Plus... I'm both a Zombie Flick Freak and am also unquestionably Milla Jovovich's Bitch. Call me... Milla's JovoBitch!
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, "Res Evil 3" follows these same traditions to a T. There are so many borrowed moments I was actually counting them down. Before Anderson was given the job to write and direct the first film, it's said that George A. Romero was being considered for the gig. Was the liberal pilfering from Romero's plot for Day of the Dead payback or a further insult? Not that Day of the Dead is alone in the "unauthorized source material" category. Paul-o has clearly been busy.
You know what, though? It's still fun as hell. It would be hard to dig this flick much more if you had a back hoe!
A few years have passed since The Umbrella Corporation stopped the T-Virus. In fact, they did such a good job of containing the damned thing that it's only devastated all of planet Earth. Good job guys... it apparently hasn't spread to Gallifrey, Alderaan or Qo'noS yet!
So, now that the T-Virus has turned the world into one big desert (Al Gore was RIGHT!), only the survivors of The Umbrella Corporation, random gatherings of scattered humans and Al Gore have survived. But in this dusty, post-apocalyptic future there is one more survivor, tougher than Rich Corinthian Leather! Yep, I'm talkin' about Mad Maxine herself, Alice (Milla, natch). Meanwhile, Umbrella's own Mad Scientist, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) is holed up in an underground compound, fortified by armed troops under a fenced in area surrounded by Zombies, whom he is trying to domesticate. Yes, I did, in fact, just summarize the plot of Day of the Dead. Anderson and Director Russell Mulcahy even throw in a scene that is an almost verbatim modernization of "Bub's" training from that flick.
But it doesn't stop there. From Alice's Zombie Attack in a Gas Station (Dawn of the Dead and many others since) to a convoy of battle hardened survivors in a big tanker making camp and fighting off nomads (Road Warrior anyone?) to even, and I'm not joking, a flock of birds infected with the Zombie Plague attacking at will (Zombie 5: Killing Birds), this isn't exactly a model of originality. Man, zombies, Mad Max and uccelli assassini? Anderson's Netflix bill must be huge!
Lucky for us all, Alice is packin', not just more weapons than a Brinks Security Guard, but also a spiffy new arsenal of telekinetic powers. Take that, Carrie! This comes in especially handy when Alice teams up with that trucker's convoy (ain't that a beautiful sight?) to exact a fair measure of revenge on Umbrella.
Yep, Oded Fehr's Carlos Olivera is back, along with Mike Epps' L.J. and newcomers Betty (Ashanti) and K-Mart (Spencer Locke). These additions make sure that the super charged convoy of armored vehicles (now a standard in Zombie Flicks) doesn't have to get all of its cool factor from Game Favorite and Convoy Leader Claire (played by Ali Larter).
Resident Evil: Extinction is a great looking film, from Milla's battered, yet sexy portrayal of Alice to the decimated and convincing set design. The image of a Las Vegas sunken into a Dune Sea is one to see and enjoy. However, it's not the best written thing I've ever witnessed. Cliffhangers from previous entries are given mere lip service as we buy into some of the more unreal (even for a post-apocalyptic zombie flick) aspects of the story. The action scenes are great and well staged, but most of the horror is based on startle value and minor shocks. Further, the need to top previous entries in the series with a new, big bad creepy monster (as if Corporate Executives surviving like Cockroaches wasn't enough) feels a little trite and tried.
Quite a bit of the plot of this film is also borrowed from the 2002 original (as well as all the varied films it rips off). In Isaccs' attempts to make the perfect Alice clone, we see the opening sequence to Resident Evil played out in different ways. It's entertaining, yes, and leads to a killer ending, but it's also noteworthy for its sameness. The same goes for the repetition of the Gridded Laser sequences and the addition of a creepy little Hologram Girl, in this film known as the White Queen (Madeline Carroll). The "Alice in Wonderland" references don't stop there either... but yeah, okay, those I consider a plus.
Russell Mulcahy proves to be an adequate, if by-the-numbers choice to direct. What are his qualifications? Well, you decide. On one hand, he directed Highlander! On the other hand, he directed Highlander II. On one hand he directed that "Video Killed the Radio Star" video (by The Buggles), on the other hand, he directed Highlander II! Being from Melbourne, Australia, maybe it makes sense that his entry would be so similar to Mad Max, on the other hand, he directed Highlander II!!! To his credit, however, he also directed a scene in this very movie featuring a room full of Naked Milla Jovoviches... I wondered when someone was going to go and film my fantasy!
All in all, Res Evil 3 is a fun, derivative futuristic zombie revenge thriller. It's a good closing point, but it's also left open ended enough for a potential sequel. As whacked out as this whole thing is... I'll still see it! Two and One Half Stars out of Five for Resident Evil: Extinction! It's a Zombie Cleavin', Flesh Eatin', Dog Rottin', Hillbilly Chompin', Monster Choppin' good time. But, in all honesty, watching the original flicks this movie borrows from might be a better use of your time. It might take longer though. But hell, you've got all the time in the world, don't ya? You're readin' this!
|What's New?||Alphabetical Listing of Reviews!||SearchThisSite:||Advertise With Us!||About...||Lynx Links:||F*A*Q|