Friday night. It's a time when we all go out to the movies and enjoy the finest pickings that Hollywood has to offer. Well, this week, if you weren't interested in Good Luck Chuck or Sydney White, then Resident Evil: Extinction is your only choice -- because hell, who is going to actually watch a movie that came out last week?
I made sure to get to the theatre a good 20 minutes early, so as to secure myself a grand seat for this film, and went at 2:15 in the afternoon so as to avoid those pesky high-school kids. Alas, the big fans of Paul W.S. Anderson's previous films had already taken the choicest seats. Armed for what would be an unforgettable experience, I enjoyed my Heavenly Sword and Sony Pictures ads that were bombarded at me before the film started.
In the first Resident Evil film, we're introduced to the T-Virus, it's horrible effects, and the mansion. All in all, it wasn't a horrible movie -- it was generic American horror and a poor use of a video game license. The second film was more magnificent than the first. It introduced more characters from the Resident Evil series, including Nemesis. Finally we had a proper enemy in the movie, only to have him die before the second film ends with Racoon City getting nuked.
As we know, Alice is sought after by the Umbrella Corporation because her blood has bonded with the T-Virus, making her immune to its effects. They've captured her several times, but she's managed to break out and slaughter tons of people. Well, that didn't stop them from trying to find a "cure" to the zombie problem.
We find out in the beginning of this film that Umbrella has been creating Alice clones from synthesized samples of her blood, and running them through a gauntlet of traps and tests to see how their reflexes are. The problem is, they suck. They suck enough that after 87 tries, they still can't get through the damn thing. What do you do with the dead bodies? Take them up above ground, and throw them in a ditch right outside, where a gigantic mass of zombies are clamoring for their flesh -- stopped only by a chain link fence and some razor wire.
In a matter of weeks, the T-Virus has destroyed life in America, and over the next five years, it spreads throughout the world. People, animals, and even plants, all are affected by the virus. Now, the world is a veritable desert, as experienced by the dinosaurs. For a bit, I thought Resident Evil had been switched out for a remake of Mad Max, but I was sadly mistaken.
So, what now? Alice joins up with a caravan of survivors, including Claire Redfield and a bunch of children. Now, with a dream of heading to Alaska, where the virus might not be, the gang has to make a stop in Vegas to do some gambling and grab some gas. When they get there, the Umbrella Corporation left them a shipping container filled with...you guessed it, zombies!
These are super-zombies, though. That "cure" Umbrella was working on? Well, it actually makes the zombies more aggressive, but gives them some basic logic skills, along with an insatiable thirst for Sony products. More on that later, though. After dispatching the zombies, Alice and company follow Umbrella's helicopter back to the base. Everyone except for Alice takes the helicopter towards Alaska, who decides to settle this Umbrella Corporation business once and for all.
Now, the evil doctor who's been leading all this T-Virus experimentation has gotten himself infected, and over-injects himself with the "cure" for the T-Virus that he's been working on. Now, he's turned himself into a tyrant, and proceeds to tentacle rape a man's face. Also, he's got psychic powers. Now, it's up to Alice to fight him -- in a situation where she is told that she needs to go do a boss fight.
So now that I've gotten through all that, it's time to expound on the film itself. Resident Evil: Extinction attempts to be an epic film, creating a grandiose end for the series, and in doing so, removes itself almost completely from the Resident Evil franchise, save for some character names, and a good 15 minutes worth of screentime that resembled the original Resident Evil game.
The film doesn't let you forget its roots, either. I doubt that there was a gap longer than five minutes where they didn't show you a Sony product. When they were training the domesticated zombie, they first gave him a Sony phone, followed by a Sony camera. Let that sink in for a moment. Alright, good? To add to this, I thought Alice was just a walking advertisement for Heavenly Sword, with the way she fought with knives. It's product placement at its worst.
From a cinematic standpoint, the film was actually an improvement over the last one. Niero was fired from the position of Director of Photography, so the combat scenes were no longer filmed in shaky-cam-o-vision. The dialogue was totally unnecessary -- it was just something to fill up the time.
As a horror film, though, Resident Evil failed me. It relied heavily on simple jump scares -- what I mean by that is they have things happen rather suddenly in order to get a scare out of you. The film leans heavily on the typical events of a zombie film: someone gets bitten, but doesn't tell the others, eventually causing a disturbance; there's always one zombie that you didn't find; those survivors calling for help are actually robbers. The list does go on and on, but those are some of the major ones that you can see from a mile away.
Zombie logic, too, is something I take very seriously. The zombies range from barely being able to control their own motor functions to being able to operate cameras and scale a mock Eiffel Tower. There's too much of a gap in the film in how they operate. That's my rant for Weekend Reading, though, so I'll leave it be for now.
Does this film have any redeeming qualities? Most certainly not. By the time I came out of it, I felt drained of all emotion, almost as though I was a zombie myself.
Final score: 1/10
Forget it/Rent it/Buy it
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