Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
By: Mr Intolerance on August 24, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Sony (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 2.40:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, Italian DD 5.1. English (FHI), English, Italian, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish subtitles. 90 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Ashanti, Mike Epps
Screenplay: Paul W.S. Anderson
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
Look, firstly, before anyone starts getting all intellectual and film buff-intelligentsia on me, can I just say fuck off. These films are a guilty pleasure of mine, and I fail to see the reason to justify myself to you. I am a massive fan of the Resident Evil franchise, owning all the films, almost all of the video games, t-shirts and have just purchased a bunch of the action figures to Resident Evil 4, it being the greatest video game of all time. Yeah, this'll be a real unbiased review…

If you haven't been keeping up, the Umbrella Corporation's T-Virus has been running rampant across the world, turning those it contacts into flesh-munching, gut-chomping zombies. Cue: zombie apocalypse! Let's face it folks, we all knew it was going to happen sooner or later, and if you can walk through a hardware store without judging the anti-zombie capabilities of all items present, you're either a liar, or on the wrong website.

Our girl Alice (Milla "Oh God, I need a new pair of trousers" Jovovich) is still waging her one woman butt-kicking war against those evil bastards at Umbrella – and a nation of zombies, natch – and now that she's genetically enhanced, she's almost practically unstoppable. But, bear in mind, there are a fuck of a lot of undead out there, and one bite and you're fucked – so things aren't really going according to schedule.

We're kinda sorta in the same general vibe as at the end of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, and with a few recurring characters (Carlos and L.J., specifically). But really, given the nature of these games…whoops…films, it doesn't really matter all that much. We all know what we're here for, and this film delivers it in spades: action, action, action! No, it's not the more cerebral violence of a David Cronenberg film or the ballet-like carnage of a John Woo HK action flick, and no, it doesn't have the grimy brutality of a spaghetti western or a nasty 70s giallo – this is a comic book come to life with the sole purpose of entertaining you while beer and pizza are being consumed.

Really, these films are the definition of "turn your brain off at the door" entertainment. If every night was watching Bergman and Fellini your brain would positively implode from the pretention, not to mention the lack of "fun factor". Everyone needs films like this in their collection to take up those nights when work has been that bit too brain-frying, or maybe dinner has been a largely liquid affair.

So this film starts off with Milla Jovovich nude, lightly covered with a shower curtain. YAY!!! WOO-HOO!!! Jo-Vo-Vich! Jo-Vo-Vich! Sorry, I got a bit carried away there. The opening scene is taken from the first Resident Evil film, a little puzzlingly. Things do become apparent quite quickly, however. Having already altered Alice in the previous film via the Nemesis program, now those terrible cunts at Umbrella are trying to clone this poor, long-suffering woman. And it becomes rapidly apparent that they've been at it for a long time, but the clones just haven't cut the mustard.

In her traditional voiceover, Alice tells us the T-Virus hasn't just annihilated most of the human race, it's rendered the world a barren wasteland almost totally incapable of sustaining human life. Phew, this zombie apocalypse lark was even more of a burden than George Romero films would have us think! But Alice, as always, is on the case. Well, Alice and a band of survivors who have to keep moving to survive the zombie menace.

Can I state for the record that one of the reasons I like these films despite their tremendous shortcomings in terms of scriptwriting and at times direction is the zombie goodness. These undead, walking appetites, are proper Romero-style shamblers, none of this superhuman Olympic sprinter malarkey that's been doing the rounds recently in re-makes of Dawn of the Dead or Day of the Dead, for example. And there's always a high gore quotient, and thank Christ not all of it is CGI.

Off soap-box, back to synopsis. Alice is almost immediately placed in peril, bushwhacked by some real arse-holes, but of course (hey, it's the beginning of the movie) arse-whomps her way back to freedom, giving us a fair amount of living and undead claret on the way. I do love me violence, ridiculously choreographed though it may be.

Alice's new power in this film (as opposed to her regular skill of being able to open a can of whup-ass on anyone who pisses her off) would appear to be psycho-telekinesis – oh that whacky T-Virus…is there nothing it can't do? Mind you, her control of it is initially more than a bit wobbly, to say the least.

One thing that was kind of side-stepped in the last Resident Evil film was the T-Virus' effect on the native fauna (dogs excepted, of course, a staple to all three flicks), but this film addresses that idea…and how! I mean, if animals are going to dine on zombie carcasses, you've got to expect something to happen – mind you, it's not as inimical as the zombie elephant in Resident Evil: Outbreak File 2 (you try stopping that bastard armed only with a .45!). Still, it proves to be a dilly of a pickle for our heroes.

Once the Umbrella boys tool up, you know it's time for badness (and violence), so strap yourselves in, it'll be a bumpy ride from there. Particularly when they're taking a big box of badness with them! Things are going to get a little hectic from there, sadly enough, especially when Umbrella know Alice is with the Survivors. I think I'll leave the story there – catch up on what happens to Alice and co yourself.

Part of the surprise of this film was seeing Russel Mulcahy's name on the directorial banner again. Here's a director whose big screen work I haven't seen since Razorback, and to see it in a big-budget US action-horror flick was a treat. Nice to see a local boy working in the States.

This film, for the fans of the RE games out there, also finally gives us the debut of Albert Wesker, head of the Umbrella Corporation and one-time S.T.A.R.S. operative. I'm assuming that given our contemporary distrust of big corporations and authority in general, Wesker has been brought in finally to give us a Blofeld-like boogey-man to boo and hiss at panto-style. Well, for that reason and his recent appearance in the Resident Evil 4 PS2 video-game (as well as the less successful Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles on the Wii), whose runaway success and general approbation in the gaming community would generally seem to demand it. Claire Redfield's sudden inclusion in this film would tend to support this (given her soon-to-be appearing role in the upcoming Resident Evil: Degeneration CG movie), as opposed to Jill Valentine's in the last instalment.

I guess the recent fear of WMDs would also be mirrored in the demonization of the T-Virus. World-wide chemical and biological devastation – you got that straight! Serious issues in a Resident Evil film – who'd a thunk it? And from the recent developments in the zombie film, the whole notion of the domesticated zombie rears its snarling head. This idea of a zombie underclass seems to have permeated zombie canon from Day of the Dead to Shaun of the Dead. Some form of class commentary? I think so, but maybe a bit light-on here.
Video
The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. Sharpness and colour detail are good, and overall there is nothing to complain about.
Audio
Presented in 5.1, Resident Evil: Extinction has an active and aggressive surround sound mix. As you'd expect, the explosions are loud and the bullets whizz by during each fight scene and action sequence.
Extra Features
An audio commentary with director Russel Mulcahy, writer/producer Paul W.S. Anderson, and producer Jeremy Bolt; a sneak peak at the new CG film Resident Evil: Degeneration, some deleted scenes, and a doco "Beyond Raccoon City: Unearthing Resident Evil – Extinction". There are also trailers for Resident Evil 5 (video game), Devil May Cry 4 (video game), Vantage Point and Gabriel.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
These films are popcorn-munchers at best; silly time-wasters. This is one of the weakest entries in the series, but is still a fun bit of tatt. Milla "Oh God, I've never wanted to be a motorbike seat so much in my life" Jovovich looks phenomenal, the action scenes are first class, the fun is without parallel. Watch it and have a giggle. Basically, big dumb fun. Enjoy.

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