Resident Evil: Extinction movie full length review - Under-rated yet room for improvement
The Resident Evil films have always been the centre of wide debate and opinion, with many people arguing they should have made the resident Evil films more... Resident Evil. Others say that they are still good action films that bring new elements to Zombie films. They are both right.
It's hard to give a review of Extinction without some reference to the other 2 films so I will warn people that haven't seen them to not read any further for potential spoilers.
In my view, Extinction brings to Resident Evil what we should have seen from the start: more imaginative ideas, the Umbrella Corporation and an improved storyline. However, disappointingly, it is too little, too late.
For example, you cannot make a Resident Evil film without some reference to Umbrella and preferably, the characters from the games. Without linking the games to the films, there is the risk of creating a more bland plot.
In the second Resident Evil they got the setting right and even added a character or 2 from the game (even the STARS briefly) but failed to provide action sequences that kept you glued to the film, with only one notable exception of the monster chasing Alice (it was only a brief scene, though). And the end battle was probably worse than the first.
With the third Resident Evil, I was surprised at the inventive abilities of the film makers I thought were lost. First, (RE3 SPOILER BEGINS) we are given an introduction which makes you think we are seeing the first film, then perhaps the second film again, and for a few moments the viewer is confused. Then the film shocks you, and you think "That can't be right." You are confused some more, then you finally start to see what's happening. I don't want to go into details, but the way the film begins is excellent.
We also get a heads-up about what has happened since RE2 and how the Earth has changed, why everyone has to stay on the run and the introduction of the main characters. Speaking of which, they finally did what they should have done in the 2nd film: introduced Claire. Jill appeared in the 2nd when it should have been the first, then she disappears and replaced by the much more talented Claire. She definitely helps the film become great instead of good, and her and Milla make an effective duo, with Oded Fehr supporting well. There is a good action sequence at the beginning of the film as well. Unfortunately the film does not contain any comedic phrases which I thought would be appropriate in the film, but it seems to me that they wanted to keep the film serious.
In addition I felt that the general communication between characters and character development (except Alice) was weak; most talk that was done was insignificant and fairly frivolous. This was one point I felt they could have spent more time on.
There are a few surprises throughout the film, however, which make up for the lack of lingo: some great action sequences, frights and unforeseen developments which are welcome additions. A quick example would be the crow scene - lots of crows and a disgusting thing to happen to you. So to an extent, there is horror - more than in RE2, but that isn't hard, and action and cool sequences tends to remain the focus of the films in this one. Personally, I would have preferred there to be an extra 20 minutes or so of character development and a longer lab scene at the end - the fight was too quick and generally Alice spent too little time underground.
It was a welcome addition to see the Umbrella Corporation too, as well as Wesker, but I felt he could have looked more like Wesker from the game better. He doesn't play a major part in the film, but I felt he was assertive and cool/calm enough for Wesker's character, so I was happy with that.
So overall I give this film an 8/10 for the great action sequences, imagination and surprising events in the film. It's what they should have done since the first film, however I felt it was a little too short to properly develop the characters and fine-tune the film to make it excellent. However I would still recommend the film as it brings a new feel to Resident Evil.