Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

All I want to know is why they want to do Ashanti like that?  With skin so brown and smooth, and a body so soft and curvy and a face so angelic they had the sister get eaten by flock of rabid crows.  What’s up with that?  Oops, that’s not a spoiler is it?  Well probably not because A). It happens in like the first ten minutes and B). She’s African American so we ALL know her fate was sealed the minute her agent got the call that she was being considered for the role.  Seriously though, it’s conceivable that Ashanti’s character of Betty might have survived in the original draft of the script but when director Russell Mulcahey OK’d the sultry pop singer for the part, you know a re-write was the first order of business.  Regardless, despite the atypical shabby treatment of the Black characters in the flick, I still found ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ an enjoyable zombie fest in the desert.  Miles better than abhorrent second picture and even marginally better than the first, a film I had called the best videogame movie adaption ever.  Though this is faint praise, that now makes ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ the new best video game movie ever.  All hail the King!

Evil Dr. Isaacs (Ian Glenn), who you will remember in the last movie, was performing evil cloning experiments on Alice (Milla Jovovich) and has returned to doing more even more evil stuff for the evil Umbrella Corporation.  Because of Umbrella the world is pretty much over except for a few wayward human survivor stragglers, and in Umbrella’s various underground facilities throughout the world were they CONTINUE to perform krazy experiments.  Way less pissed off that the world is over, the Umbrella execs are more upset that zombies are keeping them from their above ground palatial estates and want Dr. Isaacs to do something about it lickety split.  So the good Doctor, in a story thread that is way to ridiculous to spend any decent amount time on, has decided to ‘domesticate’ the zombies so that they can have a super strong loyal ‘work force’.  But to do this properly he needs the original Alice since these clone Alice’s aren’t working out right.  Oh boy.

Out in the world we are introduced to the traveling posse of Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) who has been retreaded from ‘Apocalypse’.  They simply travel around the country side, dodging zombies and rabid birds, except for Ashanti, looking for a better life.  Alice is out there too, but she walks alone now not wanting to lead the evil Umbrella goons to this band of traveling renegades.  Which is why see joins up with them later to save their lives, except Ashanti, and eventually leads the evil Umbrella goons straight to them.  Alice has also acquired some new God-like powers and if you thought messing with her was a bad idea before, well, it’s like a super bad idea now.  Alice also has it on good intel that Alaska is untouched by the zombie population and that’s where they need to go.  It seems that zombies don’t like the cold, which is another solid reason to kill Ashanti because she and L.J. (Mike Epps who makes it back for this film as well), would have been miserable there anyway.  But you know Umbrella, and particularly Dr. Isaacs for some reason or another hates human survivors and has bred a faster, angrier, hungrier, stronger zombie to take these cats out.  I know its Krazy, but that’s what he did.  Eventually it will all come down to a final battle between Alice and a badly mutated super Dr. Isaac’s who proclaims the ‘He is the future of Humans!’  If this is true, then the future is ugly indeed.  Literally.

Okay, so ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ isn’t art.  And perhaps any movie that has the concept of domesticating zombies, and isn’t a slapstick comedy perhaps shouldn’t have been made, though I will admit I’d be the first cat on the block to hire a Zombie Butler.  And maybe you find the concept of genetically reengineering zombies to kill you better a little silly, but my goodness there’s a lot of worthless fun to be had here.  Milla is sporting a killer tan in this one which just completely sets of the contrast of her clear blue eyes.  I mean if she was any browner in this flick they would have had to kill her off just like they did poor Ashanti.  She looks mean in a duster, is still kicking plenty zombie ass and now she can like fly and stuff.  Director Mulcahey quickly realizes the story is simply secondary nonsense and keeps the action coming, the gore high, the zombies attacking and the Black people perishing at such a rapid fire rate that only when the credits roll will you stop to think that domesticating zombies is a real dumb idea.

Though the series quickly lost its connection to the video game which spawned it a couple of movies ago, this rendition was the most video game like of the three with hordes of vile zombies that never seem to end, and even a big old boss battle to close out the show.  You might even enjoy this film just that much more if you go to theater with your controller in your hand.  I’ve said this before, if it’s absolutely necessary that your movies make total logical sense, which I know can’t be true because somebody has made ‘Two and a half men’ America’s number one show, then watch PBS or something.  If you’re like me however and dream of having a gardener who is also a zombie, then damn if this ain’t your movie.

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