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  Resident Evil: Extinction Zombies Beware
Year: 2007
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Ashanti, Christopher Egan, Spencer Locke, Matthew Marsden, Linden Ashby, Jason O'Mara, Mike Epps, Joe Hursley, John Eric Bentley, Madeline Carroll
Genre: Horror, Action, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: Alice (Milla Jovovich) awakens in the shower of what looks like a hotel suite, wondering where she is. She gets up and puts on some clothes, then ventures out of the door and into the corridor, but no sooner has she begun investigating her surroundings than she is under attack from a selection of deadly traps such as a grid of cutting lasers and a huge blade that nearly slices her in half. Just as she thinks she will escape from an apparent laboratory, a small robot leaps up and shoots her dead - then three figures appear, the leader telling the others to take a blood sample, then dump her body with the rest...

Well, it looks liike the start of Resident Evil, but it's actually the beginning of its second sequel, because the woman we saw getting bumped off wasn't Alice at all but one of her clones. By this time, if you were not well versed in not only the computer games this franchise was based on but the previous two movies as well, you may have thought about not bothering with this third instalment, and it was true that they were making these mainly for the fans. But once you were plunged into the action, even if you had seen the preceeding efforts and forgotten what had happened in them, it didn't really matter.

This series was one step above the sort of horror movies that would get released solely to DVD every couple of years or so - they had cinema debuts, for a start, and further to that their budget was capable enough to stage the mayhem without looking too cheap, although for the most part you were never under any impression that you were not watching anything but CGI for those big setpieces. At least the zombies Alice endlessly battled were played largely by extras in makeup and not an I Am Legend weightless disappointment, although writer and producer Paul W.S. Anderson was struggling to find fresh ways to exterminate his ravening hordes of the undead by now.

You had to hand it to Jovovich, though, she had successfully carved out a career as the sort of actress you would see carrying out what would traditionally be thought of as men's work on the cinema screen, shooting off guns, high kicking enemies to the ground, and skilled with a couple of mighty blades. Certainly on television this kind of heroine had become more prevalent thanks to the influence and popularity of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the silver screen of the West had been a little slower to award the action heroine status to one actress who would return again and again to kick ass in successive movies. The fact that Jovovich always had that more than slightly unreal quality oddly assisted her style.

As to the plot, for most of it it was post-apocalypse Mad Max 2 business, only with zombies hanging around (or jumping out) as Ali Larter (say one thing for these films, they liked their strong female protagonists) headed a group of survivors making their way across an America mostly reduced to desert by the plague. Meanwhile, in underground bases the scientists plot and scheme about how to stop the, well, extinction of mankind but do it in a sinister fashion naturally, with Iain Glen doing his best superior bad guy act as he tries to track Alice, his creation, because he wants her genetic makeup to find a cure. Simply asking her doesn't appear to have crossed his mind, but heigh ho. There were a few half decent setpieces, the killer crow attack and the sand-swamped Las Vegas among them, but really this was business as usual, not boring, just sort of there, hammering away for your easily digested entertainment. Music by Charlie Clouser.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Russell Mulcahy  (1953 - )

Australian director with a flashy visual style. A former music video director - most notably for Duran Duran - Mulcahy made an impact in 1984 with his first real film, the Outback creature feature Razorback. 1986's fantasy thriller Highlander was a big cult hit, and its success led to a foray in Hollywood in the 1990s, which included thrillers Ricochet and The Real McCoy, the superhero yarn The Shadow and the sequel Highlander II: The Quickening. Subsequent work has largely been in TV.

 
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