Resident Evil: Extinction
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Sequel to: Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Ashanti, Christopher Egan, Spencer Locke, Matthew Marsden, Linden Ashby, Jason O’Mara, Mike Epps
Seen on: 24.8.2022
After basically the entire world was overrun by zombies, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is making her way through the desert, always looking for survivors that may need help, and simply surviving herself. Also making their way through the desert is Claire (Ali Larter) and her convoy that includes Carlos (Oded Fehr), looking for food and fuel wherever they can find it. Meanwhile, Dr Isaacs (Iain Glen) is experimenting at the Umbrella corporation, hoping for a way to capitalize on Alice and on the zombies. All of their paths are bound to cross.
Resident Evil: Extinction is, I think, my favorite of the Resident Evil movies so far (this is not an endorsement). That’s not because it is particularly good, but it is a decent, albeit uninspired genre exercise that plays nicely with what came in the series before it.
When the film opens with basically a recreation of the most iconic scenes of the first film, one would be allowed to think that it was done mostly to get Milla Jovovich naked again. And it is true that the point of that recreation (for Dr Isaacs’ experiments) isn’t really explained. But for the audience it is a nice call-back to the first film and narratively, it reinforces both Alice’s specialness and Isaacs’ callousness.
Anyhow, it’s only a small part of the film that is mostly a cheap knock-off of Mad Max with zombies as the “good” survivors make their way through the desert, while other survivors are looking to have fun with murder and violence. Genre staples like the rumored safe haven, the dude who hides his bite or the utterly changed and empty major city (I did like the moment where they encounter the Las Vegas Statue of Liberty in a nod to Planet of the Apes, but with a certain amount of humor) are diligently visited and executed without much creativity (except maybe the zombie birds).
The most unusual thing about the film, in fact, is the growth in Alice’s powers (which took me by surprise, I have to admit). And the fact that somebody apparently found it necessary to photoshop every close-up of Milla Jovovich to remove any sign that she might be human (and therefore aging) and thus push Alice firmly into the uncanny valley. As if Jovovich wasn’t pretty enough. I don’t understand the effort.
Anyhow, in its completely predictable and utterly familiar way, Resident Evil: Extinction does at least what it promises. Could it have been more interesting? Absolutely. Could it have been actually good? Well, maybe. But since it tries nothing really, it doesn’t really fail at much either, so there is that.