The Resident Evil series continues doing what it’s great at with Resident Evil: Extinction. And what is it great at? Not much, really.
One thing that Resident Evil certainly helped prove was that the majority of movies based on computer games aren’t going to be very good. This is a running trend that hasn’t really been a secret, ever since the old-school Mario Bros movie (which I absolutely loved, still love, and will continue to love, but everyone else hates) to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Computer game movies have a long history of being crappy, and Resident Evil keeps this trend going. With a budget as high as Extinction had, they were at least able to cover up a lot of the shoddiness of the movie by throwing in some nice special effects and good computer animation.
That said, if you’re expecting a movie with any artistic merit, good character development, or even a good story, then you’ll probably want to shy away from Extinction or any of the other movies in the Resident Evil series. They’re simply not good works of art. They’re functional movies, but they’re nothing to gawk at.
They’re also rather hard to enjoy if you haven’t played the games. While the first movie, released in 2002, did a fairly good introduction to the world that the movies take place in, Extinction doesn’t really follow that trend. If you don’t know who the characters in the games are and you’ve never explored certain locations, then you might find yourself getting lost in this movie.
Even those who have played the games might find themselves unenthused by the movie. Despite being so game-like in its execution, sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s not a game. There are quite a few moments during Extinction where gamers are going to want to just grab a controller and take hold of the characters’ direction themselves before being cruelly reminded that this is basically a non-interactive video game with a seriously linear plot.
And, yes, it’s very gamey. We’re talking, the characters go on quests to retrieve items before advancing the plot. I don’t know who thought that would be a good plot device for a movie, but hey – at least there’s some nostalgia to be found in it.
I think the most enjoyment for Extinction will be had by either die-hard fans of both movies and games, or those who aren’t very good at computer games but still enjoy watching their friends play them. This movie is a lot like a game. The main difference is that you’re watching it, not playing it.
The ever-invincible Alice returns in Extinction to keep proving to us that she’ll never die. She also helps to maintain the silly vibe of the last two movies, whether this was intentional or not, ‘m not sure if I’ll ever know. Or if I’ll want to know!
During the entire hour and a half of this movie, Alice and her other accomplices help to round up a bunch of survivors who weren’t killed by the virus. The rest of the world’s pretty much completely overtaken, and the set and atmosphere make the movie quite post-apocalyptic .it’s filmed in a Mexican desert and if this movie gets one thing right, it’s the setting.
The Umbrella Corporation is, of course, planning something sheisty. That’s really the only plot device that has kept the last two movies moving along. The painfully predictable Dr. Isaacs serves as the main nemesis for this movie and his favorite thing to do is make clones of Alice.
Among other things, he’s creating sentient zombies capable of using phones and trying to develop a cure for the T-virus. One thing at a time, Dr. Isaacs. Maybe his extreme workload is why he’s such a dope.
The movie gives you a healthy dose of blood, gore, and action scenes. You’ll get your brain-dead (and your cell-phone wielding) zombies. You’ll see things blow up.
What you won’t get is good dialog, good characters, or an enthralling story. Basically, Resident Evil: Extinction is a whole heap of everything you’ve seen before with a popular name attached to it. If you liked the first two movies, then you might as well watch this one. Otherwise – you’re not missing much.