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Resident Evil - Extinction (Widescreen Special

A movie directed by Russell Mulcahy

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3.5 stars...I liked it more than I thought I would!

  • Jul 19, 2008
  • by
There's a certain pointlessness to my reviewing RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION. First, this is not the kind of movie that anyone thought would win Oscar's in the first place. Second, people who REALLY want to see it will do so regardless of what anyone says and third, I had never seen the first two.

However, I do feel it's worth noting that there were fits of surprising competence in the film, which plays like THE ROAD WARRIOR meets...well...a video game. Despite the utter unoriginality of the story, it managed to be a fitfully entertaining, action packed, gore fest.

I'll admit right now that I never totally understood the powers or backstory of Milla Jovovich's lead character. Is she a human or a robot of some sort? A clone? She appears to have psychic (psionic) powers...but they were undefined for the uninitiated. I certainly wouldn't have objected to a more thorough recap of past events then we're given...but I certainly had no trouble understanding that except for a few isolated pockets, zombies have taken over the world. Evil quasi-government/industrial agencies are trying to affect a cure...but it's tough to tell what their motives are. It's hard to believe they expect to make a PROFIT by marketing a cure...since there isn't an economy in place any more...yet they sure don't seem to be doing their research to benefit anyone but themselves.

Jovovich's striking-looking lead character is reintroduced to the viewer as a loner, riding a motorcycle across an endless desert. She stops at a ruined radio station, because she's picked up an SOS broadcast. Apparently, she wants to help, but it turns out to have been a trap. She's captured by a group that we so often see in these kinds of movies...the bikers who've gone bad. They capture her and are prepared to feed her to a pack of zombie dogs...for no reason other than their own amusement. The scene plays out like a sequence in a video game...but Jovovich's escape is well staged and sufficient to get the blood pumping. The movie has gore, but doesn't dwell on it. (I'm not saying it's for little kids...but I've sure seen worse, too.)

Later, Jovovich meets ups with a rag-tag group of survivors, led by Oded Fehr and Ali Larter, looking pretty tough herself in her khakis. This group could be the same folks Mel Gibson let to "the promised land" in ROAD WARRIOR...they've got reinforced buses and heck, even a gasoline tanker! Too bad that gas has become nearly impossible to find. The realize that they will have to brave a "big city" because they've drained all the gas in the small towns. But big cities are where the zombies have congregated the most, naturally, so we anticipate a bloody showdown.
And the film delivers one. They arrive in Las Vegas and immediately unleash hundreds of the hungry creatures. Lots of shooting, lots of creative ways of killing zombies, lots of sad moments as one beloved character after another falls under a swarm of the flesh-eaters. There is no originality to the idea...but again, it is staged with a sincerity and a visceral quality that make it work. (An earlier scene, involving an attack by a flock of infected ravens shows more originality, and also works well.)

So the action is good. The "quiet" scenes of dialogue are pretty hokey...but the actor's play them about as well as anyone could. The movie doesn't "wink" at the audience at any time, nor does it have any "in-jokes." It is a straightforward videogame brought to life.
The final scenes, involving a confrontation between Jovovich and a diabolical doctor...are perfunctory and not as fun as the scenes earlier in the film. If we had more invested in this character, I think it might be different, but just because she's now starred in three films doesn't exactly make her the fleshed out person that, say, Hellboy has become.
Jovovich is well suited to the role. She looks great in her silly costume. And even though a few of her stunts clearly benefit from the aid of wires...she mostly looks like she could be doing what she does without help. Larter matches her well, and Fehr (THE MUMMY RETURNS) is always a striking figure.

The movie is far from the embarrassment I thought it would be. While I can't simply heartily recommend it...I do think if you're looking for some good, "clean" zombie killing action...you could do worse!

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More Resident Evil - Extinction reviews
review by . January 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*1/2 out of ****      Half of me wanted to like "Resident Evil: Extinction" while the other half was telling me that it's nothing more than a slightly superior second sequel in a horrible franchise. As far as the "Resident Evil" movies go, "Extinction" is the best one yet. It's still a crappy movie since it inherits many of the flaws of the first two films, but it's closer to respectable (and watchable) than "Resident Evil" …
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
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not my favorite resident evil flick, but still well worth the watch.
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
I love the Resident Evil series based on my obsession with Zombies.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
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this action pacteds zoombie movie is an awesome flick about a goverment clean up plan.
review by . February 04, 2009
Honestly, Resident Evil: Extinction didn't do much of anything for me, except sound absolutely stunning on my new surround sound system, so I'll only talk a little about it.    If the writers and directors of this film had decided to make this movie be the end all of the Resident Evil films, I would have been pleased, but I just knew they would leave it with a cliffhanger and room for yet another unnecessary sequel. A whole Army of Alice's? Really? Also the fact that Alice now …
review by . April 02, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Although I wasn't a fan of the first two films in the series, I decided to get this because it was recommended to me by a friend. Needless to say I wasn't disappointed. If you're after a popcorn "horror" flick with a difference then this is certainly the film for you.   I placed the word horror in quotation marks for a reason. I use the word horror in the classic context of something that is genuinely menacing, intimidating and is destined to give you nightmares e.g. The first Nightmare …
review by . December 10, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Milla Jovovich reprises her role as Alice in this latest installment of the RESIDENT EVIL franchise. The disaster of the Raccoon City experiment by the Umbrella Corporation has caused a worldwide outbreak of the deadly T-Virus. Those who haven't been infected find themselves constantly on the go moving from one location to another. Alice moves and works alone. That is until she rescues a caravan of survivors under attack from a swarm of mutated crows in the deserts of Nevada not far from Las Vegas. …
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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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About this movie


The third installment in the massively popular film series based on Capcom's zombie horror/science fiction games,Resident Evil: Extinctionbrings the world to an end, not with a whimper but a bang, as Milla Jovovich's Alice pits her bio-organic superskills against armies of the undead in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. Also on hand is a more grown-up version of the games' Claire Redfield (played byHeroes' Ali Larter), who leads a convoy of humans (among themResident Evilvets Oded Fehr and Mike Epps, who reprise their roles as Carlos and LJ, as well as newcomers Ashanti and Spencer Locke) in search of sanctuary; meanwhile, sinister Umbrella Corporation scientist Dr. Sam Isaacs (Iain Glen) seeks a cure for the zombie virus outbreak via Alice's blood, which he taps via a lab full of clones. Subtlety has never been theResident Evilseries' strong suit, but it's hard to argue againstExtinction's breakneck pace and impressive CG special effects; director Russell Mulcahy (theHighlanderseries) lends a lot of verve to the proceedings, and the script by producer Paul W.S. Anderson pulls in agreeable touches fromThe Road WarriorandDay of the Dead. A hit during the summer of 2007,Extinctionshould please series devotees and action-horror fans alike; the DVD includes commentary by Mulcahy, Anderson, and co-producer Jeremy Bolt, as well as several making-of featurettes, and a glimpse at the next entry in theResident Evilfranchise, the CG-onlyDegeneration.-- Paul ...
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Director: Russell Mulcahy
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: January 1, 2008
Runtime: 95 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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