Monday, July 03, 2017

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)








DIRECTOR:
 Russell Mulcahy

WRITER: Paul W.S. Anderson

CAST:

Milla Jovovich
Oded Fehr
Ali Larter
Iain Glen
Ashanti
Christopher Egan
Spencer Locke
Mike Epps
Jason O'Mara
Linden Ashby
Matthew Marsden
Joe Hursley

PLOT:

Set years after the events of The Hive and Raccoon City disasters, the Umbrella Corp. has tried to contain the T-Virus from spreading but were unsuccessful. The virus had escaped and consumed the planet. Earth is now a barren wasteland. Alice who is now travelling alone across the Nevada desert comes back into contact with Carlos and his convoy. They learn that there is a safe haven in Alaska where the infection hasn't yet reached. They will try and make their way to safety before all their resources dry up or the undead kill them.







After the wasted potential and ultimately disappointing Resident Evil: Apocalypse. I was left pretty worried about the future of the Resident Evil series. By the time that Resident Evil: Extinction was announced, I wasn't very excited about it. My red hot anticipation for the franchise had turned lukewarm by this point. Apocalypse left me pretty cold with the whole idea or the series continuing. What was primarily a series about survival horror had morphed into a toned down action film with zombies.

Once the trailer for Resident Evil: Extinction was released, I began getting a bit more excited about it. While the movie still looked heavy on the action, the trailers offered more in the way of the zombie carnage. It looked like the team behind the latest film were trying to steer the series back into a direction that gave us more of the survival horror element. It seemed a lot more intense than the previous sequel. It looked like the stakes were higher and as the tagline for the film had stated, all bets are off.

After watching Resident Evil: Extinction, my faith was somewhat restored in Resident Evil again. While not as enjoyable as the original movie, I felt that the film was a vast improvement over Apocalypse. Extinction isn't perfect, it has its problems, but when compared to the last movie, I thought Russell Mulcahy and Paul W.S. Anderson were a much better fit than Alexander Witt. Resident Evil: Extinction feels like a more well-rounded film. I think the three years off had given Paul W.S. Anderson time to craft a better story.

With Resident Evil: Extinction, I think they had learned from the mistakes that they made on Apocalypse and tried to rectify them here. Extinction is a much more violent film. I think after the success of the Dawn Of The Dead remake, they went for it with the blood. This is a much gorier film than Apocalypse. A lot of the gore and violence that is thrown at the audience is top notch. We get a lot of zombie attack sequences, some seriously mean-spirited moments and most of the major players meet a bloody end. Way to throw the audience off by killing main characters.

Visually, I think Resident Evil: Extinction is an incredibly slick and polished movie. I feel that Russell Mulcahy is a much better filmmaker than Alexander Witt in my own personal opinion. Extinction is probably my favourite film on a visual level. While the film is set mainly in this desert, the movie looks fantastic. The cinematography and camera work in the third film is a vast improvement over Apocalypse. Long gone are the blurry zombie shots and erratic camera work. This feels expertly handled.

All of the action set-pieces in Resident Evil: Extinction are a lot more intense this time around. We have an infected crows attack scene that feels like a larger-scale homage to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. The Las Vegas strip zombie attack scene is bloody and brutal, the suicide oil truck explosion is devastating, and an early scene involves Alice being almost gang-raped by a band of roaming thugs but she turns the tables around on all of her captors and uses the zombie Dobermans to her advantage. I thought the action sequences were excellent.

The biggest issues that I have with Resident Evil: Extinction is the fact that we start to get more glimpses into Alice's powers which become more clear as the series goes on, but in the film, this seems to be the movie where they are sort of in between, and it feels very uneven. It's clear from Apocalypse that Alice is able to make people bleed from every orifice but in Extinction, she can create force fields to prevent others from being burnt alive or levitate entire fields of rocks and motorcycles, yet they don't ever seem to be used ever again. A little inconsistent with what Alice is capable of as this badass action heroine.

Another element that I was disappointed with was the fact that the villain is Tyrant. He is another major boss from the game series. He's not exactly on a Nemesis level of being hard to defeat, but he's a scary boss when you come up against him in the games. Here he is given all of three minutes of screentime before he is killed off. I think the Tyrant deserved a much bigger and better role, just as I believed Nemesis deserved the same. Here they are merely used for the fans of the games but are left with nothing to do. They are more laughable than threatening.

Lastly, the acting is better than the second movie. I think as the stakes are higher in Extinction and major characters from the series are killed off, the film has a lot more heartache and pain. This in turns gives Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, and Ali Larter the chance to branch out and deliver more emotional performances. I think even Mike Epps was much better in this film as well. I hated him in Apocalypse, but there is a scene with him and Ashanti which see's him give his most emotional performance I think I've seen and he owns it.







DEATH TOLL:
 200 (Estimated)

BLOOD AND GORE:

- An Alice clone is shot in the stomach.
- Lots of dead Alice clones are shown dead in a ditch.
- Bloody human bones shown all over the floor of a pit.
- An infected crow is shown eating a zombie's eyeball.
- Lots of exploding zombie headshots.
- Lots of zombies are mowed down by guns.
- Zombies throats are sliced with large blades.
- Lots of infected crows are burnt to death.
- The Tyrant is cut into cubes by a laser grid.
- An oil truck explosion wipes out a horde of zombies.
- A zombie Doberman's neck is snapped.
- A zombie Doberman lands on a metal pole.
- Four people are mauled by zombie Dobermans.
- A zombie has an arrow shot into its head.
- A dead body is shown hanging in a closet, covered in flies.
- Two zombies eat a scientist in a lab.
- An Alice clone has her neck ripped out.
- Zombie crows peck people to death.
- A zombie is blown away by a machine gun.
- Zombies are run over and splattered by a truck.
- The Tyrant smashes his claw hand into someone's eyes and face.
- A zombies stomach is split open.
- A kick to the nose smashing the bone into someone's brain.
- A zombie Doberman is electrocuted.
- Someone is shown being eaten on a deserted highway.
- A zombie has its skull ripped open by a large spinning spike.
- Blades are slammed into zombie's necks and heads.
- Zombies split up the middle with blades.
- A blade to a zombie's face.
- Bloody zombie bites.
- Someone falls to their death and splats on a metal structure.







Resident Evil: Extinction is almost on par with the original for me. The movie is one enjoyable ride. Extinction returned the series back to more survival horror roots, the gore and violence are handed out in bucketfuls, the film is more emotional, the acting is at a series best and the movie is gorgeous to look at thanks to the hiring of director Russell Mulcahy of Highlander fame. The most significant issues feel like inconsistent story beats and terrible use of the films villain the Tyrant. Still a return to form for the Resident Evil film franchise.


2 comments:

  1. I love Extinction for the sole fact of the introduction of Claire Redfield haha. But also upon rewatches, the locations, the cinematography, the gore and practical zombies, the up close kill scenes, the story on more than just Alice.

    I liked the nods to THE BIRDS but also Romero's DAY OF THE DEAD (domesticating the undead for whatever reason).

    The fault I had with it is we don't see Alice use her powers like are touched on at the end of APOCALYPSE and also in Extinction. I get we can't for more than half of this film because she's being tracked via her powers. However in the following films this wouldn't be an issue because she's actively hunting down Umbrella as much as they want to find her.
    Just tiny plot holes like this start adding up throughout the franchise. It's not a huge deal breaker, I still enjoy them regardless.

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    1. Couldn't agree more about the little plot holes adding up throughout the series. I would've liked to see her use the powers she had at the end of Apocalypse.

      I think maybe Paul W.S. Anderson may have chosen not to use it again as it may have been seen as an easy way of Alice killing off any of the bigger villains that populate the series like the Tyrant or Wesker, who knows.

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