboard of Luther shilling fancy watches can be seen from atop the building where Alice lands.
    • Bennett and Crystal qualify, since they were a movie producer and a struggling actress, respectively, before the T-Virus outbreak. Luther and Crystal hate Bennett, who thinks he still has privileges due to his pre-outbreak status in Hollywood.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Alice's quarters aren't for arcade games.
    • The nuclear device Wesker detonates at the start of the film isn't the only one Umbrella made.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The mentions of K-Mart and Chris are this, even if the latter has a large part in the film.
  • Demoted to Extra: Unless their name is "Alice" or "Claire", any of the film's major canon characters (who are still alive, anyway) end up in this role.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: The Executioner and the Majini appear out of nowhere, although it's subtly implied Wesker is responsible for them. Nobody is the least bit curious where a ten-foot-tall zombie thing that can use an axe came from.
  • Disconnected by Death: Wesker asks a guard on his monitor if he's seen anything. The guard tells him all is quiet before spewing blood and then his image cuts out.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Umbrella loves these things.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • Alice rarely settles for a single gun.
    • The above-mentioned mook wielding two assault rifles against a Alice clone.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: It is not possible to use quarters as a substitute for shotgun ammo. The bore of a 12-gauge shotgun is 0.729 inches; a US quarter is 0.955 inches. Using coins as shot is also hugely impractical and dangerous; they would do little damage against anything and it risks causing a catastrophic failure and damage to the gun and shooter.
  • Helicopter Blender: Bennett does this unintentionally with Alice's propeller airplane.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: This isn't for zombies anymore. Regenerating from the huge explosion at the beginning of the film caused an imbalance in Wesker's T-Virus mutation. The imbalance forces Wesker to regularly ingest "fresh DNA" to maintain the balance — in other words, he needs to eat people to stay human. Emphasized in that his mutations seem to intensify with each otherwise-lethal blow he sustains during the final fight. It's kind of scary to imagine what state he was in when he ate Bennett to restore the balance.
  • Implacable Man: The Executioner.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: Raccoon City is destroyed by missile strike to purge the infection (and cover up the evidence). In the fourth film, Umbrella's corporate headquarters in Tokyo is consumed in an expanding plasma fireball to contain an infestation of Alice clones.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Kim receives one due to him reluctantly helping Bennett and hesitating jumping into the sewer during the escape. He gets vivisected by the Executioner.
    • Bennett receives one courtesy of Wesker.
  • Lamprey Mouth: Wesker acquires a retractable one after the T-Virus begins overpowering him.
  • Large Ham: Wesker is one here, but he's nowhere near the level of RE 5's Wesker.
  • The Load: Bennett is too arrogant and Kim is too cowardly to do anything useful.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Even after losing her powers and being Brought Down to Normal, Alice is still able to walk away from a massive VTOL crash-explosion and suffer a brief bout of unconsciousness after getting smashed across the room with a giant hammer. Additionally, she quickly shrugs off being impaled through the wrist by a large blade during the fight with Wesker on the Arcadia.
    • Wesker is a villainous version, given that he manages to recover and casually walk away from damage that action movie convention dictates should be enough to kill any other supervillain, right up to having a good chunk of his head blown off and having his corpse riddled with bullets by the heroes just to make absolutely sure.
  • Meaningful Name: The refuge Alice and her friends are looking for is called Arcadia. When Alice finds the diary, there is a sentence in Latin scrawled on top of the page with the supposed location of Arcadia. It starts with "Et in Arc-". The complete sentence could be Et in Arcadia Ego, a sentence which has many meanings. One meaning is a memento mori, and if this meaning is used, the sentence translates to something Death says: "Even in Arcadia/Paradise, I am there."
  • Mythology Gag: Much like in the games, Wesker is granted superpowers from a virus but it is rather difficult for him to control it and if not properly control, it would kill him.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Wesker, of course.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Wesker gives one of these to Alice..
  • No Kill like Overkill: The bomb Wesker uses to wipe out the Umbrella facility leaves very little doubt as to what happened to Alice's clones. Wesker is badass enough to survive his own nuking.
  • Not a Zombie: Claire's initial frenzied attack on Alice; she's filthy and has Barbarian Long Hair in contrast to the usually immaculate post-apocalypse look of female characters. It's not till Alice knocks her out (damaging the mind control spider) that she realises who Claire is.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Luther manages to survive being ambushed in the tunnels.
  • Oh, Crap!: A nonverbal but apparent one when Wesker sees the nuke he just activated to blow up the base he's escaping is actually on board his escape craft.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Alice's hands tremble slightly the first time she draws her Hand Cannon Guns Akimbo; having been Brought Down to Normal, she's bound to lack some confidence even though she's a Badass Normal.
  • Out of Character:
    • Chris is much more like Billy Coen (quiet, refuses to tell anyone why he's imprisoned, insists you help him and that he'll return the favor after, gives an air of "murderer" than "super cop"), and is less lampshade-y than his Resident Evil 5 incarnation.
    • Wesker, in a weird inversion. It fits his earlier, quieter incarnations than his Large Ham self in Resident Evil 5. Even while he's gloating, he never raises his voice above a conversational tone or is completely smug about his plans. He also needs to eat people to keep his upgrade in check, as opposed to giving himself regular shots.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Wesker outflies the massive detonation that destroys Umbrella's Tokyo base and much of the city above it. This is subverted at the end, when he tries to play this straight outrunning a similar detonation on the Arcadia, only to realize (too late) that Alice's group had moved the bomb onto his own escape vehicle.
  • Patient Zero: The memorable opening scene with the J Pop Girl with Thousand-Yard Stare standing in the rain at the Shibuya Scramble Crossing who suddenly chomps on a passing Japanese salaryman, followed by the lights going out across Tokyo and then the rest of the world.
  • The Plot Reaper: A majority of the Los Angeles survivors are killed; they were in the way of the plot.
  • Psycho Prototype: Wesker is implied to be this to Alice.
  • Punny Name: One character described as an excellent swimmer is named "Crystal Waters".
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Wesker. Umbrella's security chief finds this out the hard way when Wesker executes him for not following orders.
  • Remember the New Guy?: At the climax, Wesker appears to know both Chris and Claire despite no indication the characters have any history together in the universe of the films, since Wesker is Chairman of Umbrella and Chris is ex-army rather than S.T.A.R.S.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Umbrella minions aboard the Arcadia jump ship when they learn their boss is eating people.
  • Sequel Hook: There's one for Retribution. Jill, in her battlesuit, is leading a squadron of Umbrella VTOLs towards the Arcadia. A parachute can also be seen opening in the distance in the movie's obligatory Disney Death revelation involving Wesker.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The franchise name in Japan is Biohazard. The first line of the film? "Biohazard terminated." Spoken in Japanese by a Japanese sniper working for Umbrella, no les.
    • There's plenty of these to Resident Evil 5:
      • Alice jumping off an exploding rooftop while holding onto a cable for dear life could be seen as a Die Hard reference.
      • The poster may also reference the "death" of Trinity from The Matrix Reloaded, as Alice is in a similar position to Trinity prior to the latter being shot by an Agent in pursuit of her.
      • The plasma bomb destroying the Tokyo base looks like the opening of AKIRA.
  • Shower Scene: Averted; Luther introduces Alice to the prison shower. The Majini attack before she even gets her clothes off.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The Executioner's designed is the same as his game counterpart.
    • The fight between Wesker, Chris, and Claire recreates moves and camera angles used in a fight scene between Chris, Sheva, and Wesker in Resident Evil 5.
    • The only change to Jill's battlesuit is that it's purple instead of blue, and they decided to go all cleavage initially rather than waiting to show the mind control spider (in the game, she tore open her suit in a brief moment of lucidity to show Chris what he needed to do to help her).
  • Smug Snake: Wesker is wonderfully slimy.
  • The Starscream: Considering what Wesker does with Umbrella in the game series, it's notably averted with Wesker in the film series, as he notably doesn't even attempt to backstab Umbrella for more power. Then again, considering how Wesker was made the chairman and the implied founder of Umbrella in the film adaptations rather than a high-ranking member of Umbrella's researcher division who went rogue, this is probably justified as he doesn't even need to usurp Umbrella for his own agenda, as Umbrella is his agenda.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Wesker.
  • Super-Soldier: Alice, as per the revelation in Extinction. However, Wesker is also revealed to be the same as Alice, and it is strongly implied that Wesker was one long prior to Alice's creation, thus making him a Psycho Prototype.
  • Super-Speed: Wesker.
  • Super-Strength: Wesker.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • At the end of the opening sequence, Alice confronts Wesker while in the VTOL and delivers a Pre-Mortem One-Liner... except when the latter turns the tables on her and eradicates the T-Virus enhancements within her body, he gets off the pilot seat and lays a brutal beatdown to his nemesis. This shows that a) Talking Is a Free Action is rarely if ever a thing and b) without her T-Virus powers, Alice is just a normal human and thus cannot hold a candle to a much stronger Wesker.
    • The only reason Alice survives all that? Turns out that because Wesker was too happy beating the living daylights out of her, he forgot to put his VTOL on auto-pilot. Naturally, the aircraft crashes into a mountain, providing Alice a mean of escape.
    • The group of survivors in the Los Angeles skyscraper do not have good living conditions: a large mass of zombies is constantly besieging the building; they have no electricity and they are pretty lucky they have cold water.
    • At first, the escape plan involves getting to a large APC and using it to escape the garage. But when the group finds the car, they find that it lacks engine; and while the one is lying nearby on a table, Angel admits it will take at least a week for him to install the whole thing properly. Bennett doesn't take this well and kills him.
    • When Bennett tries to highjack Alice's plane to get himself out of the prison rooftop, his attempt goes as bad as one would expect - Bennett is not a pilot, nor does he have any other technical skills unlike Alice. He narrowly avoids crashing down into the zombie horde below by miracle, and when the surviving heroes reach Arcadia, they find the freshly wrecked airplane, showing that Bennett's attempt at landing the thing went just as poorly.
    • Wesker's necessity to consume human DNA in order to keep himself stabilized eventually leads to the whole Arcadia crew abandoning him. In addition, even though Bennett agrees to serve Wesker, the latter has little if any empathy for his subordinates, and Bennett is no exception. As soon as Wesker gets back up from being shot, he promptly kills him.
    • As Alice and her friends find out the hard way, altering the current transmission from Arcadia and broadcasting a new one paints a large target on their backs, as multiple Umbrella VTOL's are seen heading at them at the end of the film.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Nearly all the survivors die one of these, either at the hands of Majini or the Executioner.
  • Sword Drag: Axe drag, actually. The giant Axeman zombie is seen dragging his weapon through the streets. This is less likely to be a scare tactic and more of the fact that it likely weighs somewhere in the realm of 300 pounds. It's a big axe.
  • Sycophantic Servant: In exchange for his survival, Bennett ends up becoming Wesker's willing (and still-self-aware) Majini henchman. Wesker should have picked a better sidekick.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Subverted with Alice and Wesker as they survived several situations that would have killed a normal person.
  • Three-Point Landing: Claire does one after jumping over the Axeman in the showers.
  • Tokyo Fireball: Apparently the real reason for an Umbrella base in Japan is because they were planning on cratering the city.
  • Trailers Always Lie:
    • The poster. The shot of Alice diving out a window firing SMGs doesn't actually occur in the film; instead, it's two Alice clones firing one gun.
    • The fact most trailers show off the army of Alice clones as if they were a major part of the film. They are all killed off in the first five minutes of the film.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: In the building where the survivors are holed up, one of these can be seen in the cafeteria when they're eating.
  • Wall of Weapons: The armory in the prison basement.
  • We Have Reserves: During the attack on Umbrella's Tokyo headquarters, Wesker orders the building's lobby to be flooded with toxic gas while the majority of the Alice clones are there. When the security chief objects on the grounds that several of their own mooks are also in the lobby, Wesker's response is to shoot the security chief in the head at point blank range.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Jill returns in a post-credits scene; she's revealed to be under Umbrella's control thanks to the same mind-controlling device seen on Claire earlier in the film. This is subverted with K-Mart, since she's in cryostasis aboard the Arcadia.
  • You Are Who You Eat: Wesker needs fresh human DNA to keep his T-Virus mutation at bay.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Considering the setting, obviously.