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Resident Evil - Extinction (Widescreen Special

A movie directed by Russell Mulcahy

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An Improvement over "Apocalypse"...but it still sucks.

  • Jan 15, 2011
*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" or "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" will ever be. When I say that it inherits many of the flaws from the first two movies, I mean that "Extinction" lacks an interesting plot and/or characters, sports mostly disgustingly horrid performances, and has some seriously bleak zombies. On the bright side, "Extinction" has some pretty decent action sequences contrary to the nigh unwatchable ones of the first two flicks. These scenes are showing vast improvement, and the fact that the filmmakers lowered the usage of CGI by 50% is definitely a good sign as well. Overall, I'm not saying that "Resident Evil: Extinction" is a good third installment; I'm just saying that for once it's watchable, although nothing has changed in terms of me being entertained by whatever's going on. If you sat through the first two flicks then you might as well sit through this one. By all means, I only watched "Extinction" so I could watch the fourth and hopefully final installment in this half-horrid movie franchise. And while "Extinction" is executed without much brilliance, intelligence, or inspiration, there were moments in which I felt somewhat entertained. Bad or not, it's a step in the right direction for the troubled franchise. Maybe if I hadn't hated the first installment, then maybe I would have actually enjoyed myself in "Extinction". I didn't like it because despite some surprisingly dumb fun, this movie is just plain stupid. It's style over substance, no doubt. And that's why for a lot of the time, it felt more tedious than it did forgivable. My final verdict is that it's better than the predecessors, although nowhere near good. No, the "Resident Evil" movies are going to have to go a long way in order to achieve that. Screw it; it's never going to happen. A good "Resident Evil" movie just can't be attempted. Maybe "Extinction" was supposed to change my mind regarding the matter, but as you can see, it failed to work its charm whatsoever.

Alice is now some sort of apocalypse-wasteland roaming badass who is seeking some new recruits after the events of "Resident Evil: Apocalypse". In some ways, I feel that this flick should have been the "Resident Evil" film with the "Apocalypse" sub-title included. This is because "Extinction" actually has more apocalyptic imagery than "Apocalypse" had, but then again it works anyways since the entire human race is indeed going extinct. So "Extinction" sees the virus escaping from Raccoon City with ease, thereby infecting the rest of the world. This is interesting and all, but "Resident Evil: Extinction" has a plot and it should be advancing it further. Instead, it wastes its time on action sequences and extremely lame side-trips. It's meant to be an actionier, funnier, and cooler film than the other two, but it's not quite as much of an improvement as it may have wanted to be. Still, I liked some aspects. For one, it felt like less of a flat-out gruesome filmic massacre. Instead, "Extinction" has its moments of entertainment, but they're all sort of drowned out by a genuine sense of pretentious redemption. This film wants to redeem the series, although I don't think that it quite gets the job done. It has moments of dumb fun (being attacked by a horde of vicious zombie crows?), but it ultimately has more moments of dumb...dumbness. I mean, it still has no regard of why people would go to see it. There aren't quite enough monsters for it to be "Resident Evil" and there aren't quite enough entertaining action scenes for it to be a successful action film. Yes, stuff has changed. But not enough. Word to the producers; next time you decide that you want to make a "Resident Evil" flick, play the game. Put some back into it. Make it into a passion, not just an aimless gimmick. "Extinction" fails because it's nothing more than a potboiler, when it could has just as easily been a far superior second sequel. Pity.

Milla Jovovich's performance actually fits in a little better this time around, mostly due to the fact that she seems to have improved as an actress. I sort of admire her in other films, but she has yet to earn my respect as her Alice character. I find it kind of sad that they felt the need to bring back some crappy actors from "Apocalypse" and place them in this somewhat better mess. It's also a shame that none of the "new" actors are particularly pleasant to watch either. Again, what a pity.

If anything, "Extinction" drops the murky cinematography and mostly cheap FX that plagued the first sequel, and trades it in for a whole new set of guns. The cinematography is actually pretty decent this time around, while the FX isn't seen quite as much, but when you do see it you get the impression that not enough has changed. Possibly the biggest change for the better is the action sequences, which come up more often and when they do, they actually have the capacity to be somewhat entertaining. Some of them are more dumb than well-filmed, but there seems to be some solace to be found in them. Overall, "Extinction" has no artistic merit whatsoever and exists only to make money, but I do somewhat applaud it for not being the unwatchable mess that was "Resident Evil: Apocalypse", and quite possibly even "Resident Evil". I imagine that it won't earn any new fans for the film franchise, but it might win a few hearts. And despite my genuine negativity towards the flick, I have no problem with that. It exists, and it doesn't stop any better films from doing so. It's harmless, but it still (kind of) sucks. That's fitting for a Video Game adaptation, and it's as it should be; unnecessary, money-making crap. Take the damn, forgettable thing as you will.

I conclude that "Extinction" is by no means a good film. How could it be; it has no artistic merit or source of genuine entertainment. It's actually pretty boring for the most part, full of the same stupid dialogue and shallow plot that plagued the other installments. Still, it might impress some. I enjoyed a few of the action sequences and quite a few things seem to be showing signs of improvement. All together, it's a very forgettable action flick that puts style way over substance, but it's not completely insulting to my intelligence. Thanks, "Resident Evil" franchise, but I still hate you with a passion. So please, avoid this movie, as there are as always, many other BETTER things to do with 95 minutes. You could...watch a better film. You could...go outside. Hell, do whatever the heck you want to do. Anything is better than giving this ridiculously flawed series the time that I've given it. As I said when speaking of "Apocalypse", savor the time and let me educate you in just how much the series sucks. I'm very surprised that "Extinction" didn't suck as much as the other installments. It's heading in the right direction, although some part of me is telling me that they're never going to make a turn for the better. "Resident Evil" will probably never work as a movie franchise, although who cares when it's making money, right? That's the essential thought-process of the producers, who don't release these flicks because they like to; they release them because they feel as if they have to. By god, I hate potboilers. They're so sickening. But I guess we've gotten used to them, and they'll always flood the cinemas with the kind of filth that only they can produce. There's just no stopping them. And there's just no stopping "Resident Evil". So I guess that's it.

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January 17, 2011
This is actually my favorite of all the RE films, great review.
January 17, 2011
January 15, 2011
LOL! enjoyed your rant...er reviews...of this series! I think the definitive RE movie should be better produced by Japan since they made the games. Perhaps this vid game would be better as a HBO series? perhaps...
January 15, 2011
As if that would do much. I don't think that HBO would ever think of doing that to begin with.
More Resident Evil - Extinction reviews
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
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Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
I love the Resident Evil series based on my obsession with Zombies.
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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 . July 19, 2008
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 …
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. …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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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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