Resident Evil: Extinction

Sunday · 4 Nov 07 · 03:41 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

One more movie that I watched this evening was Resident Evil: Extinction.  I have not played any of the games, but I like the movie versions.  The first movie was nicely done and had a slick look courtesy director Paul Anderson.  Anderson wrote the sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse too, but did not return to direct.  I watched that one in 2004, and I liked the movie, though it did not sport a polished look like its predecessor (blog post from Sep 2004 here).  That one did set up some interesting story threads though, and hence, we now have a third entry in the series.  This also was written by Anderson, though the directing duties have been taken over by Russell Mulcahy (Highlander).

It is a few years after the events of Apocalypse and the planet is now a wasteland, overrun by the T-virus infected undead.  A small group of survivors, led by Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and S.T.A.R.S. solider Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) have formed a convoy and have been moving from place to place over the last few months, gathering supplies and keeping alive.  The series' heroine, Alice (Milla Jovovich) has stayed "off the grid", and has been generally leading a nomadic existence, until she finds a diary that indicates that there might be a safe place from the undead in Alaska.  Soon, the characters' paths converge, and Alice meets Redfield and her convoy.  The group decides they will try and make it to Alaska.  But the Umbrella Corporation has other plans.  The mad scientist character Dr Isaacs (Iain Glen) who was introduced in the second film, is continuing his experiments on the T-virus and is after Alice, and will do anything to get her dead or alive.

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: Extinction — Drawing by Karthik Abhiram

I really liked this movie, and felt it was superior to the second entry in the series.  The scope of the film has been expanded — in the first film, the infection was contained in the Umbrella Corporation's underground facility, the Hive, whereas in the second film, the infection spread to the whole of Raccoon City.  This movie presents us with an end-of-the-world/post-apocalyptic scenario (some elements here, like people searching for fuel and supplies in a barren wasteland are reminiscent of the genre classic Mad Max 2 a.k.a. The Road Warrior).  Director Mulcahy also brings energetic, striking visuals to the film (highlights of the movie include a long sequence set in Las Vegas, with the characters fighting off hordes of zombies, and a sequence with crows which have been infected!).  There is considerably more action, violence and gore in this movie than the previous entries (which is much appreciated), and the film also nicely carries forward the story threads established in the previous entries.  It is also a much more polished film than Apocalypse was.  Milla Jovovich once again makes a great heroine (on the other hand, though, Ali Larter's character Claire Redfield is underdeveloped — she participates in the action sequences and dispatches the zombies, but aside from the fact that she is the leader of the convoy, we aren't given much background on her).

This review of the movie would not be complete without mentioning the music score.  The first movie had a memorable music score (contributed by Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson), which complemented the action quite nicely and added excitement to the proceedings.  The second movie's music was done by Jeff Danna, and I guess it was adequate for the movie.  But even after watching the movie more than once, I don't remember its music at all.  That is rectified in this entry, because the filmmakers chose Charlie Clouser to be the composer.  Clouser contributed the unforgettable music for the Saw movies, and here too, there's a memorable score which adds to the energy of the visuals, especially in the action scenes.  Certain elements of the music remind you of Saw, but overall, this is a nice variant of the first movie's music.

The movie took some interesting turns in the third act, and had a satisfying ending (which effectively closes the story of Alice, but without totally removing the possibility of a further sequel).  Once again, I have a drawing to go along with this post, which you can see above (click the picture for a larger version).  This was also done with a black ballpoint pen and was done very quickly (in about 15-20 mins I think).  I got to draw Milla Jovovich again, though, due to the short time spent, is not as good as my earlier attempt.  What do you guys think about these drawings?  Personally I think they're more interesting than simply putting up some random screenshot/still from the movie in question.

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Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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