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Resident Evil Extinction: Good Post-Apocalyptic Fun

Being a die-hard fan of the ‘Resident Evil’ video game series as well as the first ‘Resident Evil’ movie, I never lost hope that the film series would find its way after the action-filled, albeit completely lame second installment in the ‘Resident Evil’ trilogy, ‘Resident Evil: Apocalypse’. While ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ didn’t quite step up as a contender to the original film, it held my interest with its deliciously bloody action scenes and its creative take on a post-apocalyptic world.

The film takes place two years after the initial outbreak in Raccoon City. As always, the evil virus-manufacturing company Umbrella was certain they’d isolated the virus and as always, they were deadly wrong. We meet up again with old friends Alice, Carlos Olivera and L.J, doing their best to survive in a world that has been enveloped completely by the T-virus. You see, not only did the T-virus affect the world’s populations turning them into mindless creatures with a serious hankering for some glagnor’s human grinds (It’s a buncha-muncha-cruncha human!), it also affected the planet’s ecosystem, effectively transforming the entire planet into a desert. The T-virus demands that no vegetation get away alive! While it’s not explained in the film how oxygen still manages to be produced and our brave protagonists carry on with all plant life pretty much dried up, the barren wasteland does help to set the tone. It’s a bleak reality, a bleak future. Earth’s survivors have close to no hope, and almost no reason to survive. Enter plucky, yet no nonsense Claire Redfield, a character you’ll remember from ‘Resident Evil 2′ and ‘Resident Evil: Code Veronica X’. Played by Ali Larter, Claire’s put together what seems to be the last convoy of survivors in America. They search for survivors, salvage remains and generally stick together, like any big, post-apocalyptic family should. While they’re doing pretty well, their numbers are dwindling, though nothing like they will once Alice joins them. The convoy is headed to Alaska with hopes of finding a clean, uninfected land filled will hope, promise, love and ice blocks a-plenty. Yes, it really is that cheesy. Regardless, Claire Redfield’s convoy is headed there, though not if Umbrella has anything to say about it … DUM DUM DUMMMM!
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The action in ‘Extinction’ is visceral and fast-paced. Since Alice has been super-engineered by Umbrella, on top of her already superb combat skills she’s developed psychic abilities that stand up to those held by X-Men’s Jean Grey. Sadly, these powers she employs aren’t used nearly enough in the film although some of the coolest scenes in the movie have her utilizing these abilities. Applause broke out upon her first use in the theater. Don’t despair though, it’s still really great to watch her take down zombie after zombie with only hand to hand combat. While it would make sense that everyone in the film be rather well versed with a gun, these characters still seem to have issues with the whole “Shoot ‘em in the head!” concept. In one particular zombie attack scene, Claire manages to squeeze off at least an entire clip trying to take out three non-moving zombies five feet away. The HEAD, Claire — Go for the HEAD!

As for enemies, we’ve got somewhat cured, super-smart zombies, your regular zombie dogs, and as an added bonus, zombie birds! Kudos to the ‘RE:3′ crew for taking something super sweet from the video games! I mean, come on, no one’s that good of a shot, you’ve got to have some gruesome and enjoyable deaths there. And gruesome and enjoyable deaths you will have, my horror friends!

‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ lives up to the series proudly. For the big ‘Resident Evil’ fans, it doesn’t measure up to the original flick, but the sweet scenery coupled with unbeatable action and big bad guys you really want brought down, ‘Extinction’ holds its head up high. Sure, it’s got a couple of holes in the storyline. Where’s Jill Valentine? How did Albert Wesker get to be the head of the Umbrella corporation? Where’s Chris Redfield if Claire’s here? How do they breathe with no vegetation? But all of these questions aside, you’ll find that if you can suspend that overly critical mind for 95 minutes and give in to the power of ‘Extinction’, you’ll be in for a serious treat. Plus, I’d say the end definitely left room for a sequel even though they’re dubbing the series a trilogy. My vote? ‘Resident Evil: Re-Population’ starring Leon Kennedy and Alice. Ow-Ow!

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