Starring: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Iain Glen
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Running Time: 94 mins
Resident Evil: Extinction is a British/French/German film and the third in the Resident Evil series. After escaping Raccoon City, Alice soon finds that the T-Virus has spread across the world, plunging the planet into a post-apocalyptic chaos. However, upon reuniting with a convoy of fellow survivors, she learns of the promise of a safe haven in Alaska, but in order to reach it, they must all fight against hordes of zombies, and the ever-strengthening efforts of the Umbrella Corporation.
Whilst Resident Evil and its sequel Apocalypse were ridiculous enough to be guilty pleasures of mine, I’m a little more hesitant to enjoy Extinction so much. Principally due to the fact that it takes a good 45 minutes to get to the best zombie-killing action, instead meandering around with a disappointingly quiet and slow plot, the film just isn’t as consistently enjoyable, although it eventually comes round in its off-the-wall final act to provide some of the craziest action so far.
So, whilst I’ve enjoyed the series’ silliness so far, I want to start with what disappointed me about this film. Simply put, it’s not crazy enough for far too long. The increased production value taps into that too, with far better visual effects and production design that take a little bit away from the totally ridiculous nature of the series.
Now, as I’ve said before, I’m sure that these movies are meant to be taken a little more seriously than I have been doing, but Resident Evil: Extinction proves that they’re just really boring and generic blockbusters if there’s not enough popcorn madness on screen. A relatively fun opening sequence here promises the return of that, but the following forty minutes or so, where we just follow Alice and a group of survivors roaming around the desert and only occasionally coming across some zombies, just isn’t interesting enough to warrant the lack of crazy action.
Whilst the performances, production design and visual effects are better than ever, I just felt that the film’s decision to take a slightly more serious approach to a world where zombies and all matter of things exist was unwarranted, frustrating and disappointing me for about half of the film’s runtime.
Fortunately, there’s a moment just over halfway through where Resident Evil: Extinction regains its comic sensibilities, plunging you into an utterly insane final half an hour or so that often tops anything seen before in the series.
Upping the stakes beyond now just killing zombies, the final act’s action-packed extravaganza goes mad with new villainous creatures, an epic mass zombie kill, the revelation that Jedi powers seem to exist in this world, and one other brilliantly entertaining late twist that promises to provide some excellent madness next time out.
Whilst I wasn’t overly enamoured by the first two acts of this film, I’ve got to say that the final act really saved it for me. Once again, this isn’t a high-quality film, but when it comes down to the finale, it pulls off exactly what you want to see, insane and ridiculous action and sci-fi, to the highest degree so far, and that’s why I’m giving Resident Evil: Extinction a 6.6 overall.