Resident Evil: Extinction Review

Poster Art Country : USA
Year: 2007
Genre: Apocalyptic Horror
Format: Cinema
Running Time: 95 minutes
Distributor: Sony/Screen Gems

Hiding in the Nevada desert, Alice reunites with Carlos and L.J. and attempts to eliminate the virus which renders its victims undead, as well as to seek justice....

Directed by Russell Mulcahy. Written by Paul W.S. Anderson. Starring Milla Jovovich, Mike Epps, Oded Fehr, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Chris Egan and Ashanti.

Yes, I can hear you from here: "Aren't there already enough freaking zombie movies?" Yes, there probably are, but up until now, they are pretty standard formula. In the third installment of the video game spawned Resident Evil series, Highlander director Russell Mulcahy amps up the formula and churns out one hell of a post-apocalyptic/western/cum zombie flick. Kinda like The Road Warrior meets Dawn Of The Dead. Not that Resident Evil: Extinction is the first post-apocalyptic zombie movie, by any stretch. Dare I say it's the first to combine all of the true elements of a western, a horror film and an action film.

Years after the Raccoon City disaster, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is on her own knowing that she has become a liability and could endanger those around her is struggling to survive and bring down the Umbrella Corporation lead by the sinister Albert Wesker (Jason O'Mara) and head researcher Dr. Issacs (Iain Glen). Meanwhile traveling through the Nevada Desert and through the ruins of Las Vegas Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), L.J. (Mike Epps) and new survivors K-Mart (Spence Locke), Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti) must fight to survive extinction against hoards of zombies, killer crows and the most terrifying creatures created as a result of the deadly T-Virus that has killed millions.

Resident Evil: Extinction

Anyway. Alice, a former employee of The Umbrella Corp., is now a lone scavenger in the broad wastelands of the all but dead United States, living from tankful to tankful of the gasoline necessary to get around, rendered so rare in the general social and economic collapse. She starts things off right by answering a distress call in an abandoned radio station, followed by a great opening action set piece involving the ever so cuddly zombie dogs, and a group of sleaze balls. After putting some serious smackdown on the gang, she finds a scrapbook with visions of hope. The hope being Alaska, the only place on the planet that hasn't been touched by the T-Virus. Meanwhile, the evil scientists from the first two films re-group in the underground hive that seems to be everywhere....making plans to try and 'domesticate' the zombies and of course find a cure via Alice. Apparently, her blood is the key. We are also introduced to the head of the company, Albert Wesker who originally played a large role in the first game, now making his appearance in the film series.

Resident Evil: Extinction

This is probably a good point to jump in and talk about some of the other characters. The one that everybody will come away from this movie remembering is K-Mart. She's one of the least annoying characters of in the film. She latches on to Alice as a role mode, and is delighted to tag along and help, and in the process give Alice an opportunity to show some flashes of her human side through her rough and tough exterior. Another character I liked was Clair Redfield, who rocks her cute little buns off and just proves that she is almost a big of a bad ass as Alice is, minus the superhuman powers. Then you have the encoring Carlos Olivera, who is just as good here as he was (if not better) in Apocalypse....not to mention, the comic relief of L.J. Dr. Issacs also encores from the second film, once again proving he can make you hate him for all the obvious reasons. One character I could have absolutely done without would be Nurse Betty, and that is simply because of poor casting. The rest of the cast is basically there to get shot, crushed, eaten, or otherwise dispatched, they all look like they should get a tetanus shot on top of everything else. I mean, there are plenty of actors with lines, but there isn't much time or inclination in a movie like this to give each one much more than a name and an attitude.

Resident Evil: Extinction

Moving on to the direction of the film, Russell Mulcahy has learned an awful lot about the art of directing in the almost 10 years since his last actual feature Tale Of The Mummy (or Talos The Mummy), as he presents scenes which are not only compelling in their kinetic and narrative momentum, but which also paced for purely visually arresting tableaus. The imagery is so memorable in its combination of desert landscapes, flesh eaters, and machinery redesigned for neo-savagery. Not to mention, he lets the film move along at a seamless pace and makes me really wish he had done the last two installments of the series. Mulcahy manages to take the most compelling elements of the Western mystique, combine them with social anxieties, and gave us substitute Indians. Not to mention, the crow sequence that finally managed to make it in the film (from the game) is one of the creepiest moments in horror in a long time.

There's more worthy of analysis here -- but not so much time to do it in -- but I'll leave something for you to discover. Resident Evil: Extinction is the best of the series, and I can't wait for the fourth installment.


Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com

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