Director: Russell Mulcahy
As a true fan of the first two Resident Evil films (I confess I own both these kitschy gems on DVD), I have to say that the latest installment, "Resident Evil: Extinction," wasn't quite the zombie-splatting fest I'd hoped it would be.
The trilogy, based on a popular survival video game series, pits action heroine Alice (Milla Jovovich) and a few worthy allies against the evil Umbrella Corporation and its ill-conceived T-Virus. This amazing new product turns humans into flesh-eating undead or, occasionally, freakishly mutated predators. In either case, it's something most people wouldn't want to catch.
The films aren't nearly as campy as they sound. The plots are reasonably complex, the action sequences innovative and Jovovich makes a stunning cinema badass.
This latest installment takes place a few months after Alice and crew escape zombie-infested Raccoon City and its corporate villains. Now living rough in the Mojave Desert in a world that's on the verge of extinction, Alice has become something of a lone, motorcycle-riding wolf.
She reluctantly hooks up with a migrating band of survivors and her superhero-like powers 's acquired earlier when her blood unexpectedly bonded with the T-Virus 's quickly prove an asset to the group. Though she relishes the human contact, she knows she's also a danger to them because Dr. Sam Isaacs (Iain Glen) of the Umbrella Corporation is on her case, convinced her blood is the key to creating a cure for the virus.
As the plot unfolds, Alice's mission becomes clear: she has to help the survivors escape to an uninfected safe haven in Alaska, defeat Dr. Isaacs and his newly-invented band of super-zombies and do what she can about the cure.
Special effects are top-notch and the depiction of a Las Vegas that's been reclaimed by sand dunes is clever, if not entirely convincing.
What the film lacks though are satisfying action sequences. Waiting for things to jump out of dark corners just doesn't carry the same power as seeing Jovovich doing hand-to-hand battle with monsters 's something that happens, but too infrequently. And somehow the existence of zombies and mutants is more believable than the strange coincidence that so many of the survivor group look like 20-something underwear models.
Fans who really need closure should wait for the DVD rental release.
Now playing in Estonia and Lithuania. Opens in Latvia Nov. 9.