Oh, man. Just…oh, man. Resident Evil: Extinction is one of the worst wide-release films ever made. It’s a film so lacking in quality that the fact it found success at the box office has whittled away a bit more of my confidence in the judgment of mankind.
The voiceover after the opening scene is the first indication that a viewer is in for a long, torturous ride. Star Milla Jovovich’s reading of the narration is sluggish and amateurish. That seemed to be a basic theme throughout the film. Normally, I would be willing to forgive much in a failed film if it had performances that rose to the minimum level of professionalism expected from a major release, but this film just does not have it. From bit players to main characters, all are bad.
Resident Evil: Extinction is the second sequel to the 2002 zombie horror film based on the popular videogame series from Capcom. The previous films established a proud tradition of substandard cinema that the latest film carries on with aplomb.
In this edition, the world has been ravaged by the T-Virus, the result of uncontrollable bio-experiments by the evil Umbrella Corporation, creating a desert wasteland where humans struggle to survive against an infected humanity transformed into flesh-hungry zombies. We’ve seen this before. The film breaks no new ground in the zombie genre. In fact, it places far too much emphasis on the zombie plague. The video games had zombies, but they were peripheral cannon fodder on which the player honed their skills before encountering more deadly monsters as the games progressed. This film, and the series as a whole, has chosen to ignore much of the ingenuity of those games in order to offer bland fare that stays within pre-established notions of zombie behavior that haven’t been original for over forty years. Bravo.
Despite having a slick look, the film barely takes place in more than two simple locations. When B movies stick to the same locations throughout, you can be sure it is out of budgetary necessity. Here, it reeks of laziness and unoriginality. Also, don’t forget the major plot element that the Earth has been rendered dead and dry by the T-Virus. But this part of the plot is rendered completely moot by setting the film in the American southwest. There is nothing dramatic or shocking about Nevada being a desert. That is it’s natural state, for chrissakes. Eventually, we do see Las Vegas rendered desolate, but it’s only a brief glimpse, and ultimately pointless.
In fact, forget this film. For real enjoyment, find a copy of the Resident Evil 4 videogame. The gameplay is fluid and instinctive, the settings extensive, and the mood far more chilling and creepy than this film. The cut scenes find a ready companion with the awful film adaptations, but who plays games for that? A couple hours of this game will have you tossing around in your sleep, and you’ll have to spend a lot more time than that with the game to get through it all. Trust me, it goes faster than watching this movie. Resident Evil: Extinction is worse than Alien: Resurrection.