Well, these Resident Evil movies just keep getting more and more ridiculous. I can’t decide if that means each one gets better or worse. In any case, Resident Evil: Extinction is utterly ludicrous. And still kind of fun.
What it isn’t is original. At all. In any way. It’s barely more than a pastiche of scenes and ideas from other, better movies. Start with a base of Day of the Dead — same underground base, same mad scientist doctor, parallel scenes and more — then mix in, well, everything. A little Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome fashion sense, a Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Devil’s Rejects style crazy family, the Rancor-pit scene from Return of the Jedi, shots straight out of Lawrence of Arabia, bird attack from The Birds, ideas from Scanners and/or the X-Men … How you feel about this sort of “borrowing” and your ability to shut your brain off for ninety minutes will largely determine how you feel about this film.
I was able to turn off my brain pretty well, so I enjoyed it. It was actually kind of fun playing “borrowed movie bingo” in my head. Director Russell Mulcahy (of Highlander fame!) manages to throw together a good-looking (best look of the trilogy, for sure), high-energy schlockfest out of his patchwork Frankenstein beast of a film. In many ways, it is the purest expression of what the RE movie series has been aiming at all along. It’s not so much “zombie movie” as it is a pulpy science-fiction action-adventure film with zombies. And that’s okay with me, because superheroic hot chicks vs zombies and ultimately evil megacorporation is an underserved niche, frankly.
Oh yeah, the plot. Well, uh, Alice is being cloned by this evil scientist guy, and he is breeding some super zombies, and there’s this group led by Claire Redfield and some of the people from the last movie and there’s fighting and explosions and more explosions, then more fighting … and birds. People get bit and die heroically, or turn into zombies and try to eat their friends. And the mad scientist guy gets bit by a super zombie and injects himself with some experimental serum and becomes a mutant/zombie tentacle-rape thing and fights Alice … oh, and she now has some sort of psychic powers. So, not so much a plot as a long string of action sequences. Like I said, check your brain at the door for this one.
The short was another videogame themed piece, this time based on Left 4 Dead. it is cleverly called Left for Dead. Some dudes in the South somewhere stuck themselves in a new story and went nuts. It’s impressive at times, but could use more story and characters. Or at least more explosions. Check it out below.