Friday I saw Resident Evil: Afterlife in all its 3D glory in the local cinema. Saturday I saw Machete in its plain 2D-ness in the same cinema. Both movies I wouldn't want to see again. That's right, I just said I wouldn't want to see a Resident Evil movie again, this after rewatching the first three at least a few times.
What's wrong with Resident Evil: Afterlife (hereafter Afterlife) compared to its predecessors? For one thing the 3D thing. It was used well in a movie like Avatar where it truly added something. In that movie it brought new life to the atmosphere of the story and I do prefer the 3D version over the 2D one as it's just plain more impressive. Not so in Afterlife.
The director of Afterlife either only got a script of 10 pages which he had to turn into a movie of 90 minutes, or has been drooling over the Matrix for so long that he just couldn't resist. Either way, half the movie consists out of bullet-time, slow-motion or stand-still, moving-around-the-scene-while-it's-frozen-in-time kind of scenes. Every single fighting scene does it.
As said, there's about 10 pages worth of plot, which does add to the story we saw in the third movie (Extinction), but it's beyond wafer-thin, and the fluff added to fill up the remaining 70-odd minutes is painful, cliche and beyond ridiculous. It's not even scary, as it's obvious when the next tag-along character will be picked off by the new type of zombie. A type which doesn't get explained either, and doesn't really seem to fit in the RE universe.
Unless the next movie (yes, there'll be another one, probably in 2013 at the current rate of production) is a lot better, I'm not watching it and I'll be pretending that there are only three movies. In case you haven't heard yet, they even put in a very cheap cliff-hanger at the end of Afterlife which will have you groaning in disgust. Have fun waiting 3 years to find out what'll happen next. I'm out.
Moving on, if you thought that Afterlife was bad, wait until you get a load of Machete. It's like they took the concept of The Expendables and added a liberal amount of stupid to it. The story is bland, painful and uninspired. The amount of violence, gore and witty remarks would shame a B-movie and there's a lot of nudity for the sake of it. The movie keeps switching back and forth between a serious revenge story and a 'hey this is cool let's put it in as well' kind of attitude. It's like they let a couple of 10-year old boys go wild on the story and in the cutting room.
To be honest I couldn't keep watching Machete somewhere after the half-way point, as its amount of glee at suffering and gore just got too much and just closed my eyes and tried to ignore the rest. I could recommend this movie to people who enjoy pointless, hyper-violent movies such as Saw (part II and onwards) in which innocent people find a gruesome death. It's just beyond sickening that this is its only appeal.
In conclusion, the only positive thing about these two cinema experiences I can mention is that I got asked my age for the 16+ Afterlife movie at the ticket counter. For the rest I can just recommend skipping these movies, if that's what they can be called.