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Movie Review: Resident Evil: Extinction

Resident Evil: Extinction
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Written by Paul W.S. Anderson

I’m going to admit it: when I watched Resident Evil: Extinction, I was fighting exhaustion from a long day, and I had the urge to sleep during this movie, which I nearly did a few times.  So, if you have any interest in seeing the latest zombie action sequel derived from a classic video game, you may want to keep this in mind as you read this.  But know that my exhaustion wasn’t such that I wasn’t keeping up with what was going on (I am a little murky on a couple of minor details).

The Resident Evil movie series always seems to be a long buildup to another sequel.  We see our hero Alice (Milla Jovovich) surrounded by strange circumstances, zombies come to attack, and she fights them off.  Then we see pieces of the evil Umbrella organization, who gave birth to the zombies with their T-virus.  

Umbrella has been trying to figure out how to rid themselves of the zombies, now trekking across the entire world and consuming everything in sight.  In this chapter, a Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen), who has been using clones of Alice to find a cure, has found at least a way to make the zombies have cognitive functions including memories.  This is actually a wonderful plot point that is sadly abandoned.  It could have been a treat to see real zombie character, a la George Romero, in this film.

Instead, the focus is mainly on Alice and a convoy led by Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), who are trying to break down Umbrella’s defenses to find the answer to all the zombie madness.  And this setup has its charms at points: I liked the idea of crows eating infected flesh and becoming infected themselves, thus a mini-The Birds breaks out in the middle of the film.  This too is left behind.  Resident Evil gaming fans will also see a popular baddie later towards the end.

But like I mentioned before, the whole setup, with some good ideas thrown in the mix that are unfortunately left behind, seem to be one long buildup to yet another sequel.  I’ve felt this way about all three films.  This movie has a final shot that could be seen a mile away, so the da-da-da! moment they’re looking for is a bit wasted.  There’s some decent action here and there, but what a wasted opportunity considering the ideas.

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