Before we get started, I think I should point out that I am not a fan of the games. Irregardless, I review this movie based on its own merits, without consideration for the video games upon which it may be influenced.
Title: Resident Evil: Extinction
Directed By: Russel Mulcahy
Story/Screenplay: Paul W.S. Anderson
Genre: Zombie Flick (Sci-Fi/Action/Horror)
Length: 95 minutes
Most of humanity becomes zombies. The rest try to survive.
Most everything else...
Milla Jovovich's make-up. Zombie movie/horror film clichés.
Alice (Milla Jovovich) is struggling to survive a post-apocalyptic Earth: the result of the Umbrella Corporation's failure to contain the T-Virus (what makes the zombies, see?) in Racoon city. Her life is one of loneliness until a series of freak occurrences puts her in the path of an old friend, and sets old enemies on her trail...
I like zombie movies. They make a great, mind-numbing genre that goes perfectly with booze and good friends. Unfortunately when you see how good a zombie movie can be when blessed with a bit of a budget and a dash of creativity (Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later) a fan like me gets spoiled, and starts to expect film makers to, you know... put a little effort into their films.
Unfortunately, you don't get much of anything from this film that you couldn't get from any bad zombie flick of the 80s on up, except perhaps, CGI. People still behave unbelievably stupid, two zombies turn into two thousand in the span of a few moments and behind it all, is a wickedly bad scientist with an ambiguous accent.
To make matters worse, the film makers relied on cheap thrill tactics to try and scare the audience. An actor stumbling over a bottle, or even a prop inexplicably toppling itself aren't so bad in of themselves so as to deserve mention, but the fact that the noise they make is so loud, is. After fifteen minutes of the movie, I had a pounding headache due to the obscenely loud, piercing noises made at every one of these "get the audience to jump" moments. The gunfire in the film was quiet by comparison.
And finally, I have to mention Milla's make-up job. Yes, it is that bad. Throughout most of the film, Milla's face looks like it could have been photoshopped from a porcelain doll one might find on their grandmother's shelf. Also, never in my life have I seen professional make-up artists concentrate so hard on a woman's face and forget her neck entirely. It looks, plainly and simply, bad. On the off chance a woman might read this, please, lady, if you wear make-up, don't forget your damned neck. It looks ridiculous to have an orange face and pasty white scrag.
As a purported zombie-film fan, it might be a bit aberrant of me to denounce the clichés that are this genre's bread and butter, but to be quite honest, I'm tired of them. The new Dawn of the Dead and others have taught me that a plausible (I use the term loosely) zombie film isn't an impossibility, so stop feeding me $45 million worth of crap. And while we're at it Hollywood, why don't you just stop churning out crap entirely?