Resident Evil
Director: Russell Mulcahy

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Resident Evil Extinction Stunning Milla Jovovich is back in Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), set five years after the incidents of Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), & for my money the best of the lot.

This time only Alice's clones are dressed for the harlot's ball. The real Alice has become something of a Mad Max in a zombie-dominated future, dressed for action, armed for action, & learning that she even has some amazing super-powers to assist in action, action, & more action.

The t-virus has by now eradicated most human life. The few vagrant survivors have to stay always on the move, as any attempt to settle down will attract first one or two, then dozens, then thousands of hungry zombies.

A caravan of tragically dwindling survivors attempts also to avoid the cities where the infected await, but to keep their trucks fueled, they find themselves crossing a desert toward Las Vegas, a city mostly reclaimed by the desert.

Along the way they encounter a flock of savage bloody-eyed, razor-beaked, taloned crows that have become enraged killers from eating zombie flesh.

Resident Evil ExtinctionThough the CGI is all too much a cartoon & not convincing or realistic, it's even so exciting animation. They are flying pirhana, in overt homage to Alfred Hitchock's The Birds ().

Only the arrival of the much-legended "Alice" (Milla) saves most of that band of travellers, as she calls upon extreme telekinetic powers that drain her & leave her in need of care during recovery.

Meanwhile Umbrella Corp's last lingering numbers survive in underground haves scattered thinly around the world.

The American hive is the central intelligence for the appalling experiments which continue unabated.

Rather than seeking a cure for the t-virus, Dr. Sam Isaaca (Iaian Glen) is trying to find a way to render zombies tractible & no longer contagious, so that they may be used as a slave class. Isaacs has also been cloning Alice, creating & "testing" their powers until each in turn is killed.

Resident Evil ExtinctionThe copies are never quite the equal of the original, the only human immune to the t-virus. And Isaacs wants Alice captured at any cost, as the heart of his research focuses on her blood.

The real Alice can be "triangulated" from an Umbrella Corporation satellite whenever she uses her powers. So her presence with the travellers endangers them while Umbrella Corp tracks her location.

All twists & turns of story exist to enhance the next action scene, but quality acting makes it a first-rate live-action cartoon with just enough characterization to induce concern for some of the characters' fates, which by & large aren't very pleasant fates.

She does all she can to assist the convoy, but ultimately the best thing she can do for them is get far away so that she does not call the Umbrella Corporation down upon them. She sets out to find the underground community of corporate villains, eager to bring the battle to their door.

Resident Evil ExtinctionThe antiviral serum doesn't really work, but when uber-villain Isaacs faces the loss of his controlling authority in Umbrella Corp, he injects himself with a massive quantity of the serum.

And with that, we're in for a creature-feature climax as it all boils down to Alice versus Elasto-Zombie.

A darned interesting Artificial Intelligance called the White Queen (Madeline Caroll) manifests as a hologram of a little girl. She shuts down the hive to restrict the monstrous & insane Isaacs' movements, then assists Alice in taking the monster down.

Isaacs is convinced he has finally achieved the proper conclusion to his research, not in restoring humanity with a cure but supplanting humanity with a new race for which he is prototype. Ah, but not if Alice & the White Queen can help it!

Resident Evil ExtinctionThe existence of an large number of sleeping Alices, awaiting awakening one by one, will provide this episode of the franchise with quite a remarkable coda.

Alice has developed a "psionic" connection to her duplicates, & she becomes they. There are intimations of a fourth installment someday to come, with scores of Alices fighting the remnant of the Umbrella Corp.

I just love what Milla is able to convey with this character. So many of cinema's "action girls" with their pipe cleaner arms & push-up bras are so obviously far too weak & wussy to do the things the computer graphics or stunt-doubles try to make them look like they can do. But Milla appears to sustain a state of mind that makes the physicality of the character totally believable, for the duration of feach film at least.

She's actiually a great actor & it still rather startles me that someone capable of serious drama has became an action-star. But how nice to have such talent together with graceful beauty for fantasy-action, from a star who can convey it all not as the silly thing it may in fact be, but can really make you believe it.

Onward to a Japanese zombie film:
Versus (2000)

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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