Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Genre: Action and Sci-Fi Horror Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.

Release Date: September 21st, 2007 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Russell Mulcahy Actors: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Ashanti, Iain Glen, Christopher Egan, Spencer Locke, Matthew Marsden, Linden Ashby, Jason O’Mara, Mike Epps, Madeline Carroll

 


 

R

idiculous, nonsensical, and grossly unnecessary, “Resident Evil: Extinction” is quite possibly the most contemptible film so far this year. Lacking any faithfulness to the original video game franchise, as well as failing to expand upon the already pointless plotting of the first two films, this rehashed mishmash of utter idiocy is a giant leap in the wrong direction for filmmaking in general – and especially for the horror genre. The saddest part of this entire ordeal is that despite what critics will inevitably say about “Resident Evil: Extinction,” the fans who actually expect something out of this farce will be even more disappointed (or, as these things tend to go, perhaps they’ll get exactly what they wanted).

Alice (Milla Jovovich) rejoins a group of weathered survivors of the T-Virus zombie invasion that has overtaken the world, which has led to the near-complete annihilation of humankind. Teaming with Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) to help plan an escape from the barren deserts of Nevada, Alice must also uncover the plot behind her mysterious cloning and the key to stopping the zombie outbreak for good. Now that the setting is an arid wasteland, it’s funny to note that the director is Russell Mulcahy, who previously helmed not one, but three, desert-based horror movies (“Razorback,” “Tale of the Mummy,” and “The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb”).

Starting with overly familiar scenes from the first film, which do not serve as a recap but instead prod the audience into questioning whether or not this is actually a new movie, the purportedly final chapter in the “Resident Evil” trilogy lunges down the racetrack with an awkward stumble. Instantly milking each moment for as many cheap scares and sudden loud noises that it can muster, the camera mimics the style of the game, tiptoeing down corridors and hallways, and peering through bloodied doors. The detail-oriented set designs, wonderfully ghastly locations, and gruesome props are the only noteworthy aspects of the production, though they’re no more impressive than in the two previous pictures. It’s a shame that as makeup and creature effects get better, the story and acting become exponentially worse.

Alice is practically superhuman, thanks to the editing, which is careful to ensure that the audience is completely disoriented and unable to focus on any of the stunts or martial arts moves in any of the fight sequences. Mutilated dogs, long-awaited zombie crows, and frenzied, super-aggressive, mutant abominations are all a blur as Alice dances about in mid-air and in slow-motion, a la “The Matrix.” While a few of the zombie encounters demonstrate decent shotgun-to-the-head, close-encounter innovation, the majority of the gunplay and wire-fu stunts are hokey and downright laughable – which, as it happens, perfectly matches the acting, replete with clichéd lines, bland characters, expected deaths, and moronic sacrifices.

For all the time the film takes to develop its paper-thin characters, it shovels them out into clamoring, ravenous zombie hordes to be made into quick meals. Several of the character names match those from the video games, but audiences won’t find an ounce of authenticity to any of their performances, physical appearances, costuming, or backstories. This makes it all more acceptable, however, to have so many become instant victims, carelessly thrown into the wake of the living dead.

Alice gains a touch of telekinetic superpowers (that wasn’t in the video games), the world becomes a desolate post-apocalyptic dustbowl (that certainly wasn’t in the video games), and Alaska may be the last hope for uncontaminated survivors (that might have been in the video games). Umbrella Corporation still runs everything, mercilessly experiments with the T-Virus, and employs psychotic scientists who are destined to become more powerful, evil, and mutated than the zombies. At least the humans are more prominent villains than the bumbling undead; it would be too much to ask that this series depend on the flesh-eating, blood-starved, half-decomposed zombies to generate all the scares.

– Mike Massie

  • 2/10