Resident Evil: Extinction

UK release date: 12 October 2007

cast list

Milla Jovovich
Ali Later
Oded Fehr

directed by
Russell Mulcahy
Resident Evil Extinction is the concluding chapter of the video-game-based film trilogy. Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in this sunlit zombie flick.

The dreaded T-virus has turned all civilization into flesh-hungry hordes of Undead; killed plant life; and implausibly dried up all the rivers and lakes. Alice is on a mission to cure all this by interminably motorcycling through the Nevada desert and avoiding all contact with the living and evading satellite surveillance by the Umbrella Corp.

Tricked by a call for aid she encounters one nasty camp of backwater folk who feed her to their zombie dogs. Inevitably she starts a lithe and lethal assault in a tiny skirt and leather gunslinger ensemble.

While she is getting on with that we discover that old beau Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and a merry convoy of other survivors including matriarch Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), Nurse Betty (R&B star Ashanti), L.J. (Def Comedy Jam comedian Mike Epps) are riding in convoy in the desert. They spend the night at an abandoned hotel and in the morning they are attacked by a massive murder of crows. A small nod to Hitchcock is in order there.

Then out of the blue Alice demonstrates that she hasnt only got physical prowess, but she has also been genetically altered to have pyro/psychokinetic ability too. She manipulates a conveniently present flame thrower setting the sky ablaze for the ashes of the crows to rain to the ground. After the slow start there is finally some potential and verve on display.

Together they set out, Mad Max style to a fantastic vision of Las Vegas swept over by sand and left derelict by storms. There is nod to the nihilism of Planet of the Apes as the camera pans over a dusty Statue of Liberty and the fullest sense of agoraphobia sets in.

Just as the genre-rattling scene starts becoming effective, action abruptly shifts into the cold, blue, steel bowels of the earth at Umbrella Corps headquarters, as though the film really were a video game, moving from one level up to the next until reaching the final boss. In short, it’s disjointed, as though the writers were told to come up with one cool scene each (forget about quality dialogue) and leave the rest to sort itself out.

Director Russell Mulcahy never fulfils the potential thrill threshold. The conventional fightscenes and general, splattering mayhem dont have the speed, slick editing or composition of recent action films. The soundtrack builds excessive suspense only to drop you by a cheap couple of jumpy scares. Eugenio Caballero, an Oscar winner for his production design on Pans Labyrinth, is the only real hero here.

Resident Evil: Extinction is a spaghetti-western, horror, action adventure, sci-fi blend that takes a silly lead role on an improbable journey with a vivacity that could be applauded, but is perhaps best ignored completely.

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