Resident Evil: Extinction ★★★

This is the best one so far. From the opening moments it looks better than the previous movies, set in a desert landscape that is appropriate for its title, besides deserts always look awesome on film. In Resident Evil: Extinction they basically forego any plot and instead go with a simplistic ‘trying to get from point A to point B’ narrative. Thank you. If you aren’t going to write a compelling story in the first place you might as well abandon it all together, wise choice. A few characters from the last one return in addition to a new band of vagabonds including Claire Redfield, another slight nod to the games which by the way they have entirely given up trying to follow in any way at this point.

All of the action set pieces seem more memorable in this installment including the opening in which the band is assaulted by a massive flock of zombie crows which they hilariously attempt to fight with handguns. This sequence is both a nod to a Hitchcock classic as well as to the games where you are occasionally annoyed by these winged vermin. In the game, the crows are a minor threat and are usually employed as a jump scare but here they really fuck a lot of people up and it’s awesome. Other moments worth mentioning include a fight in Las Vegas that has been overrun by the desert a la Planet of the Apes. There is also a cool sequence involving a gas tanker that seemed oddly familiar to Zach Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead. Nothing here is original but at least they were trying to give us something finally. The zombies look a hell of a lot better and they have seriously amped up the gore and, finally, at last, we get to see some heads exploding. There is also an appearance of their best attempt at doing Tyrant which I also appreciated.

If you squint your eyes real hard and use your imagination, the whole thing feels a little bit like Mad Max: Fury Road but obviously nowhere near as enjoyable. I wasn’t even concentrating on what Milla was wearing in this one and I’m not sure if that is because they lowered her sex appeal or if I was simply more involved in the action going on. Again, I’m really glad this one didn’t try and bore me with shitty plot and just embraced the survival element and action sequences which were always going to be its biggest strengths. Not stupendous by any means but the franchise seemed to hit its stride and achieve what was going to be its full potential with this one, even if Jovovich appeared to be getting a little bored with the gig. I don’t know if it was her age or a feeling of being trapped in this now but she just appeared to be more vacant and having a lot less fun in this third go around. The character Clair is built up and she is now able to help Milla do some of the heavy lifting so she was no longer the films’ sole focus. They even decided to reveal that there are now tons of Alice clones and we would be getting a lot more of her(s) to make up for her absence. Don’t worry, she’s Still Alice it’s just that Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

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