As a franchise grows, some people get tired of it. They feel like it is the same old story, so it is up to the franchise to keep people interested. For Resident Evil, they tried to keep people interested by making it in 3D (I saw it in IMAX 3D). So did 3D save the Resident Evil franchise?
The story picks off not long after where part 3 ended. Alice leads an attack on Umbrella headquarters in Tokyo, and confronts Wesker. Not long after this encounter, she goes on journey to find her friends that flew to Arcadia. Her journey leads her down the west coast of the U.S., where she finds some survivors, and the infected. With a little help, she squares off with zombies, and mutants before landing in the middle of the Umbrella Corporation’s latest experiment.
This movie is greatly dictated by 3D. I don’t know if it is because of IMAX, or that they did such a good job, but that is probably the best 3D movie I have seen to date. Admittedly, it did take a few minutes for my eyes to adjust, but after that, it is well worth it. Did they do anything revolutionary? No, but it didn’t feel like there were any cheap tricks. It stuck to the usual blood splattering, and bullets flying at you. What made it so good is that it was crisp, and within the flow of the movie. What I mean is that the transition between 2D to 3D was smooth unlike My Bloody Valentine 3D, for example. In that movie, you could tell when they mixed the 3D in with 2D, which ruined some of the good things they were trying to do. There wasn’t a smooth transition between the two ways the movies was filmed.
3D also has another effect on this movie. Besides the opening sequence, it feels as if the other action scenes were a little short. Maybe it is me wanting more, but if you really look at the scenes, I think you might feel they were a little short as well. What is the reason for this? My guess is that they spent the money on the 3D instead of drawn out action scenes. Take the scene where Alice and Claire face off against the giant mutant with that hammer like device. Watch it carefully, and tell me what really happens. With what is supposed to be such an opposing foe, the fight actually doesn’t last long. What saves the scene in this instance is the 3D effect of the hammer swinging at you. It probably makes you feel more scared than Alice and Claire.
What makes those scenes feel longer is how they slow down certain moments, even stopping for a few seconds. In that same scene, you see Claire stop, and kneel down on a knee. They really milk the dramatic effect when they do this. It also kind of feels like you are playing the video game. It's as if the game switches from live action play to video footage. There is that pause before you get back to controlling the action. They do the slow motion thing throughout the movie so be prepared.
When I sit down to watch Resident Evil, what I look forward to is watching Alice kick major ass! At the end of part 3, we are left with the possibility of having an army of Alice’s' kicking ass, and that is what we get at the beginning of part 4. In one of the better scenes of the movie, the Alice clone army attacks the Umbrella Corporation’s headquarters in Tokyo. The scene welcomes you to the type of 3D action you get for the rest of the movie. There are a lot of slow motion bullets flying, along with slow motion shots of Alice clones falling to different levels of the complex. One of my favorite ways Alice kills is with the use of her two swords, which we also get in this scene. Speaking of the swords, it is somewhat disappointing that she doesn’t use them more. Once again, 3D dictates the movie. It feels like they lean towards using guns in this movie more than swords, as in part 3. Maybe it is me, but I was hoping to see more action than we actually got.
So whose ass did Alice kick? Well, there are the usual Umbrella soldiers, but they are basically easy pickings for her. Then, there are the nasty mutants whose mouths split apart. It is always fun when they pop up because their mouths always open just in time to taste a bullet, or sword. There is the giant I already mentioned, but his weapon turns out to be more impressive than him. One of my favorite creatures turns out to be the dogs. There are two mutant dogs that don’t appear to be anything special. That is until they make their move on Alice, and their heads split apart. They are definitely a whole new breed of dog. I can’t forget to mention the zombies. At one point, Alice ends up at a prison that is surrounded by thousands of zombies just waiting to break through the gates. There is nothing special about them, but I have to bring them up because you get such a good look at them thanks in part to the 3D. I don’t remember getting such a clear image of zombies. Some of them look cool, but others easily give away their fake appearance. Also, Alice has a run in with her nemesis Wesker, who has an interesting special ability that I will leave for you to witness.
There were a few things that happened that were questionable. One of them is during the opening scene of the movie. Two Alice clones are running away from Umbrella soldiers while firing at them. They jump through a window, but continue to fire up from where they just came from. Who exactly are they firing at? The soldiers were a distance from them, and I don’t remember them chasing the clones. Also during that scene, some of the clones look somewhat stiff. They don’t seem to have natural movement, which gives away the CGI effects. Then there is the plane Alice flies from place to place. There is one landing that I am not all that convinced could have taken place. And again I bring up the giant. Why is it that he appears so big and strong, yet has to continuously hammer away at the prison gate? With the help of the zombies, you would think they would spring it open faster. It isn’t like the police car that they push towards the gate is actually preventing it from opening. Probably the biggest question I have is why does it appear that Luther is an important character? Is he someone from the game that I just don’t know about? Before I wrap this up, here is a tip for you. When the ending credits start rolling, stay seated for a second. There is another short clip that pops up. It is nothing special, but I thought you should know because I almost missed it.
So did 3D save the Resident Evil franchise? I would say it would be hard to watch part 5 without it (yes I dare mention a 5th part). 3D definitely takes over the Resident Evil franchise in a way that may make it hard to turn back from. The 3D helps create crisp images, and fluid movie sequences. On the other hand, 3D appears to be the reason behind shorting the action scenes, and the way in which the action plays out. Whether it is in 3D or not, I can’t seem to get enough of watching Alice kick ass. I give this movie 3 pools of blood based largely on my IMAX 3D experience.