The Resident Evil franchise is a series I nearly gave up on had it not been for my friend Susan’s advice back to me in 2008. You see, quite honestly, I take my films very seriously and well, Resident Evil movies just didn’t cut it for me in that department. I was just not able to take the lunacy, stupidity and over-the-top nature of them. Resident Evil: Extinction was that final nail in the coffin. I liked the first film, hated the second outing and just thought the third one was okay. But what was really wrong with me? I’ll tell you what it was…I forgot how to have fun in life. I forgot how to not be serious all the time. I mean after all, I liked Crank, so what was my deal? Susan opened my eyes up to this world as she encouraged me to take a closer look at these films and to see them how her husband views them…purely as nonsensical entertainment. I embraced Susan’s encouraging words and took the leap of faith. The Blu-ray trilogy set eventually became my Valentine’s Day gift in 2008 (isn’t that sweet?) and I never looked back. I found a way to appreciate these films and have fun with them while looking past everything else (I’m not perfect). Thanks Susan!
This Paul W.S. Anderson film, fourth in the Resident Evil franchise, takes place four years after the events in Extinction. It stars the familiar faces of his wife Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter and Prison Break star, newcomer Wentworth Miller (Michael Scofield yo!). The action is relentless right from the start as Alice (Milla) and her army (clones of herself) invade and topple the evil Umbrella Corporation’s underground headquarters in Tokyo. I’m going out on a limb here and I’m assuming everyone reading this review is at least familiar with the first three films. If you remember anything about the third film in the series, then you should at least remember how it ended. Right? Well just in case you need a swift kick to the you know what, let me jar your memory cells real quick. Alice had just found all the clones made in her likeness, discovered her new magical powers and vowed to topple Umbrella’s underground Tokyo fortress. Hence, how this film started. Alright, now that we are all acquainted here, let’s move on.
It should be also noted, unless I’m mistaken, the Resident Evil films are the most successful movies to ever be adapted from a video game franchise. While the first three don’t follow any strict video game storylines, elements from the Resident Evil 5 game have been incorporated into this film. So anyway, after Alice successfully brings down the Tokyo headquarters, she is presented with her first major dilemma in this film. She loses all those supernatural and incredible powers she has. Arch enemy Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) successfully kills all the T-virus cells that gives Alice her strength, speed, agility and any other miscellaneous abilities she has yet to fully discover, thus effectively rendering Alice as human as you or I. Sucks for Alice, huh?
So here’s where the meat and potatoes of our story really begins. Things get to look a bit dismal for Alice as she ventures to Alaska to find her friend Claire Redfield (Larter) and the other survivors (you need to have seen Extinction to understand why she is here) who were all promised a better way of life following a beacon to a mythical place referred to as Arcadia. Upon arrival she finds nothing but desolate and barren land void of any signs of life. What happened to everybody? Well I’m glad you asked that. Maybe Claire can shed some light on the matter. So here we go, reunited and ah…it feels so good. The two best buds venture out looking for any signs of survivors and of course, kicking zombie a$$ every chance they get. This ladies and gentlemen is the setup for Resident Evil: Afterlife. Proceed with caution, as you never know when you might need to draw your pistol to take out an infected T-virus zombie.
The Resident Evil films, as I come to know, understand and love them, need to be taken with a grain of salt. If you try to take them too seriously, then you end up messed up like I was in life. Not messed up in a bad way, but messed up because I did not know how to have fun with these movies. It’s like Fight Club. You know how they say you are truly not free until you lost everything? Lose everything here. Leave all your cares outside. Sit down with these films and enjoy them like they were meant to be. They have the ability to become quite the guilty pleasure if you choose to let them. Lose yourself in the moment, Eminem, and enjoy life. See. Don’t you feel better now?
Say what you want about Afterlife, it’s pure eye candy with a pretty weak, poorly written storyline, but it’s the visuals and fun had within that keep me coming back for more torture here. You won’t see me give anyone of these Resident Evil films a score above 2.5, but you will hear me admit to somewhat liking them at least. So besides the a$$-kicking good time you will have with this 96-minute flick, let’s peer under the microscope and see how this now 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Sony’s Resident Evil: Afterlife really looks under the hood. You ready?
The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Resident Evil: Afterlife. The Blu-ray presentation was previously reviewed by yours truly right here.
- Encoding: HEVC / H.265
- Resolution: 4K (2160p)
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Clarity/Detail: This 4K UHD presentation is a serious step above its already superior Blu-ray counterpart. Onscreen events, characters and environments are all crystal clear with the utmost of sharpness and fine detail found prominently throughout. From individual beads of rain and shower water to the highly visible pores and moles on the characters’ skin everything looks chiseled and razor sharp. Now I know what you’re thinking. Sure there’s a lot of CGI to contend with throughout here, but truth be told it never once hampered my appreciation of the finer visuals in this one. This one is purdy.
- Depth: Despite the darkness at times I have to say the depth of field in this one is simply amazing. Sure there’s nice pretty, sweeping landscapes in the beginning to commend here, but it’s the three-dimensional pop of the characters against their environments that are truly riveting to behold. Some of the most unbelievable scenes are when the characters are placed against a white sterile environment. It’s just beyond words incredible all the which was they pop.
- Black Levels: The black levels are all insanely deep and inky throughout too. It’s like a vivid comic book brought to life, but better because it’s real people (just wish the movie wasn’t a chore to sit through). The HDR makes things look spectacular throughout here too. Just take the dark scenes lit by only wavering torches as proof of my sentiments.
- Color Reproduction: The color palette here is rich, vibrant and bodacious throughout despite it being a zombie film, which you would ordinarily expect to look bleak and post apocalyptic. The red in blood pops like Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings.” Still one of my favorite scenes from this film in this 4K presentation is the blinding brightness upon the onset of the Arcadia vessel. It makes you feel like you are personally experiencing the light. You hear that Elizabeth? I’m coming to join you!
- Flesh Tones: The temperatures of the skin tones all look natural and authentic throughout despite the intentionally tweaked colors at times. Skin on characters just simply looks natural, especially in the showers. Ha ha. That’s the best way I can put it.
- Noise/Artifacts: Other than some very minor source noise, which is hardly visible, there’s absolutely nothing to ding this print for in the way of anything unfavorable (besides the film’s plot itself).
Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Resident Evil: Afterlife. Lionsgate did not skimp in the audio department here. The Blu-ray presentation was previously reviewed by yours truly right here.
- Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), English Audio Description Track & Catalan, Czech, French (Quebec), Hungarian, Italian, Polish VO, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish (Castilian) and Spanish (Latin American) 5.1 Dolby Digital
- Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese (Simplified & Traditional), Czech, Danish, Estonian, French, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian,Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Classic), Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin America), Swedish
- Dynamics: If the 4K UHD video presentation does not blow you away, then Afterlife’s audio most definitely will. Wow! This is one hell of a wake the dead a$$-kicking audio experience reckoning to be had. Your surround sound system will be sore for days after the workout it will receive here. The main entrée here is a whopping helping of pasta thrown down on your plate at an Italian grandmother’s house. It will wreck you…in a very good way. Best thing about it is you still don’t miss a spoken word. However, let’s be honest with ourselves here. What do you need to hear the wooden dialogue for in a Resident Evil film? Ha ha.
- Height: Here’s where things get super impressive with the Dolby Atmosphere track and the heightened support it provides throughout here. while watching I got tired of writing so many examples down of how it’s used throughout here. I’ll list what I have though and Atmos moments include, but not limited to the following: falling glass, ascending down elevator shafts, firing guns upwards, many explosions, helicopters, an airplane, fire flames sizzling, birds and so much more.
- Low Frequency Extension: The techno beats pound hard and viciously throughout. I didnt think my center channel would survive the beating. The LFE channel will rock your house hard here. Take all the good paintings and valuable framings off the walls before spinning this 4K disc. You can thank me later. The aggressive strength of the LFE channel kicks into overdrive with this score, endless action moments and that executioner and his big a$$ axe. You could literally feel the weight of that axe as he dragged it across the floor. It’s simply amazing in a Pacific Rim kind of way!
- Surround Sound Presentation: Glass, carnage and debris explode all around you as you duck trying not to get hit by any stray bullets. I think I actually felt cold air blow on me several times when Tokyo falls down. LOL. But seriously from the many effects, throwing stars, guns cocking and explosions to the chopper blades swirling, destruction of endless onscreen environments, rocks crumbling and let’s not forget the hordes of undead the rear channels of this 4K presentation never cease to amaze. I love them and yes I’d consider this surround track as reference.
- Dialogue Reproduction: The spoken dialogue is all loud, clear and intelligible throughout the presentation. Despite all the zany chaos and lunacy of everything going down you’ll never miss a spoken word here.
On the back of the box, the Special Features for the Resident Evil: Afterlife 4K UHD set don’t look like much, but didn’t your momma ever tell you not to judge a book by its cover? Don’t worry. Mine didn’t either. But honestly, when you pull back the layers here in this 4K Ultra HD set there’s really more than meets the eye (I borrowed that line from somewhere…I just know…LOL). And thankfully, since you are watching the Blu-ray format, ALL the Special Features are in HD on the included Blu-ray disc, which also houses the feature presentation too. Thank the Gods! Check out all the goodies you will find on the Blu-ray disc below. Don’t forget there’s also an UltraViolet redeemable movie code, but the only way to watch it in 4K would be through Sony’s proprietary UHD streaming service (just an FYI).
- Undead Vision: Picture-in-Picture (HD, 1:36) – It’s always nice to see and hear Milla talking to me while watching Resident Evil: Afterlife. What more can a guy ask for? While the film plays there is a little window in the lower right hand side of the screen. Paul W.S. Anderson talks about how advantageous it is being the writer of the film because he gets a lot of extra pre-production time that most ordinary directors never get. Brilliant man! There’s no question about it. If you are a fan of the film, then you must watch this! Love it!
- Commentary with Writer/Director Paul W.S. Anderson, Producer Jeremy Bolt and Producer Robert Kulzer – Do you really need to ask me what happens here? LOL.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD, 6:48) – There are a total of eight scenes here all in glorious HD! If you like these kind of treasures, what more could you ever ask for? There’s also a choice to Play All.
- Outtakes (HD, 4:30) – These are always my favorites in these kind of nonsensical movies! It looks like a fun time on the set! It was funny to watch them toss and catch their guns. And there’s always my favorite, the shower scene.
- Featurettes (HD, 47:33) – There are a total of seven featurettes in all here: “Back Under the Umbrella: Directing Afterlife,” “Band of Survivors: Casting Afterlife,” “Undead Dimension: Resident Evil in 3D,” “Fighting Back: The Action of Afterlife,” “Vision of the Apocalypse: The Design of Afterlife,” “New Blood: The Undead of Afterlife” and “Pwning the Undead: Gamers of the Afterlife.” There’s of course, a choice to Play All. Interestingly enough, this was Paul W.S. Anderson’s favorite movie making experience of them all. Don’t all Directors say this? But seriously, it was cool to learn how he became involved with the Resident Evil franchise. There’s some really good stuff to be found here!
- Sneak Peek of Resident Evil: Damnation (HD, 1:10) – Turn your volume down here. Seriously! The audio is insanely loud! This is a preview for the new original CG motion picture.
As you prepare for the onslaught in your lliving room that only Resident Evil: Afterlife on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format can deliver, let’s recap all the highlights as to why your going to click the link below and order this title. First there’s Milla and Ali. There are zombies. Did I already mention Milla and Ali? Oh wait! Did I mention how good Milla and Ali look here kicking zombie a$$ everywhere they go? Well I did now! And if that’s not enough, how about that bombastic Dolby Atmos audio? What? You can’t hear me? No need to turn it up, Afterlife will melt and push all that earwax right out. And oh yeah, do you want some HD Resident Evil: Afterlife goodies? Then look no further than in the Special Features department here. As you can clearly see, there are many reasons why you should be bring home Resident Evil: Afterlife on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Make us proud. Support our anti-zombie troops. Order today!
Alice Blows More Stuff Up
in Resident Evil: Afterlife
on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray