A movie of intermittent action catharsis and reliably
deafening sound design, the altogether middling Resident Evil: Extinction takes the videogame action franchise to
the desert, allowing star Milla Jovovich to energetically lop off zombie heads
in a manner that will please series aficionados but leave newcomers mostly fidgety
Ali Larter), a group of around 30 people that includes Carlos (Oded Fehr) and
L.J. (Mike Epps), reprising their roles from the franchise’s second installment.
The convoy decides to head north to Alaska — their last, best hope for refuge
from the undead — but first have to make a pit-stop in Las Vegas to refuel. There, hidden beneath an abandoned radio tower, are the Umbrella Corporation’s sleek research facilities, where Dr.
Isaacs (Iain Glen) works to create a docile work force, stripping zombies of
their baser instincts by using antibodies from
located by satellite, Dr. Isaacs becomes obsessed with finding and capturing
her, dead or alive.
Whereas the first Resident Evil unfolded in claustrophobic fashion in
a contained space, and the second film took place largely at night, Extinction opens things up much more. Visually,
the film takes inspiration from dusty apocalyptic movies like The Road Warrior, with original Resident Evil cinematographer David
Johnson providing a dusty backdrop for Eugenio Caballero’s stirring production
Paul W.S. Anderson’s script is familiar, from the obligatory character trying
to keep a zombie bite secret to loose, hazy strains of conspiracy. Narratively,
everything is in play and on the table, as at times
can control objects and summon forth a force-field with her mind, while at other
times she seems to have to rely on martial arts. With no explication of the
particulars of her powers, each subsequent set piece becomes more shruggingly
inconsequential from the point of any emotional investment. For the full review, from Screen International, click here.