As Earth becomes ever more overrun with the infected hordes, Alice (Jovovich) continues her fight against the Umbrella Corporations evil schemes. This time, the battle goes virtual inside a key Umbrella research facility as old faces from the past for
Though it promises an awful lot – fan favourites returning! Action on a global scale! Free kittens for everyone! (All right, perhaps not the last one) - this latest outing somehow feels like it delivers even less than the last film.
Indeed, the plot beats, such as they are, increasingly seem to be factory tooled, and if the aim was to make the movies appear more like a video game that someone else is playing and enjoying, mission accomplished. Once more we’re treated to a version of Milla Jovovich’s Alice who doesn’t quite know what’s going on, though this time that’s courtesy of a massive lab environment, one that allows rampant, insane computer the Red Queen (here played by a combo of Megan Charpentier in person and Ave Merson-O’Brian’s voice) to dredge up versions of Oded Fehr, Michelle Rodriguez and even Colin Salmon, despite them dying in earlier instalments.
And while the computer-generated environment provides Anderson with the chance to play things even more over the top than usual, it feels like a huge swindle to claim that the action this time “goes global” because it’s all taking place inside a glorified PS3.
Still, Jovovich and co give it their all as usual, with Anderson’s wife/muse permitted some more emotional moments via convenient moppet Becky (Aryana Engineer), a deaf girl Alice is fooled into thinking is her daughter early on. But the overarching plot, continued on from RE: Afterlife with Sienna Guillory’s brainwashed Jill Valentine sent in to capture or terminate our heroine is merely used to justify a load of seen-it-before scraps between the characters as they trade lifeless dialogue.
Others, including Boris Kodjoe and the team sent in to help Alice out, are handed even less to do, merely acting as fodder for wave after wave of simulated zomboids. They include returning creatures such as the Axe Man (who has now brought his twin brother because... well, it’s a sequel and you always have to have more) and the Lickers (which are now huge because... see above.)
It almost seems churlish to wish for more from a franchise that appears increasingly locked into a standard pattern. But more than ever, it feels like time to give it a rest and try something else. Just not more Three Musketeers, please.