Saturday, September 22, 2007

Resident Evil: Extinction

Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in the third installment of the Resident Evil movie series based on the super popular video game franchise. Extinction picks up a few years after the end of the second film with the entire planet having practically succumbed to the effects of the virus responsible for infecting, killing and reanimating living tissue, leaving the non-infected to survive as best they can in a dried up world where essential items such as food are becoming scarce whiles there's an ample supply of living dead walking around in search of healthy flesh to consume for no apparent reason other than it being a most rudimentary instinct. The people responsible for the virus, the nefarious Umbrella Corporation, have taken up refuge in massive underground facilities where they are safe from the hoards of undead, for the moment, and can continue their research with the virus, however, with their food supplies dwindling, the focus is now on using virus antibodies on the living dead as a means of domesticating them and quelling their destructive nature in the hopes of returning life above ground to some semblance of normalcy. That's where Alice comes in. During the time that she was held captive (in the second film), the Umbrella Corporation performed biogenetic experiments on Alice using various strains of the virus which caused her to develop super-human strength, senses and mental abilities, as well as specific antibodies to the virus. For the past few years, since her escape from the Umbrella Corporation facilities, Alice has been living off the grid in an effort to avoid capture and further testing, helping people where she can but always moving on quickly and staying alone in order to remain undetected. After a few encounters with the walking dead and several unsettling dreams, Alice comes to the aid of a rag-tag convoy of survivors lead by Claire (Ali Larter of Heroes). At this point, Alice enjoys a bit of a reunion since two of the members of the convoy are Carlos (Oded Fehr) and L. J. (Mike Epps), characters she fought beside in the previous movie and, in the case of Carlos to some extent, felt romantic inclinations for. As for romantic inclinations, L. J., in the mean time, has developed a thing for the convoy's Nurse Betty (Ashanti). After deciding on a course and destination for the convoy, it becomes apparent that the Umbrella Corporation has learned of Alice's location and are pulling out all the stops to bring her in. Tired of being on the run, fed up watching people around her die and with her abilities increasing exponentially, Alice decides it's time for all debts to be paid.

Guilty pleasure. That's all I really need to say. Some people covet reruns of television's "Beauty and the Beast," other people look fondly at their collection of Adam Sandler movies, me, I'm partial to watching someone like Milla Jovovich kick some serious ass. I go into the theater expecting nothing but decent action and if the story happens to be fairly good, then I feel like I've received a bonus for my money. In this case, the story is pretty simple, the motivations are cut and dry and the acting is more than adequate. I got exactly what I was expecting and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Granted, it's not Shakespeare but, then again, Alice has to contend with more than a few damn spots and isn't worried about whether she gets them out, or not.

Aside from the fact that I would have seen this movie simply because Milla Jovovich is in it, I would have also seen this film based solely on it's director, Russell Mulcahy. I've been a fan of Mulcahy's since the original Highlander and have always appreciated his visual style. I even liked The Shadow because of his direction and after watching this film, I've decided that if the powers that be were to ever commission another Mad Max film, Mulcahy should be one of the director's considered for the job since George Miller seems to be spending most of his time with talking pigs and dancing penguins.

Anyway, I really enjoyed Resident Evil and I will add it to the collection when it becomes available. If you liked the previous Resident Evil movies, enjoy decent action or are simply a fan of zombie flicks, then this movie is right up your alley. It might not be worth a trip to the theater, but I would definitely catch it on disc.

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