Comments on watching and making films.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

DVD - Resident Evil: Extinction

Okay, a little background on why I'm writing this. I saw the original Resident Evil on DVD, many years ago, and I liked it. I thought it was a fairly well made zombie movie that had me creeping and crawling. The gigantic mutant dog thing, at the end, lost it a little bit for me, but everything up to that point was pretty good. Then, they made Resident Evil:Apocalypse, which totally blew. I mean, what were they thinking when they made this movie? I don't care about the behind the scenes bad guys, or the dude who gets infected in the first movie, only to become a mutant killing machine for this one. I care about ZOMBIES. That's why I'm there. So, when I saw the first trailers for Extinction, the thought that immediately popped into my mind was - "Well, your stuck now. You've already watched the first two, so suck it up and put in the 90 minutes. Maybe they will have learned from their mistakes."

Well, I would say the filmmakers learned from the mistakes they made with Apocalypse, but, maybe they learned a little too well. It seemed like they took all of the mistakes made in Apocalypse, and just did the polar opposite of them, in turn creating more mistakes, but with lesser consequence. Extinction is a film that is riddled with bad choices by the filmmakers, but, none of these bad choices particularly make it a bad film, just INCREDIBLY mediocre. One of those films where, when it's over, you walk away empty handed, which is better than walking away feeling cheated, but definitely not as good as feeling you watched something truly amazing.

Extinction continues to follow Alice (reprised, yet again, by Milla Jovovich. Hey, what else is she doing these days?), only now, it is several years after the events of Apocalypse, and the T-virus has devastated the entire world. We meet Alice as she manuevers her way through a desert wasteland, Road Warrior style, looking for gas and supplies from whatever she can scrounge. After a series of early mishaps, she stumbles across a convoy, which includes her old buddies L.J. and Carlos (reprised, respectively, by Mike Epps and Oded Fehr. Hey, what else are they doing these days?). The convoy is under the leadership of Claire Redfield (Ali Larter, of Heroe's fame), and is pushing across the desert towards the coast. Alice reveals a journal she found to Carlos and Claire. Inside it is information about an infection free area in Alaska, which they decide to go to. Two problems - the convoy is almost out of gas and food (and being in Nevada, those two things are going to become pretty important if their going to make it to Alaska), and Two - Alice's old arch nemesis Dr. Isaacs is still after her, because he believes her blood holds the cure for infection. The convoy decides to try for gas and food in Vegas, but what they don't know is that Dr. Isaac's is tracking them, and waiting for them there with a few surprises up his sleeve.

Like I've said before, this movie was not particularly good, and it wasn't particularly bad either. At a lean and mean 90 minutes, the action goes so fast, I was actually very surprised when it was over. I assumed there would be more story to it. Milla Jovovich is in pure bad ass form as Alice, and, like I hinted at before, this movie owes a deep debt of gratitude to The Road Warrior. I almost expected Mad Max to pop up somewhere in the film, or at least a more overt reference to him (if the entire film wasn't an overt enough reference). The judgement? If your a Resident Evil fan, or, if your like me and you've already put your time in on the first two, even though they had their ups and downs, this film is worth your ninety minutes, just so you can say that you saw all three. If you're a casual watcher, wait until it comes on cable or something and watch it that way. I guarantee you that whatever content they edit out, is not going to save the movie from it's own lacklusterness.

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