Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Explained

An Average Movie-Goer’s Review

Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) explained poster

I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.

Today we’re looking at the 4th installment of Paul W. S. Anderson’s Resident Evil series: 2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife

Alice (Milla Jovovich) continues her fight against Umbrella and searches for her friends with a new group of survivors in Los Angeles

Is Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Scary?

These Resident Evil movies stopped trying to be scary 5 minutes after the start of the series.

All of our Paul W.S. Anderson Resident Evil Explanations/Reviews:

Related Article: Resident Evil (2002) Explained

Related Article: Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) Explained

Related Article: Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) Explained

Related Article: Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Explained

Related Article: Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) Explained

Plot Synopsis:

Last we left Alice (played by Milla Jovovich) she defeated the I-Tyrant which was the bioweapon Umbrella scientist Dr. Isaacs became when he injected himself with multiple shots of the T-virus. She then found hundreds of her clones in an underground research facility and she promised to take down Umbrella by going after Albert Wesker (played by Shawn Roberts in this film), the chairman of Umbrella who is stationed in Tokyo.

Meanwhile the group of survivors she separated from, made their way to Alaska in a helicopter to search for Arcadia, a safe haven that promised a new start in the apocalypse. That group included Claire Redfield (played by Ali Larter) and K-Mart (played by Spencer Locke).

We start off Resident Evil: Apocalypse in a rainy Tokyo where several people are passing by a young woman who is standing in the middle of the street without an umbrella. The woman looks towards a random guy and attacks him. We zoom out and see the world get covered in darkness.

Alice narrates telling us the apocalypse happened and those responsible are hiding underground continuing their experiments with the T-Virus. We zoom back into Tokyo and it’s revealed that the first scene was four years ago. 

Two guards outside the Underground Tokyo Umbrella facility are killed offscreen by something and an alarm blares within the facility. Wesker is told of a breach in the facility as a group of security rush to the elevator to kill the intruder. Unbeknownst to them Alice enters through a vent behind them. She then attacks and kills them using shurikens, katanas, and their own guns. 

At this point, I feel the need to remind everyone that Alice has superpowers given to her by the T-virus. Something something bad science made her a bio-weapon with super speed, healing, strength, and agility. This has made her a target for Umbrella who are trying to replicate the superpowers.

Another group of armed security forces approach Alice and- oh yea I forgot she also has an explosive telekinesis ability- so she blows them all back.

Alice unleashes some telekinetic abilities 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
Why didn’t she do this from the beginning?

Alice is then shot and killed by someone who knows how to use their gun as another group of security approaches. They’re interrupted by three more Alices (cuz of the whole clone thing) who quickly kill them all.

Meanwhile, Wesker learns it’s the Alice clones attacking and orders a lockdown. The Alice clones fight their way through the facility and one eventually makes it to Wesker but he kills her pretty easily. But the thing about clones is, there’s usually more than one so no biggy. The clone Wesker kills is revealed to be holding a bomb that goes off which somehow Wesker survives.

Wesker makes it to an armored tiltrotor plane and escapes the facility despite several Alice clones attempting to shoot him down. He then activates a bomb that destroys the entire facility including all the Alice clones.

Albert Wesker escapes the destruction of Tokyo 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
This feels like a closer call than it needed to be

The real Alice is revealed to have been hiding in the plane the whole time and surprises Wesker with a gun to his temple. Wesker apparently knew she was there or always carries around a syringe because he immediately injects with her something.  As Alice falls to the ground in pain, Wesker tells her the serum he injected her with is removing the T-virus from her body which means she’ll have no powers.

Wesker then reveals he has powers as well thanks to the T-virus which makes me question why the hell Umbrella wanted Alice so much when they could have just made Wesker clones. Wesker throws Alice across the plane and she thanks him for making her human again. 

Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
“You’re welcome, thanks for not shooting me immediately. I’m going to kill you now.”

An alarm blares on the plane and Wesker realizes they’re about to crash into a mountain. He’s unable to make it to the controls in time and the plane blows up. So Alice, who is human now, is totally dead.

Alice survives the plane crash 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
Are you serious?!

Six months later Alice has acquired a small plane and is heading to Arcadia in Alaska to find her friends. She arrives at a small airstrip with several abandoned planes but no sign of life. Searching near the beach she finds the Umbrella helicopter her friends used to escape in the last film but no sign of them.

Spotting someone run past her in the nearby woods, Alice chases after them but they attack her. After Alice knocks them out the attacker is revealed to be Claire with a mind control device attached to her chest.

Ali Larter as Claire Redfield 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
A mind control device that looks like a spider and attaches to your chest… Don’t ask questions

That night Alice removes the device but it appears it has caused Claire some memory loss. As Alice tries to tell Claire who she is, we see a satellite listening in on their conversation and text pops up saying “target locked”. This bothers me because, in the last movie, a satellite took a direct picture of Alice’s face and only had a 60ish % match but now it can 100% match her voice?

Alice and Claire decide to fly back down the western seaboard looking for civilization. Arriving in Los Angeles, the two spot survivors atop a prison building and move in to land on the roof. Those on the roof realize Alice’s plan and quickly make enough room to create a mini-landing strip. 

After a slight crash landing and almost falling off the roof, Alice and Claire meet the new cast. From left to the right we have Claire’s arm (played by Ali Larter’s arm), Bennett (played by Kim Coates), Luther (played by Boris Kodjoe), Kim Yong (played by Norman Yeung), Crystal (played by Kacey Clarke) and Angel (played by Sergio Peris-Mencheta) in the second screenshot.

Bennett and Crystal ask Alice if she’s from Arcadia arriving to help them but, Alice breaks the news that it’s just her and Claire. When Luther tells Alice they thought Arcadia had sent her in response to their flares, Alice is confused as no one in Arcadia would see the flares all the way in Alaska. Luther then reveals that Arcadia isn’t a town in Alaska but a ship currently floating nearby.

Angel plays Alice the broadcast from Arcadia promising salvation and Alice confirms it’s the same one she heard in the last movie. Since there hasn’t been any other broadcast in two days, the group thought Alice was from there coming to help.

Alice tells Claire about the ship and Claire responds by saying that she knows– what the fuck Claire? Turns out Claire conveniently has gotten some of her memory back and remembers people from Arcadia arriving at the beach to greet them but doesn’t remember what happened next.

Claire Redfield has plot driven memory loss in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
“Listen when the plot needs me to remember, I’ll remember but not a moment sooner!”

Later Alice gets settled in and gets a tour from Luther. We learn that Crystal was a failed actress, Luther was a basketball star, Bennet was a movie producer and is an all-around dick, Kim was his intern, and we don’t find out anything about Angel.

While they eat, Crystal, Luther, and Alice discuss using the plane to take everyone one by one to Arcadia but dismiss the idea as that would mean landing on the roof multiple times and that’s too risky. Crystal suggests there’s another way but Luther says it’s a waste of time. Alice still wants to hear it so Luther and Alice take a trip toward a basement holding cell where we meet two more characters.

Unnecessarily guarding a cell is Wendell (played by Fulvio Cecere) and in the cell is Chris (played by Wentworth Miller). Wendell tells Luther he heard some noise across the room and the two go investigate leaving Alice with Chris.

Chris tells Alice he is part of the military who were deployed to fight off the zombies. The governor gave the order to release all the inmates to help kill the zombies but the inmates instead attacked Chris and locked him in the cell. Chris says none of the other survivors believe his story and they’ve kept him locked up because he wasn’t a fan of carrying ID. Michael Scofield… I mean Chris tells Alice that he knows a way out.

Wentworth Miller as Chris Redfield in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
“This is going to sound weird but the way out is tattooed to my body… wait”

Luther returns and leaves with Alice telling her that Chris won’t reveal his plan until they let him out and he refuses to let him out as he believes Chris is a killer. This makes no sense as it wouldn’t matter if he’s a killer since there are millions of zombies that need some killing.

That night as Wendell continues guarding Chris, he hears some noises coming from the walls and we see in the showers something starting to break through the floor tiles. The next day Luther shows Alice the showers and leaves her to do her thing. 

Before she can undress she hears sounds coming from the other side of the room and finds Wendell being a perv trying to catch a peak. At gunpoint, she demands he leaves but they’re both attacked by a new type of zombie. If you’ve played the Resident Evil games, these are the Majini zombies from Resident Evil 5.

Alice spots the hole the zombies came out of and informs the group. A short time later the group is examining the hole and realizing they’re no longer safe, they debate a way out. With no other choice, they decide to release Chris and listen to his plan. 

Chris spots Claire and reveals himself to be her brother, Chris Redfield, but she’s got the whole memory loss plot point going on so she doesn’t know who he is. Chris leads the group to the outside garage where he informs them that behind a locked door is a ten-ton Urban Pacification Vehicle or UPV that seats 20 with steel-plate armor, sixteen wheels, and a water cannon.

Side note: Earlier Luther said that when everyone went down they all took refuge in the prison, meaning that for around four years, they’ve been in the prison, and NOT ONCE did anyone think to check the garage.

Chris also tells the group about an armory in the basement of the prison but their talk is interrupted by a huge bioweapon wielding a large sledge axe attacking the front gate. The group splits up with Chris leading Alice and Crystal to the armory, Bennett and Kim helping Angel cut the lock on the garage door, and Claire and Luther attempting to fortify the front gate.

Reaching the elevator to the basement, Chris, Alice, and Crystal find the basement flooded and the three swim down not noticing something breaking through the walls. Safely reaching the other side, the three exit the water but a zombie leaps out, grabs Crystal, and drags her back in. 

More zombies leap out of the water and Chris and Alice run to the armory. There they find walls and walls of guns and Alice happily exclaims “nice”… Crystal just died. After packing up a lot of weapons the two look for a way out since the hallway is packed with zombies. Luckily Alice spots a large human-sized vent.

Meanwhile, Angel cuts through the lock, and along with Bennett and Kim, they enter the garage finding the UPV. Unfortunately, they also find the engine is not in the UPV and Angel says he can fix it but it’ll take a week, which they don’t have. Kim questions what they’re going to do. 

the group find the engine is not in the UPV in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
As long as no one does anything rash and dumb, they should be fine…

Bennett randomly shoots and kills Angel which felt unnecessary. Back at the front gate, the zombies and large bio-weapon, Axe Man, break through the gate causing Luther and Claire to run. Alice and Chris climb out of the vent which somehow led them to the roof despite the armory being all the way in the basement. Did they climb the entire height of the building through the vent?

Anyway, they hear Alice’s plane starting up and rush to find Bennett starting the plane. Kim tries to get him to stay as the rest of the group arrives but Bennett shoots at them and flies off. Zombies flood the roof and the remaining survivors; Alice, Luther, Claire, Chris, and Kim grab guns and start fighting off the horde.

Luther, Claire, Chris, and Kim get in a large freight elevator and since it has no power, Alice uses a bomb to destroy the cables sending them down to the floors below. Meanwhile, Alice continues to fight off the zombies, ties a cable to her waist, throws some more bombs, and jumps off the roof.

Swinging to ground level, Alice continues to shoot zombies until Luther arrives and helps her back inside the prison. Back in the prison, the group decides their only other way out is through the hole in the showers. Figuring it leads to the sewers, the group can use it to get to a storm drain, and then the ocean where they can find a boat to Arcadia.

Chris leads the way, followed by Luther but before Kim can go down, the Axe Man appears and slices him in half. Did no one hear the 8-foot giant coming or dragging his large sledge axe across the floor? Alice, who does not have superpowers, jumps up 8 feet in the air and kicks the Axe Man in the face. 

The kick does nothing and she narrowly avoids an axe to the face. The Axe Man does get Alice with a side swipe with the possibly hundred-pound sledge axe which throws her across the room into the wall and knocks her out. It only knocks her out though but she’s not superhuman anymore and there’s no reason why I keep bringing that up.

Claire shoots at the Axe man before it can kill Alice and the Axe man starts swiping at Claire but misses causing him to destroy several pipes. The Axe Man runs at Claire who runs at the wall and uses it to backflip over the giant bio-weapon. Spotting one of Alice’s shotguns on the floor, Claire runs toward the Axe Man, slides, grabs the gun, and shoots him in the chest.

The Axe Man drops to the group and dies… psych! He gets back up but so does Alice who runs to Claire and helps her narrowly avoid the sledge axe the Axe Man throws at them. Alice grabs her shotgun and shoots him in the face causing his head to explode. Also, that whole sequence was 90% in slow motion which was completely unnecessary.

Alice and Claire catch back up to Luther and Chris and they proceed to the storm drain. Chris, Alice, and Claire jump out of the sewer pipe but Luther is attacked before he can get out and the surrounding wall collapses. With Luther seemingly dead, the group continues toward the Arcadia.

Inexplicably finding a boat, the three get to the Arcadia and find Alice’s plane but no Bennett or anyone else in sight. Checking the inside of the ship, they find it empty as well with no clue where anyone went. 

The Arcadia in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
Maybe the real Arcadia was the friends we made along the way?

On a computer, Chris finds a manifest stating there are over 2,000 people on board. The group searches the ship and comes across a large door with Umbrella’s insignia on it. 

Claire just happens to remember that when the people from Arcadia met them on the beach they actually attacked them. The soldiers from Arcadia were actually Umbrella soldiers who placed the mind control spiders on them but Claire was able to escape before it could take effect. 

The large Umbrella door opens and the three carefully enter finding the 2,000 passengers are being held in pods in the ground to be used for experiments. Using a conveniently placed control, they raise up the pods and find K-Mart.

Spencer Locke as K-Mart in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
Umbrella’s always doing the most

Claire stays behind to remove the mind control device on K-Mart as Alice continues further into the room to raise the other pods and release the other prisoners. Alice finds several bloody pods which really clashes with the whole white aesthetic. 

Following the blood she finds a door leading to a large hangar with several tiltrotor planes and a bomb just like the one Wesker used to destroy the Tokyo facility. Continuing further into another room, Alice finds an experimentation room and Wesker waiting for her.

Wesker waits for Alice in Arcadia in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
“… Sup.”

Wesker’s two zombie dogs appear and before Alice can shoot them, Bennett shows up and puts a gun to her head revealing himself to now be working for Wesker. Wesker tells Alice the T-Virus brought him back to life after the crash (from the start of the movie), but the virus is getting stronger and he needs a way to control it. He believes that since Alice was able to bond with the virus, if he eats her, he can bring it back under his control as well. 

Alice kicks a tray of knives toward Wesker that narrowly miss him and spin kicks Bennett’s hand causing him to drop his gun. She then kicks Bennett again with a force that launches him a good 8 feet across the room, she doesn’t have superpowers anymore!

Alice reaches for her shotgun but she gets surrounded by zombie dogs. Meanwhile, Wesker gets up to attack but Claire and Chris show up behind him with weapons drawn. How did they get behind him?

Wesker throws his glasses at Chris which Chris for some reason catches instead of just dodging and shooting. Using his super speed, Wesker runs toward the siblings, throws Claire, and dodges all of Chris’s shots. Chris and Claire are then easily overpowered by Wesker who throws them both into pods.

Chris and Claire are thrown into pods
This isn’t ideal

Alice is able to kill both of the zombies but is stabbed in the forearm by Bennett. Wesker reveals he has tentacles coming out of his mouth like the Majini zombies and goes to bite Alice but she uses the knife in her forearm to stab him in the head. 

Meanwhile, Bennett attempts to grab Alice’s shotgun but K-Mart arrives and uses it to knock him out. She then tosses it to Alice as Wesker gets back up and goes in for another attack. Alice shoots him in the tentacle hole seemingly killing him.

Alice shoots Wesker in the tentacles in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
I feel like the large face tentacles obscuring the ability to see a shotgun to the face coming is kind of detrimental

Alice releases Claire and Chris from the pods just as Wesker starts to get back up. Chris and Claire then unload their guns into Wesker seemingly killing him again. Chris, Claire, Alice, and K-Mart leave the room and lock Bennett inside. After they leave, we hear tentacles from within the room and Bennett cries out in pain.

As our group of non-superpowered heroes release the prisoners in the pods, they hear a tiltrotor plane starting up and run to see Wesker escaping. In the plane, Wesker activates the bomb but hears the countdown coming from inside the plane. He then realizes that Alice must have put the bomb in the plane before he escaped.

On the ship, Alice leads Chris and Claire to the deck and they watch as Wesker’s plane explodes seemingly killing him yet again. Back on land, we see that Luther is actually still alive as he exits the storm drain. 

A short time later with all the prisoners released on the ship, Alice starts the broadcast back up telling other survivors that Arcadia is safe. The film ends as moments later dozens of Umbrella planes filled with Umbrella soldiers make their way toward the ship so scratch that last broadcast.

In a post-credits scene we see the soldiers being given instructions by someone who tells them the prime targets are Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield, and Alice. The person is then revealed to be Jill Valentine (played by Sienna Guillory) who we haven’t seen since the end of Resident Evil Apocalypse when Alice and the writer of these movies forgot she existed. Before we cut to black Jill is also revealed to be wearing a mind control device. 

Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine in 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife
Oh yea, Jill Valentine is in these movies!


Resident Evil: Afterlife is not good but I liked it for what it is. If you’re a fan of these Resident Evil movies you’ll like this, and if you’re not a fan I would say stay away. Out of the four Resident Evil movies I’ve reviewed in this series so far it’s one of the better ones. The acting is okay but the dialogue is horrible and surprisingly unnecessary. You could watch this movie on mute and not miss a beat; it might actually be better without dialogue.

There’s less action in this movie compared to the last one and it actually helps the movie. The director (and writer) Paul W.S. Anderson has also toned down his need to cut to a new angle every 2 seconds during a fight which makes it easier to follow.

One positive of this movie is some of the visual effects. The effects when someone is standing on the roof and we see the background is clearly green or blue screen is not good but the zombies and the Axe Man look great. Wesker’s movements when he moves at super speed also looks surprisingly good and that is easy to mess up.

My biggest gripe with this movie is the logic which when it comes to these Resident Evil films shouldn’t be surprising. But Wesker injects Alice, takes away her superpowers, and then she still does superhuman things. What was the point of making him say she lost all her powers?

I get that they wanted to take away her telekinesis so why not just have Wesker say that the serum he injected her with takes away SOME of her abilities? She goes back to being human and immediately survives a plane crash and explosion!

Overall I can only really recommend Resident Evil: Afterlife to those who already like these Resident Evil movies. It’s better than Resident Evil Extinction and possibly on par with the Apocalypse.


Stuff to Ignore

Rotten Tomatoes – 21%

Metacritic – 37

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