A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth film in the sci-fi/horror series based on a video game and the first to be presented in 3-D -- which makes the near-constant fantasy violence (fighting, decaptiations, gross monsters, lots of weapons, zombie attacks) even more intense. The strong female hero, Alice, battles both a horde of the mutant zombie creatures and the evil corporation responsible for the outbreak that caused them. Language is infrequent, but "f--k" is used several times. This series continues to grow in popularity, and it's likely that teens will be champing at the bit to see it.
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What's the story?
In RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, Alice (Milla Jovovich) manages to infiltrate the secret underground headquarters of the Corporation. The man in charge, Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), escapes and blows up the entire compound. He also manages to inject Alice with a serum that will destroy her superpowers and make her human again. She resolves to find more survivors, following a rescue signal. She runs into her old friend, Claire (Ali Larter), and then finds a bunch of humans trapped inside an empty prison building in Los Angeles. They discover that the signal is coming from a ship just off the coast, but how can eight humans get out of a building totally surrounded by hordes of the undead? And even if they do, how do they know the ship is really safe?
Is it any good?
Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson -- who returns to the series for the first time since the original film -- this movie has an interesting look and some good, streamlined action sequences. It also has an interesting element in which several humans with opposing points of view come together to battle a greater evil.
Anderson also sets up some interesting potential sub-themes -- such as a collection of Hollywood people hiding out from the zombies, as well as the idea of the evil corporation -- but he fails to really take these anywhere. Any emotional involvement or intelligence is cut down for the benefit of keeping things moving, which, in this kind of movie, is actually a good thing. All in all, Resident Evil: Afterlife is not particularly smart or original, but it's also not all that bad.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Resident Evil: Afterlife. How did it make you feel? Were you scared? Were you grossed out?
Is Alice a strong female role model, or is she a stereotype?
How do the Resident Evil movies compare to the video games they're based on? Which is more entertaining -- the interactive zombie-killing experience, or the passive one?
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