Latest installment of ‘Resident Evil’ falls short of hype
September 28, 2007
The dull way in which “Resident Evil: Extinction” plays out is a big indicator of how its predecessors gave movie fans too much, too soon. This is a series that played its hand way too early, going from a claustrophobic gore-fest to an apocalyptic blockbuster in the span of two movies.
Thus, “Resident Evil: Extinction” isn’t so much bad as it is just really boring, a still-born sequel that gives viewers more of the same and doesn’t provide a single valid reason for existing in any of its 95 minutes.
Set some years after “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” “Extinction” picks up as most of Earth has been ravaged by the Umbrella Corporation’s zombie-spurning T-Virus. Still fighting the good fight against these flesh-eating ghouls is Alice (Milla Jovovich), the series’ principal heroine and zombie killer extraordinaire.
Traveling through the desert wasteland that the U.S. has now become, Alice encounters a convoy of survivors led by Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and comprised of some old friends from her past. Unbeknownst to Alice, Umbrella is still on the hunt for her, what with the nefarious Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) tasked with capturing her and using her genetically-modified structure to potentially find a cure for the T-Virus.
But after discovering signs of presumed safety awaiting in Alaska, Alice must make the choice to help lead Claire’s crew to salvation or put an end to Umbrella’s tinkering once and for all.
The makers of “Resident Evil: Extinction” should have known that their idea well had run dry when, after cranking out two movies’ worth of ghastly monsters, the best they could come up with for new villains were evil crows and bald zombies wearing jumpsuits. Seriously? George Romero did well for himself, building up his four “Living Dead” features with your average, meat-and-potatoes zombies, and yet this series sputtered out with movie number two? “Extinction’s” failure to either scare horror hounds or energize action junkies pretty much comes down to a matter of repetition and poor plotting.
The biggest problem is with the setting; there’s hardly anywhere to go with the story when the zombie apocalypse has already swept through, and “Extinction” doesn’t even bother trying to find a clever way out. It just brings the carnage to the desert, where the female survivors have, of course, somehow managed to maintain flawless complexions amidst living through an undead holocaust, and little is done to deviate from the previous two movies otherwise.
Despite my childhood crush on Jovovich, even I have to question her willingness to slay the same slew of zombies for the third time in a row. It really says something when an actress’ latest production manages to be bested by the likes of “Ultraviolet.”
I saw this movie with my dad, and he put it best when, on the way to the parking lot, he said, “Those had to be the most un-frightening zombies I’d ever seen.”
A slightly less miserable horror movie than “Captivity,” the scariest aspect of “Resident Evil: Extinction” is how much money it pulled in opening weekend.