'Resident Evil: Extinction' Review - That Wasteland Movie With an Umbrella Logo
Exactly like the first time we met her, Alice (Milla Jovovich) has awakened naked, confused and with amnesia in the bathroom of a mansion. Is this a flashback? A dream? A memory?
The answer to that question works perfectly as a symbol of the tone and place of this third part of the Resident Evil saga.
Neither a flashback nor a dream sequence. Clones.
Umbrella has built a new Hive, in the middle (and below) of the Mojave desert, where a team led by Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen), former head of Project Alice and the head of the North American Umbrella facility, are looking to create the perfect clone of Alice. The goal is to be able to develop a serum from her DNA (that is perfectly harmonized with the T-Virus), and thus create a cure for the zombies or at least be able to tame them. For some crazy reason, that idea is perceived as bad and villainy, but as we are talking about Umbrella, we kinda accept it without question.
For now, Umbrella hasn’t succeeded. This clone of Alice has failed the survival test, joining 86 other corpses of previous clones.
Five years have passed since the events in Raccoon City and the T-Virus has devastated the planet. The virus has even managed to dry rivers and destroy vegetation. Everything has become magically full-blown Mad Max-like, where the days are eternal and everything looks dusty, hot and yellowish.
Of course, this wasteland is full of the typical rapey outlaw who has rotten teeth, green mohawks, chains and a creepy cannibal family that smuggles gasoline.
And Alice—who is in tune with this new wasteland style of fingerless gloves and overcoats—has been defending herself for years from these outlaws, moving constantly while running away from Umbrella’s tracking satellites.
However, and in an incredible twist of destiny, she’s very close to the ultra-secret base of Umbrella in the Mojave Desert.
And that is not the only unlikely coincidence of “Raccoon City residents magically meeting in the same desert spot”. Alice has managed to run into a caravan of survivors. Among them is Carlos Oliveira (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps). Reunion time!
After ignoring completely (nobody even mentions them) the whereabouts of Jill Valentine and Angie, Alice, and the caravan decide to travel to Alaska (Yes. ALASKA. From Nevada, with fuel shortages) where, according to an old diary, the virus didn’t spread.
But in addition to the typical problems of a zombie apocalypse (killer ravens, millions of zombies, shaggy rapey green mohawks guys), the caravan will have to face Umbrella and its desire to capture Alice.
As you can see–and as usual in this saga–the script is just a mere excuse to design action sequences.
The good news is that these sequences offer a couple of entertaining moments. Above all, there’s an awesome scene involving killer ravens. In a cheap mix between Hitchcock and Michael Bay, the caravan of survivors are attacked by hundreds of ravens infected with the T-Virus. The combat, full of guns and flamethrowers, is original, engaging and with a satisfactory outcome, which also reveals the new exaggerated powers of Alice, that manage to neutralize the threat by literally setting the sky on fire.
What's Your Rating For Resident Evil: Extinction ?
Extinction also repeats that wonderful pattern of not getting the audience to really empathize with any character, and still achieve success at the box office. The characters and their dialogues are so mechanical and uncharismatic that we care little about their destiny. L.J. and another Afro-descendant character played by Ashanti are quickly dispatched as the terrible “token black men” that they are, and we just shrug it off. When Carlos decides to sacrifice himself by detonating a bomb in a fuel container truck (because that’s what you do when there’s a worldwide fuel shortage), we just want less ceremony in order to quickly judge the technical quality of the massive imminent explosion.
Extinction features two of the best-known characters from the original video game saga. Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) is part of Alice’s allied convoy. Uber-villain Albert Wesker (Jason O’Mara) is introduced as the leader of Umbrella, who communicates with his minions via-hologram from Tokyo, Palpatine Style.
Unfortunately, neither of the two presences affects the story at all. You could eliminate them completely from the movie and the plot would remain intact. They are mere name-droppings designed to make the film related to the Resident Evil universe.
Resident Evil: Extinction cannot hide the fact that this is just an uninteresting copy of Mad Max, without any car chases and with a Resident Evil coat of paint applied just to adhere it to the successful saga.
However, Extinction fulfills its mission to expand this cinematic universe. That final scene, with Alice allying with her clones while threatening Wesker, made it clear that this was just the beginning.
Title: Resident Evil: Extinction
Release Year: 2007
Director(s): Russell Mulcahy
Actors: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Oded Fehr, Iain Glen a.o.