This subpar action/horror film is so shallow and obtuse that even fans of its source material will not be able to bear it.
What have movies taught us about zombies? That they are creatures also known as the undead, enjoy eating human brains, are infected with a deadly virus, have appeared in every single entertainment media known to man and should you encounter one in your neighborhood, please, shoot it in the head. Most of these preconceptions are part of Resident Evil: Extinction as the film is based on stereotypes and doesn’t reinvent or add anything new to the genre. Also, those people who have watched previous entries in the Resident Evil franchise of films will find Extinction’s main premise awfully familiar. The main introduction is a recreation of events from the first movie (to an extent in which I thought I had put the wrong disc in the DVD player) and as usual there are countless references to the video games.
Here’s the basic story of Extinction: somewhere in the Nevada desert, there’s a secret underground military facility (quite similar to The Hive from the original Resident Evil) where the Umbrella Corporation keeps making weird experiments. Basically, after the multinational company released the extremely dangerous T-virus they realized that they couldn’t control the infection and the biological hazard quickly spread across the world, killing most living organisms. As a consequence, the few human survivors that are left try to stick together in small convoys. That is the case of Carlos Olivera and Claire Redfield, leaders of a small caravan that desperately tries to get supplies in order to migrate to Alaska, the only place that seems to be free from the infection. At the same time, the Umbrella Corporation is still looking for Alice as her blood may contain an antivirus.
Although in theory the main story seems quite interesting, in practice it fails miserably. Some of the post-apocalyptic elements draw inspiration from Mad Max, but unfortunately, they are poorly executed. All the previous movies took place in Raccoon City, one of the most recognizable places from the games, and even though replacing this with a new one may seem like a great idea, it totally ruins the dark and somber atmosphere so proper of the franchise. Additionally, zombies are supposed to be the most prominently used creatures of the film, but they barely make any appearances at all, and when they do, it’s totally diminished by the fact that: a) They appear in daylight so say goodbye to the gloomy atmosphere, b) the main character has acquired superpowers.
Yes, apparently Alice now has telekinetic powers that are hard to control, but have devastating effects. It should be noted that both Alice’s power and the use of this new setting are poorly explained and they feel like mere excuses to try to make some changes to a wearying franchise which simply needs to go. Furthermore, the returning characters (Carlos Olivera, L.J., Alice and so on) interact with some new ones (Wesker, Claire Redfield) and dialogues between them are flat and lack depth, making the nonsensical story overwhelmingly tedious to watch. The action sequences are dull and mindless, but at least they are engaging as you don’t have to listen to the awkward dialogues. In addition to this, there’s poor use of computer generated images and I don’t know who approved the inclusion of flesh-eating crows, but it wasn’t a very good idea.
In the end, Resident Evil: Extinction is one of the worst films in the franchise. It has overwhelmingly boring dialogues, bad use of special effects, a dreary story, a formulaic premise, laughably bad action sequences, and way too many references to the source material. If you enjoy playing the games, wait for a new one to come out and if you’ve never heard of them, maybe try one. No matter what your choice may be, stay away from this movie.