Why make a video game movie if you’re barely going to acknowledge anything in said video game? That’s been the problem with the Resident Evil franchise from the start as it picks pieces from the game and crafts a completely random story around them. Extinction offers the best action of the three, but the story is uninteresting and the characters meaningless.
Filled with long shots of characters walking slowly through buildings searching for supplies, Extinction is the slowest starting film in the franchise. Story development is sparse. Pointless action scenes, such as Milla Jovovich’s encounter with zombie dogs, don’t help. These feel forced, misplaced, and illogical in terms of the script.
Gone is Jill Valentine from the prior Resident Evil movie, Apocalypse. Replacing her is Claire Redfield, played by Ali Larter. The characters are interchangeable, which says something about the scripting here. While the character names are pulled from the game series, they’re completely different in terms of their place in the story.
Going even further off line from the game, and delving deeper into a pit of lackluster ideas for the movie, are Jovovich’s growing powers. Apparently, she can now harness the force from Star Wars and lift rocks with her head. This leads to a number of contrived outcomes where she realizes an easy out just in time to save herself or others.
The main action sequences rank above the others in this franchise. The infected bird assault is spectacular, and the truck/zombie mow down is exactly what audiences came to see. The finale is ruined by an anti-climatic ending that comes from nowhere, and of course the inevitable set up for the fourth movie.
Those few pieces can’t come together to make Extinction a decent movie. It’s a mundane zombie thriller with boatloads of gore and no regard for the source material. How this made it to a third installment is anyone’s guess.
Finely detailed is the first impression of this Blu-ray transfer. Certain scenes typically carry a heavy grain, though it’s purely intentional for gritty effect. Black levels can be uneven, shifting into murky gray. Contrast is otherwise excellent. Superbly sharp, the diluted color tones of the film translate into incredible and noticeable detail, down to fine grains of sand on clothing.
Audio is flawless, aside from the occasionally low mixed dialogue. Surrounds are put into use effortlessly, tracking every bullet or zombie that moves into the rears. The LFE channel is effective throughout, with a solid jolt of bass with every gunshot (without sounding overbearing). The bird assault in the desert is one of the finest examples of home audio you’ll find.
A three-way commentary from Paul W.S. Anderson, director Russell Mulcahy, and producer Jeremy Bolt deliver a well-rounded discussion of all aspects of filming from their perspectives. Eleven deleted scenes greet the viewer once out of the movie and run for about eight and a half minutes.
Beneath Raccoon City is an above-average documentary about the aspects of the film, including a nice look at the miniature work. A trailer for the upcoming CG effort Resident Evil – Degeneration is included, and a pointless option that lets you play the special features in a certain order is a Blu-ray exclusive.