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Saturday, September 22, 2007


Movie Review: 'Resident Evil: Extinction'

Resident Evil: Extinction, the latest offering in the movie trilogy based on the popular horror video game, lives up to the standards of its predecessors and will not likely disappoint fans of apocalyptic zombie films (of whom this reviewer is one).

In Extinction, omnipresent action star Milla Jovovich reprises her role as little-red-dress-and-jackboot-wearing monster hunter Alice, and is ultimately joined by former compatriots Oded Fehr as soldier Carlos Olivera and Mike Epps as L.J. Other returning players include Iain Glenn as the gloatingly evil Dr. Isaacs (and the equally malevolent Manfred Powell in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider).

In Extinction, the effects of the zombie-generating T-virus have spread far beyond Raccoon City and decimated not just the human population of the planet but also the environment, creating widespread desertification. Survivors in this undead-haunted world include hidden enclaves of Umbrella Corporation minions, pockets of cannibalistic scavengers, an armored convoy of nomads led by Olivera, L.J. and Claire (Ali Larter), and, naturally, Alice, attired for the post-apocalyptic world in renegade biker garb and armed, among other things, with a pair of Nepalese kukris.

Survival in the harsh, zombie-ridden wasteland of the future would likely be difficult enough without anyone trying to make it worse, but that is, of course, what Dr. Isaacs endeavors to do, in the course of his interminable experiments.

One element in Extinction has got to be either a tribute to classic Mel Gibson action film The Road Warrior, or a rip-off from it, is the armored tanker truck, complete with fighting platforms and flamethrower. Hell, it might actually be the same truck for all I know (although it would not likely have made its way from Australia to the various Mexican venues where Extinction was filmed).

There are a few potentially minor weak points in the film that might chafe even fans of the genre a little. One of these is the use of fragmentary flashbacks that are not likely to mean much to people who haven't seen the previous films (if there are any that have seen this one and not the others). Another is a super-monster that, while more than adequate, is not quite as interesting or impressive as those that appeared in the previous Resident Evil movies. And, with no cobbler being apparent in Isaacs' Nevada facility, one might wonder why the profligate Umbrella Corporation does not bother to reuse boots no longer needed by their wearers (you'll see what I mean).

Those points aside, however, there are a number of fun twists and revelations in Extinction that help to fill in the blanks in the Resident Evil story and plenty of zombie-killing action -- and the necropolis-like remnants of the Las Vegas strip alone make this film well worth watching.

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

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