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Resident Evil: Extinction by Russell Mulcahy (Director)
Review by Gayle Surrette
Sony Pictures  
Date: 11 September 2007

Links: Official Movie Site / Trailer (HiRes) / Show Official Info /

Resident Evil: Extinction completes the trilogy started with Resident Evil and continued with Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Milla Jovovich reprises her role of Alice, ex-head of security for the Umbrella Corporation. This time the world has been devastated by the T-virus and Umbrella is still after Alice.

Continuing the saga, Resident Evil: Extinction moves the story out into the open -- to the desert. The zombies are still a threat, only more leathery. But now there are zombie birds as well as dogs. The director and writers give some good, subtle homages to Hitchcock's The Birds, Franklin J. Schaffner's Planet of the Apes, and others. There's a bit of romance, sadness, determination, hope, despair, and comedy -- and yet, it's a horror film in daylight.

By now, I hope most of you have seen this series of films, but I still don't want to give away too much. L.J. and Carlos appear along with a new group of survivors. And Alice, taking center stage, is a catalyst for change and a link to the past. She moves the survivors forward and steps back to continue her fight against Umbrella. While the commentary implies that this will be the final film, the ending pull-back does leave plenty of opportunity for a fourth film.

Like the other films, Extinction manages to be a horror film with a solid core of camaraderie. While the characters meet under some pretty horrible conditions, they manage to pull together and act as a unit to survive. I've never played the game the films are based on, so I can't compare the game to the film. However, I'm always impressed by the fact that in the films, Alice and the people she meets along her journey come together to achieve common goals. While Alice is the main character, she's not the lone hero. Alice spurs others to survive and she assists them in doing so -- she doesn't act without thinking about those she's trying to help. That, for me, makes these movies stand above the normal lone-survivor hero film -- Alice cares.

While Extinction is very different from the other two, it's a worthy addition to the series and well worth owning and watching. I rewatched the other two before viewing Extinction for this review. Each film can stand alone but they make for a great marathon movie day.

Special Features:
* Deleted Scenes
* Sneak Peek of "Resident Evil: Degeneration"

    This looks to be fully animated. From the short clip it seems well done and I'm hoping to see it when it comes out.
* Film Makers' Commentary with Director Russel Mulcahy, Writer/Producer Paul W.S. Anderson and Producer Jeremy Bolt.
    The commentary is well worth listening to as they fill in a lot of detail about the locations, stunts and stories, and some information about the actors and their characters.
* Making of Featurettes:
    Alice Vision: Preproduction
    The Big Bang: Shooting Resident Evil: Extinction
    Bigger, Faster, Stronger: The Undead Evolve
    Vegas Visual Effects: Miniatures
I for one love the extra features, especially commentary and featurettes on the making of a movie. We learn Milla Jovovich is serious about the action/stunt part of her role as Alice. She does her own stunts and wire work. She carried the knives around with her everywhere on set and at home to get used to swinging them and looking natural. Location often reached 130 degrees F -- the zombies kept passing out. The stuff of background and film lore is in the special features so take the time to enjoy them.

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