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So, since I grew up with a Nintendo 64 instead of a Sony Playstation, I never really got to play the Resident Evil series. Even so, I enjoyed the first two movies. Neither of them could be called "good", but they were entertaining enough, and there's nothing wrong with a braindead action flick every now and then. I might have been one of the few people looking forward to Paul W. S. Anderson's third offering, but sadly the ball was dropped pretty badly here.
Review by Crispy
Added: April 20, 2009
A lot has happened since Apocalypse wrapped up. If you'll remember, Alice was killed, cloned, and reached a whole new level of badass, easily fighting off the small army in the lab, even killing a man with psychic powers before being picked up by her friends. Since then, the entire world has been taken over by the infection, and the remaining survivors have learned long ago that the key to staying alive is to stay on the move and avoid heavily populated areas. Hence, our group of heroes has relocated from Raccoon City to the deserts of Nevada. Alice has set off solo to hunt for survivors while LJ and Carlos have joined a convoy led by Claire Redfield with the same mission (No mention of Angie or Jill Valentine, so who knows what happened to them). Meanwhile, deep underground, the Umbrella Corporation continue there scientific experiments trying to reclaim the globe. Dr. Issacs, the man responsible for the Nemesis Program and the original cloning of Alice, has taken on the task of taming the zombies. He believes that Alice is the key to this, since she bonded with the T Virus so successfully. He's cloned hundreds of Alices, but since none of them are the original, they are impure and the serums formulated from them are flawed. Out of options, he sets out to find the real Alice at all costs.
Neither of the first two were cinematic masterpieces, and they both certainly have their fair share of critics, but I've always defended both. Not their cinematic quality of course, but their entertainment value. However, even I was let down by this sequel. Zombies aside, the first movie was relatively grounded. With the newly enhanced Alice, the second movie was a bit more outrageous, but still managed to toe the line. Extinction set a new distance record vaulting over this line, landing squarely in the land of eye-rolling ridiculousness. I have a very healthy suspension-of-disbelief, but even I was having a hard time digesting what was being dished out. The science fiction aspect was switched from '"could be plausible" to "Star Wars". The cloning would be the best illustration of this. The first Alice was cloned in a tank at the end of the last movie, while in this film there are hundreds of floating spheres of water that are holding the clones. Obviously, the tank thing isn't exactly realistic, but the waterball thing is just so cheesy you can't help but roll your eyes at it. The zombies were another thing. In an attempt to up the ante somewhat, Dr. Issacs' serum gives the zombies full mobility, so now we've suddenly switched to the "fast, highly athletic" brand of zombies. Hell, even our main heroine was given an unneeded "upgrade". While Alice was abnormally badass last go around, she's a veritable god this time. There's a scene where a flamethrower is fired at her and she mentally bends the fire away from her. Again, it's just too far off the charts to really get into. There's a lot of truth to the phrase, "Less is more."
Naturally, nobody expected much from our collection of actors. Returning heroes include Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, and Mike Epps. They're joined by the likes of Ali Larter, Spencer Locke and Ashanti. In the convoy's early appearances, I couldn't help but grimace because it was obvious that it was made up of annoying stock characters. Fortunately, the most aggravating characters died relatively early on, but even so, it was a bit of a let down. Still, nobody was particularly bad, certainly not enough to hurt the movie any more; plus Larter is always pretty nice to look at. Iain Glein is the main antagonist of this film, and like the others, he's average enough not to cause too much collateral damage, but the character was victim to a healthy collection of cliches.
There are a few bright spots to be found here, although not as many as one would like. While I was a bit sad to see the exclusion of the lickers here, they added a scene with infected crows that borrows heavily from Hitchcock's classic film. The crows all looked incredibly creepy, and the entire scene was well done. Also, the film finally included a more traditional tyrant for the first time in the series. While it was definitely nice seeing the creature, it was kind of ruined by giving it these god awful lines that completely derailed the scene. There's a reason that Capcom limited the monster's vocabulary to angry grunts and growls. You know, it's extremely telling when the positives paragraph is littered with complaints, huh?
Despite this movie being a failure, Anderson has decided that Resident Evil 4 is right around the corner. To be honest, I'd rather go back and watch the events between Apocalypse and Extinction. You could even add in Claire's convoy and her brother Chris, just for shits and giggles. Considering how this film ended, it'd be extremely hard to scale back the science fiction to acceptable levels; and that's really the only way to make this series fun again. Even for fans of the first two Resident Evil movies, if you haven't already caught this, don't go out of your way for it. 3.5/10.
- added 04/20/2009, 10:25 AM
The shameful airbrushing of Milla Jovavich's
features in almost every close-up shot is
laughable to the point of inventing a drinking
game to go with it...
We all get old,
for sure... and I'm positive that it galls someone
who used to trade on her good looks for a living,
but having such a hard focused filter on the
action to make everyone look "gritty"
and desperate is undone with each dewy-eyed
glamour shot of Mrs. Jovovich. It's pathetic and
so obvious that it actually makes you feel sorry
Oh... and the movie
sucked. Even worse than the two prior
Reviewer knows his videogame horror cash-ins:
- added 04/26/2009, 11:30 AM
One word to describe this movie and that word is
- added 04/27/2009, 01:02 AM
Yes. I agree here. I haven't liked any of the
Resident Evil movie adaptations and the just seem
to be getting worse. Avoid this one folks. It's
- added 04/27/2009, 01:20 AM
I flipped onto one of the Resident Evil movies
and saw a soldier get trapped in a room of moving
lasers. When I saw the lasers split (halfway
through their arc) into a net, I turned it off and
felt better for it.
grain of sand
- added 04/28/2009, 05:49 AM
I love the Resident Evil videogame series, even
really enjoyed the first 2 of the films.
This was awful. there was never fast
zombies in the games(unless you include the faster
shambling zombies from the gamecube edition of the
first game..), and they didn't need it now.
I really hope good ol' Paul just pulls a
fast one and surprises us with a movie that
actually sticks to one of the games (RE2 please?),
a prequel to the world of the RE movies maybe?
fuck I don't know..
- added 04/29/2009, 07:07 PM
Way better than the second one... whatever that's
- added 07/06/2009, 08:28 PM
3.5 seems almost too generous. This movie was
abysmal. I'm really annoyed that I decided to
waste an hour and a half of my life on it. It
looked like it could have been good. Zombies in
the desert? How could they fuck that up. Whatever.
They did. And bad.
- added 07/06/2009, 08:35 PM
Meh, Zombies in the desert sounds terrible as it
is. 9/10 for me!
- added 10/04/2010, 03:22 PM
Decent enough. Not great, but it was a step up
from the previous film and moderately enjoyable in
its own right. 5/10.