Resident Evil: Extinction, the film where nothing happens and after 5 or 8 years (still not sure), Alice decides to go after the person she’s trying to evade.
Shall I leave it there? I’m sorely tempted to. Mainly because there’s pretty much nothing to base a review on.
Extinction was the movie that saw Resident Evil jump from a precipice it had no business being on. After the moderate success of Apocalypse, things looked a little rosy for the franchise so how we’ve ended up here is a little confusing.
Let’s face it, Sienna Guillory’s Jill Valentine was a resounding success and as she had other commitments during shooting the decision to introduce different characters was the only one left. The decision to butcher them wasn’t.
Actually, I’m being a little unfair. Wesker for instance is a smarmy, confident and sociopathic individual and that came across pretty well. What he isn’t, is the chairman of Umbrella. The reason he works so well as an antagonist is that you never know what he’s going to do. He’s a double agent that’s only looking out for himself and by keeping you guessing, it leaves a massive amount of intrigue. By stripping that away in the movie, we’re left with someone that’s relatively predictable.
Ali Larter’s Claire Redfield isn’t really much of anything, at least in comparison to her game incarnation. It smacks of Russell Mulcahy and Paul W. S. Anderson trying to fill a Valentine shaped hole and it’s all a little cringey.
In the games, Claire’s a young woman searching for her brother. She’s a reluctant leader throughout the whole series and the switch up for the movies makes me want to switch off.
You know what though, maybe I’m not being fair. Not everyone’s played the games and the movies make enough money each time to indicate that they’re popular.
So I’ll try to move away from the games for the rest of this review.
Alice. Oh, sweet, wooden Alice. I’ve made no secret that I really don’t like her as a character and here’s why. If you’ve read my World War Z review you’ll know that I’m a zombie culture enthusiast. As far as I’m concerned, you can either have a zombie movie or an action movie. You can’t have both. It just doesn’t work.
Sure, you can have characters that are action-esq (Tallahassee in Zombieland, Major Henry West in 28 Days Later) but that adds a factor to the movie rather than taking it over.
If you try to merge the two genres, it becomes too disjointed and that’s the issue I have with the Resident Evil movies. It simply doesn’t know what it wants to be.
Extinction is a victim of that in the largest sense. It starts off pretty darkly with the clone killing field and the potential rape scene. If you ask me, it’s a little too dark but if that’s the road you’re starting down, stick to it. Instead, we end up with another action/horror mismatch that makes no real sense.
I dislike Alice so much because she’s the embodiment of that.
The main crux of the story is that Alice is on the road, trying not to draw attention to herself while she travels to Alaska.
The movie hints at her knowledge of being found but she plays that off quite convincingly, even for the viewer. So based on that, I’m a little confused as to why she goes into the Umbrella base to finish Isaacs off.
On the theme of Isaacs, rather than being on edge during his and Alice’s boss battle, I was actually laughing. I have no issue with him retaining his voice and his thoughts. But why did he sound more like Ross Kemp after he got smashed through a wall? He’d already spoken with Iain Glen’s voice! Maybe his windpipe had been affected.
If you ARE going to watch Extinction, get to the bit with the crows and switch it off afterwards.
1* - I wish this was the movie’s extinction.