RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION
** (out of 5)
September 21, 2007
Milla Jovovich as ALICE
Oded Fehr as CARLOS OLIVERA
Ali Larter as CLAIRE
Iain Glen as DR. ISAACS
Ashanti as BETTY
Christopher Egan as MIKEY
Spencer Locke as K-MART
Mike Epps as L.J.
Studio: Screen Gems
Directed by: Russell Mulcahy
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
A few years back, I was short on cash and had to make due with only a couple bucks to eat over the weekend. I went to the store to get some food, and the best cheap meat I could think of was Spam. However, when I went to the canned lunchmeat section, I found a less expensive generic store brand. I soon found myself pondering whether the generic stuff would live up to the quality of real Spam.
In quiet reflection, this made no sense. Is there anything worse than Spam? Probably not, but it still is awesome on a fried egg sandwich.
Likewise, I found myself wondering whether “Resident Evil: Extinction” will live up to the quality we’ve come to expect from the first two films.
After Alice and company fought the zombies underground in “Resident Evil” and then faced the undead as they overran Raccoon City in “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” now they are fighting the zombies for control of the wasted world. Milla Jovovich teams up with Ali Larter and her refugee team to take on the zombies in apocalyptic desert landscape. Think of it as “The Road Warrior” meets “Dawn of the Dead” on the Las Vegas strip.
If this appeals to you, you might like the film. It’s not that the zombie showdowns spills over into the keno lounge of the MGM Grand or anything that fun, but the wasteland of former Las Vegas makes a pretty cool backdrop.
Ultimately, if you really loved the first two movies – or if you really hated them – you’ll probably want to skip “Resident Evil: Extinction.”
While I was a fan of the first two “Resident Evil” flicks, I was a bit disappointed with this movie. Sure, it’s got a lot of zombies blowing up, but it just gets too silly in some parts. The terror of flesh-eating zombies is left at the side while I found myself using the plot holes to make jokes…
How many zombies can you fit in a cargo hold? Apparently about 60,000 if you pack them really tightly.
How many people can escape in a small helicopter? The number seems to be about 20 if you pack them in like clowns in a VW bug.
How many people are stupid enough to let themselves get bitten by zombies and not take a bullet to the head? Well, this was actually only one, but it was a big duh for the reality in the film.
Still, “Resident Evil: Extinction” wasn’t a total waste. Milla Jovovich, queen of the modern B-movie, looks sexy in her apocalyptic Mad Max outfit. And I did enjoy looking at the hundreds of naked Alice clones in the Umbrella Corporation’s underground warehouse.
Dropping Ali Larter and Ashanti into the zombie hunter den wasn’t a bad idea – although they did wear a bit too much clothing than I imagine would be comfortable in the apocalyptic Nevada desert. It seems the costume designer didn’t learn anything from the short skirt worn by Sienna Guillory in “Resident Evil: Apocalypse.”
Gorehounds and zombie freaks should enjoy the zombie scenes. There’s many a head that is blown in by shotguns and other devices. I think more zombies are wiped off the earth in this film than the rest of the movies together. But rotten zombie brains splattered into the camera lens does not always a good movie make.
This all might be the director’s problem. Paul W.S. Anderson was in charge of the first two, and he’s one of my favorite hack directors. When he passed the directing reigns over to Russell Mulcahy, he should have thought twice about this. With rare exceptions, it really is not a good idea to give a seasoned director from television and movie videos a chance at the big screen. We end up with… well, we end up with “Resident Evil: Extinction.”