RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION (sci-fi actioner)
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Iain Glen and Ashanti
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Time: 95 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? Here we go again. Alice is back in Zombieland and it is 'kick-ass' time again for fans of this videogame-to-movie franchise.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? For those who are new to its 'game plan', let's just say that Alice (Milla Jovovich), the heroine, is a human guinea pig in the nefarious Umbrella Corporation's experiments to create a vaccine to counter the 'T-virus' that turns civilisations of humans into zombies. Yes, earlier movies have shown Alice inheriting superhuman powers from the experiments - not to mention the kick-ass attitude that comes along with the fiasco. Since then, she has become a fugitive, now being sought for her precious blood that may provide others immunity to the virus.
When this third instalment opens, we see the evil Dr Isaacs (Iain Glen) trying out and discarding clones of Alice in his race to develop the vaccine. Meanwhile, the future for mankind is bleak in a dog-eat-man world (literally!) where food and fuel are scarce - and survivors travel in "Mad Max"-styled convoys to protect themselves against both zombies and other desperate humans.
Did I say dogs eat man? Well, throw in ravens too because we find huge flocks of these zombie birds swarming down on a bunch of travellers outside Las Vegas that's now buried in sand, treating them as fast food. Only the timely arrival of Alice helps to save the day for this motley convoy led by Claire (Ali Larter) and "Apocalypse" survivors, Carlos (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps).
THE GOOD, THE BAD & CHEESY: Since this is the 'defining' part of the "Resident Evil" trilogy, you can expect Alice to confront her nemesis, Dr Isaacs, in the movie's climax. Director Russell Mulcahy (of "Highlander") provides a genre mix of horror and action, mining the film's post-apocalyptic desert setting for its sweeping vistas and enhancing its chase-and-kill sequences.
The characters are surprisingly engaging, with the fight and terror sequences spaced out in between plot turns. Alice's encounter with the convoy, however, is just a device for the zombie-slashing scenes and her ultimate battle with the chief corporate goon. As expected, Jovovich looks fetching in her role as Alice, the immaculate Guardian Angel whose hair and make-up are never out of place even after a vigorous brawl.
THE LOWDOWN: Indeed, the sultry Jovovich is the main attraction of this franchise - and her fans need not worry about not seeing anymore of Alice. "Extinction" ends with the Umbrella Corp brass setting up shop in an Asian country, almost guaranteeing its sequel...