Monday, August 15, 2011

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

When I reviewed "Resident Evil: Afterlife", I mentioned that a lot of today's franchise movies-"the "Saw" sequels, the "Underworld" movies, and this one-just don't appeal to me. Sure, I can understand why they appeal to so many, but for me, they're nothing to go crazy for. However, I believe I also mentioned that the third entry in the series is the only one that I find worth watching, so I figured "Well, why not review it?"

Taking place after "Apocalypse" (which is the worst entry in the series), this movie sees Alice (Milla Jovovich) and her crew-Clair Redfield (Ali Larter), Carlos Olivera (Oded Feher), Nurse Betty (ha ha) (R & B singer Ashanti) and others now venturing the deserts of Post-Apocalyptic Nevada, looking for a way to survive. In the process, Alice has now gained a sundry of superhuman powers thanks to the Umbrella Corporation's T-Virus, and they haven't forgotten about her or the survivors. So now, Alice and co. must battle undead animals, a newer strain of fast zombie, new mutations, and more from the corporation.

To enjoy a movie like "Resident Evil: Extinction", you must at first acknowledge that this isn't much like "Resident Evil" the video game series. Sure, it has Clair Redfield and the Umbrella Coporation, as well as monsters from the game, but this is ultimately "Resident Evil" fan fiction author's interpretation of the "Resident Evil" universe with a fan made character in Alice. Also, while I abhor the term "turn your brain off" when it comes to movies (even if I did, I'd still hate the "Transformers" movies), that's what you should do with these movies, because there isn't a whole lot going on from a thematic level other than "Billion dollar corporations are evil." This is pure, mindless crap from start to finish.

However, this is shockingly enough, sort of fun crap. That's largely due to director Russell Mulachy (whose credits include "Highlander" and the underrated "Razorback"), who knows firsthand that he's directing B-Movie bullshit, and does it with a sense of playfulness and fun that's lacking from the other movies. The acting is also noticeably better from the prior installments, with Jovovich finally getting comfortable with the role of Alice, and everyone else-well, they aren't great, but they aren't terrible either. Add a few suspenseful set pieces (the best one involving zombiefied birds), a nice Industrial Rock score from "Saw" composer Charlie Clouser, moments of humor, some fun action, and a sequel ready conclusion that didn't annoy me, and you've got a watchable little movie.

Sure, I could complain about the lack of logic, Alice having superpowers, the fact that the movie cribs lovingly from other, better movies (Romero's "Day of the Dead" for example), but you know what? I won't. This is pure, stupid movie junk food. It might not be good, but it's satisfying for what it is.

Rating: 6.5/10

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