"The deadly T-virus has now escaped the Umbrella Corporation's rigorously controlled environment and infected the world. There are few who can remain alive in such a hostile atmosphere where nature has reclaimed her own and flesh hungry zombies seek the warm life blood of the living. Earth is desolate. The entire planet shown from afar is now visible as a barren Necropolis of broken dreams, empty lives, and the fruitless pursuit of existence. It's over. . . or is it? Operation Alice is back, bigger and better than before. The fight for earth has begun . . .
Continuing the ever growing Resident Evil franchise, the latest installment in this seemingly endless movie series has actually managed to redeem much of the harm done in prior movies. While this is still not a "thinking man's" film by any means, the numerous action sequences, interesting special effects, and superior scenes of zombie carnage combined to produce an entertaining and enjoyable film. Perhaps there is hope for the Resident Evil venture after all.
The story continues the very lose plot line established in earlier movies, that is, Alice runs around in skimpy clothes, as before, and engages in random acts of violence while taking herself very seriously. Meanwhile, the ever devious yet massively inefficient Umbrella Corporation tracks her, thinking to take on a monster that they have created, yet have proved time and again that they cannot control. So much for the whole notion of hindsight. But, if you have already seen the first two Resident Evil movies and are still coming back, then you already know all this. Let's face it, the movies are just dumb, but they are fun if you can put aside your thinking cap and indulge in a Friday night flick with friends. And besides, there is one new theme that has emerged in Resident Evil: Extinction that is actually quite appealing in a macabre sort of way, the entire destruction of the world. While Resident Evil has never minded killing off large populations for the pleasure of a disturbingly blood thirsty public, no one ever quite anticipated that they were ready to eradicate the world. Yes, it's been done before, but for some strange reason, this same old concept has a uniquely revolting attraction. The new theme works. Freud might have some interesting theories as to why, but let's face it - - - no one really cares, we just want to be entertained.
Now, what about the characters? I, for a lack of anything better to do (thus are the trials of being nineteen) have unfortunately watched both of the original Resident Evil movies more than once and, despite this, still haven't a clue as to what the character's personality's are really like. Apparently, Resident Evil: Extinction decided not to remedy this problem. We still don't care about these people. As far as we are concerned, they are just future zombie bait or, as I prefer to say, zombie chow on parade. But wait! What about the elusive Alice? Yes, she is still "cool" with her no nonsense mannerisms, incredible and totally unrealistic fighting maneuvers, and her ultra sexy clothes but let's face it, she's just not a talker. Does anyone remember her ever saying more than three words? I rest my case. Resident Evil and characterization are not synonymous and they probably never will be. As I said, this is not a thinking man's movie.
So, now that my poison pen is warmed up, I sadly must switch gears and move onwards, leaving my delightful cynicism behind and explaining the good qualities of this movie to any of you out there who were unfortunate enough to land on my review (laughs maniacally.) Resident Evil is mainly known for its concentration of high drama, edge of the seat tension, unpredictability, and special effects and in all these areas it delivers marvelously. The action presented in this movie far surpasses the first two films keeping the viewer hooked to the screen and diverting their attention from the actual lack of a deep plot. The action is non-stop and for the most part realistically depicted. The special effects have improved over the years and the directors were not afraid to capitalize on this especially since if all these scenes of carnage and mayhem were removed the movie could be recapped in less than three sentences. The combination of horror and action that is unique to the video game to movies franchise that is booming of late is presented most effectively in this film creating a very tense atmosphere and resulting in many unexpected deaths, mutilations, and zombiefications.
The conclusion was both oddly disappointing and strangely satisfying at the same time although it was obviously the prelude to yet another sequel (what ever happened to succinctness?) While Alice's final battle with an unnamed but many clawed creature was abrupt and vastly disappointing especially considering that half the movie had been building up to this grand battle, the "surprise conclusion" that was presented afterwards was most unique and quite interesting thus redeeming the entire conclusion.
Ending Thoughts: The expert manipulation of effects and the inclusion of hordes of flesh hungry zombies and heart stopping action packed scenes will of course appeal to any cynical teenage audience; however, an older crowed will probably find it most banal. If you are more into the thinking man's type of film, then this is not for you. If you are looking for a meaningless yet fun film, then Resident Evil: Extinction is definitely worth seeing.
Not a bad third entry
Moonlight Graham | Chicago, Illinois United States | 01/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Considering the Resident Evil movie universe, this third entry into the series is probably on par with the first movie, if not better. I know many people aren't fans of this series, but I do get a kick out of them. I thought the second one was a bit of a disappointment, but the series came back with Extinction. Alice is back, along with a couple of characters from Apocalypse. Humanity is on the brink of extinction now as the virus continues to grow and grow. As has been mentioned in other reviews, this is not exactly a unique take, but where else would they go with it? If you like the Resident Evil movies, definitely check this one out. If you didn't like the first one, you should probably steer clear."
Mad Mila; Beyond Zombie-Dome. A Sci-fi Channel Original.
E K Maxmias | Close enough to Detroit! | 07/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, I know the Sci-fi channel had nothing to do with this. I'm obviously using their reputation for fine film making (tongue firmly in cheek) as a measure of this films quality. Is "Resident Evil; Extinction" really that bad? No, it's not THAT bad, but it's not so good either. To understand where I'm coming from, let's quickly rehash my thoughts on the first 2 films;
Resident Evil: Original, edgy story, (despite cheesing off the video game crowd), creative visuals and fair characters combine to create a surprisingly good zombie, action, horror film. The Director did a nice job with a relatively tight budget.
Resident Evil; Apocalypse: A simple story that appeased the video game fans, goofy monster effects and big budget explosions combine for an in-your-face silly action movie. Gone is the great tension and visuals of the first film; still fun in a stupid way.
This brings us up to date on where I stand in the Resident Evil series... ...until now. "Extinction" suffered with, what I call, CREATIVE CONSTIPATION!! Dun, Dun, DAHH! (Very dramatic, I know). Let's get down to it...
-BEST OF BOTH MAKES WORST OF ALL This film had elements from the first film that I enjoyed a lot (i.e.; the laser room; very cool) and elements from the second film (goofy monsters) that combined to make a more confused film than either of the first two. As much as the second film disappointed me it was, at least, consistent in its mood and values. As pleasantly surprised as I was with the first film, its best elements don't work when out of the context of the edgy story and creative environment. The only thing that translated well was the theme music, which is still effective at setting a mood.
-CAN YOU SAY; DERIVATIVE I can forgive copying in the context of homage or as a respectful nod, but the "Road Warrior" theme came off as derivative here. Certainly, in the context of a dying planet, copying "Road Warrior" would seem a logical choice. However, did they really need a skinny bearded guy with big teeth and a strange hat (i.e.; the helicopter guy in RW)? Of course, like most zombie films, the entire series pays respect to George Romero's zombie rule (infection by blood, head shots required, etc.), and clearly is borrowing concepts from Romero as they make sense (i.e. ; experimenting on zombies, domesticating zombies) without ever raising the social questions. Regardless of the intent; this film depended so heavily on past work that I could not help critique its lack of originality.
-HOW DEAD CAN YOU GET? The thing most frightening and disturbing about zombies is that they once were normal people. In the first film, with a lesser budget, zombie makeup was limited mostly to grey face paint, prosthetic wounds and an emphases on good zombie acting. This is the kind of zombie I appreciate the most; still human but lacking their humanity. These are the zombies that give me the creeps because they seem somewhat plausible. "Extinction" definitely had too much money to spend on makeup, because these zombies were so latex heavy that they lost all humanity and became monsters. Also missing was the attention to detail where zombie acting was concerned; just a bunch of people in masks running around and attacking people. More makeup does not mean more dead; just less human.
-IT'S OVER WHEN I SAY "WTF!!!" Here are a couple things that I had to sneer at (SPOILER ALLERT for those interested). -In one of the least surprising moments in a film ever to be presented as a revelation, Alice (Mila) finds out that she is the savior of all mankind. If you didn't figure this out in the first film; shame on you. The ability to fry circuits in space WAS a surprise; ugh! -Apparently, too much vaccination can cause otherworldly mutations in humans infected with the "T" virus. When I say otherworldly, I mean you will be able to instantly heal, use bad breath as a concussion weapon and grow tentacle fingers capable of shooting across the room. This is amazing since it never did more than stop zombification before (sometimes it didn't help at all). The worst part is, the mutation looked pretty bad. -You shouldn't drive heavy trucks and Hummers in a post-apocalyptic world; fuel mileage will be a bit of a problem.
-IF YOU CAN'T SAY SOMETHING NICE... So here's a list of things I thought were cool or interesting but only as stand-alone ideas that could not make this a good film on their own: (some more SPOILERS, beware.) -Zombie Crows; a scary proposition. -I liked the main characters for what they're worth; not great, but not bad either. -A zombie bomb (drop a dumpster full of zombies) was kind of clever. -The laser room (sorry, it's just so cool!!) -I give Mila credit for her ability as an action Heroine. She is very capable. -There was nothing inherently wrong with the production values.
-HOW CAN I WRITE SO MUCH ABOUT SO LITTLE? Yea, really; this film did not warrant such "deep" analysis. I thought the first RE film was very creative and creepy. I thought the second was crude and dumb but entertaining on a basic level. This third film was visually better than the second but lacked the cohesiveness and creativity of the first. As a result, you get a mish-mash of a film. Big Budget production values with a less than enthralling story. I can only recommend this for fans of the game and completists who must have the whole series. -Visuals......4 stars -Characters...3.5 stars -Story.........2.5 stars -Monsters....2 stars -Fun/scares..2.5 stars Average.....2.9 stars. "
Evil Under the Umbrella
Sky | New York | 01/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember back in 2002 when Resident Evil came out how skeptical I was about a video game transfer to the big screen. But you gotta hand it to Writer/Director Paul Anderson on that one; he made a great, Action- Horror film.
Then along came Resident Evil: Apocalypse (RE2) in 2004. Anderson wrote the script, but turned the directing reins over to noob Alexander Witt...and you see Witt's inexperience all over the movie. RE2 added an amateurish hokeyness that wasn't present in the original.
In 2007 the series returns to straight-up Action - Horror with Resident Evil: Extinction (RE3). RE3 is not as dark and creepy as RE1, but it's a lot better than RE2. Anderson again wrote the script, but relied on vet Russ Mulcahy (remember the cult 80s hit Highlander?) to direct. For RE3, Mulcahy went back to a lot of the basics that made the original so good.
RE1 and RE3 have good old fashion scares, tons of action and stories that never get boring. RE2 was entertaining and had its own share of action, but the story and the 'horror' lacked compared to 1 & 3.
The story is pretty consistent throughout all three movies. The deadly T-Virus is accidentally (or not) released by the Umbrella Corporation, and it's up to Milla Jovovich to save the world from its effects: zombies, unthinkable mutations (man and animal alike) and the psychotic minds of the Umbrella Corp.
It's certainly not necessary to watch all three to understand what's going on in the individual releases. In fact, you don't even need to watch them chronologically. But if you're into the Action - Horror genre, and you haven't seen the first two, I recommend just starting from the beginning and enjoy the ride.
All-in-all, not half bad
celticriver | houston, tx | 09/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"i saw the midnight showing of this film, and i must say. while i was not dissappointed completely, sometimes i found that the movie was all over the place. the storyline could've been tighter, but all-in-all, not half bad. it was better than RE2. (spoiler alert) keep in mind, the ending does absolutely nothing but set you up for Resident evil IV. however, there were some good points--when alice uses telekinesis to kill the birds, that was a very well-shot sequence. the audience cheered. (end) it was low on zombie attacks, but did keep me concerned about the ragtag group of survivors. and the action sequences were top notch."