a critiQal film review Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: Alice (Jovovich), now in hiding in the Nevada desert, joins forces with a few survivors to try to eliminate the deadly virus, originally unleashed by the Umbrella Corporation, that threatens to make every human being undead, while the Umbrella Corporation does it's best to try to get her back into their clutches.

Reviewed
880 words (Est. Reading Time 4m 24s)

After seeing the first , we liked it so much we went out and bought a copy for ourselves…and then anxiously waited until we could go see the 2nd film, …and were extremely disappointed. After such an impressive first film, it was a shame they had wasted the idea in the second.

Then we heard they were making the series a trilogy with Resident Evil: Extinction and we were a bit wary. Would the third film be as disappointing as the second, or would Resident Evil: Extinction end (?) the series on a high note?

Milla Jovovich is back to reprise her role once again as the kick-butt-and-take-names female lead, Alice. By this point, her character has been through a lot – including bouts of genetic manipulation – and Milla does a good job of showing a slightly haunted look in her eyes, as if her character can’t quite shake off the past.

Her character gets a few tweaks for this third film, and is now able to use her mind in a way that will remind viewers of Susan Storm in . With this “mind-shield”, she is able to manipulate objects from a distance, although it has painful repercussions. While this makes for some interesting special-effects-laden sequences, it takes away from the abilities that got viewers to watch through the first 2 films. Having the heroine able to use her mind to combat forces takes a little bit of the fun out of it, doesn’t it? That’s why the Fantastic Four includes the knock ’em/sock ’em Thing – to add in a bit of the physical combat viewers know and love.

The filmmakers also left out the repercussions of the heroine using her power too much. Sure it’s painful, but in a life or death situation, isn’t a headache better than death? Why wouldn’t she use it more often? There should be compounding repercussions or something, something that would make her use the power as little as possible. Maybe the headaches get worse every time (a trickle of blood from the nose after a couple of uses is always effective in showing the viewers that this is the case). As it is, it seems silly when the heroine goes back to the fighting styles she’s used in the past. After all, isn’t that somewhat like bringing a knife to a gun fight?

While Oded Fehr and Mike Epps also return in this third installment, they bring with them a lingering viewer resentment concerning the second film (This doesn’t happen for Milla, as she first appeared in a good film, so the second film doesn’t stick in the viewer’s craw as bad where she is concerned). Unfortunately, the viewer pretty much expects that the only reason they have returned is to get eaten this time around, as not even the posters showcased their return. Nothing is ever explained about what happened to Sienna Gullory’s character either. Oops. Forgot about her, did we?

Ali Larter, of Final Destination fame, leads the newbies this time around, and does a decent (if not spectacular) job in her role. She seems to expect to be cannon fodder, and is just biding her time for the most of the movie waiting for her death scene. Near the end, however, she does liven up a bit, even going so far as to let out a primal scream (And why the scream? Apparently she had a particular attachment to one fallen comrade – although the movie never even so much as hints to it until that point).

The plot, however, helps make up for the character “oops”-es by following the second film through to it’s logical next point, as the zombies have now escaped Raccoon City and have taken over the entire world, leaving the few survivors to scamper from place to place. Unfortunately, it feels more like the 4th film in the series, as a lot has happened since the end of Apocalypse. The characters clue the viewer in at one point in the film, but it still seems like a giant step. Maybe with the original 4 films planned they were going to get to this last step a bit more gradually, but when they reduced the films to 3, they had to skip over that third installment and head straight for the finale. Either way, the viewer comes into this third film a bit confused, and doesn’t really jump wholeheartedly into the characters until much later in the film.

NOTE: As it turns out, Resident Evil: Extinction could be construed as a 4th film in the trilogy, as the DVD has a preview for a direct-to-DVD CG Animated film, Resident Evil: Degeneration, that looks to fill in at least some of the gaps.

While this film can’t hold a candle to the original, it does do a good job of improving on the lousy second film to bring this series to a satisfying close, while still managing to keep things open for a possible future sequel. While there are even more bits of sci-fi tossed in this time around (including clones and the afore-mentioned superpowers), the basic story of Alice vs. the zombies doesn’t get buried underneath the extras.

When all is said and done, Resident Evil: Extinction may be flawed, but it’s still worth a rental.

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