Although I’m not actually that excited about Resident Evil: Afterlife, I love me a sneak preview screening, so I got myself all revved up to see a featurette and a 3D scene for the latest instalment of the zombie series.
Director Paul. W. S. Anderson appears in the short video with stars Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter, all of whom couldn’t possibly give the movie higher praise if they tried. Paul explains that he shot the film with the same 3D technology that James Cameron designed for Avatar and that he’s trying to use the negative space between the screen and the audience.
He’s genuinely enthusiastic about 3D but just like a kid in a candy store, he’s eaten too many sweets and the outcome isn’t pretty. But shortly after donning the chunkiest pair of 3D glasses I’ve ever seen to watch the preview footage, I quickly realised that Cameron should have kept his technology a secret because it’s clearly not safe in anyone else’s hands.
The sequence that was shown is one you can see in the trailer – a huge guy with nails in his head, swinging an axe around a shower room. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen more wildly unnecessary slow-motion in my life. Due to the creature’s strength, size and the weight of its axe/hammer, it’s not exactly fast-moving to begin with and putting it slow-motion utterly erases any real tension within the scene.
What Paul fails to realise is that while ‘immersive’ is a popular buzz word these days, utilising the negative space doesn’t have to be such a harsh experience. It’s almost like the 3D effects were constantly trying to reach out and physically touch my eyeballs. This unpleasant sensation gives the viewer no sense of real depth – something Cameron had no problem with because he actually knew what he was doing with his own cameras. Don’t play with the big boy’s toys until you’ve read the instructions, Paul.
The movie also had a shiny, almost polarized look to it that actually made the film difficult to watch because it’s so busy trying to get your brain’s attention that it’s actually distracting. Overall, it looks like it’s an axe-swing and a miss for Resident Evil: Afterlife.
The video below wasn’t the featurette shown at the screening, but it’s pretty similar and if you still can’t wait to see the movie then, well…there’s nothing more I can do for you.