Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Written by Paul W. S. Anderson
Here be spoilers – just in case….
So, here we go, round 3! This time we take up the story several years after the events of Resident Evil Apocalypse and the whole world is now either infected or struggling to survive against the horrors of the T-Virus. Alice is now alone, trying to avoid bring found, distancing herself from the survivors of Raccoon City to keep them safe as she is hunted by the Umbrella Corporation.
Elsewhere, we have a slightly random appearance from Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) who leads a rag-tag bunch of survivors across the post-apocalyptic USA as they track a mysterious broadcast from supposed safe-haven, ARCADIA.
And, while all this is going on, we find out Umbrella is experimenting with clones of Alice as they desperately try to replicate her powers and knack for survival. (Remember this, things get crazy with clones from here on in!)
Alice meets up with Claire’s group which includes her old muckers, Carlos (Oded Fehr) and L. J. (Mike Epps) from Raccoon city but, in using her powers to save them from a literal murder of crows, she alerts Umbrella to their location and the race is then on to get to ARCADIA and avoid Umbrella.
And that is pretty much the film; the quest to find ARCADIA. Although not quite yet for Alice as she has unfinished business with Umbrella who just happen to have a facility nearby. The film ends with Alice sending Claire and the remaining survivors away to ARCADIA in a helicoptor as she heads down into the Umbrella facility that has been experimenting with her clones.
After a brief tussle with Iain Glenn’s Dr Isaacs, who is now super pumped as Tyrant after injecting himself with the virus, Alice wakes her clones and leaves a high-tech voicemail message for one Albert Wesker (Jason O’Mara) threatening to bring him and Umbrella down.
Will she do it?
Actually I have no idea as I realised, while watching Extinction, that I hadn’t seen this film in it’s entirety so it is highly unlikely I have seen anything other than a few clips of the ones to come.. At this point, I have no idea where the story is going.
I could probably have a fairly decent stab at guessing (I’ve seen enough post-apocalyptic films to be wary of ANY supposed safe-haven) but any real relationship to the games is now stretched pretty thin so they won’t be any help. Claire Redfield turns up, at this moment, simply to appease fans, there is very little real story for her, but there is time to develop that. I have not lived in a completely dark bubble for the last few years and I know Ali Larter returns in at least one more film.
Another nice nod to the games is Iain Glenn’s transformation into Tyrant although he is nowhere near as scary as he was in the games. That may largely be down to Alice being able to walk and turn at the same time unlike her video game counterparts! And she has a much larger supply of ammunition than I ever did!
So there is probably very little point comparing the films to the games anymore and I am just going to sit and enjoy them for what they are. There are obviously elements of the games, their characters and monsters as well as events but, chronologically they are all mixed up and there is nothing here that would be considered canon in relation to the games I don’t think. Although, as I have said before, I haven’t played all the games for a long time, so my memories might be a little hazy.
Either way, I had fun watching it and I think it stacks up better than the first two films. It allows Alice’s character and back story to develop a little and shows us what she is potentially capable of with her developing powers, without suddenly making her indestructible. It’s as if the series is finding its feet and realising it’s a fairly niche franchise, but getting comfortable with itself and what it was designed to do – entertain with zombies!
We get to see Alice kick ass and play saviour (makes a change from a white man!) for the lost souls trying to survive in the wastland that was the USA. But, this time around she has Claire to help her. Another badass and horse worth betting on.
We lose a lot of people in this film. Most of them are canon fodder, but a couple of them are missed, so the film isn’t completely devoid of heart even if some of the losses just feel like a convenient way to get the numbers down before trying to fit a convoy of people onto one helicoptor! There are definite shades of Mad Max here, with a postapocalyptic landscape and survivors crossing it in convoy.
And it looks pretty good. The desert and sets are nicely done and, while some continued used of CGI blood effects can be slightly distracting as you watch, it generally holds together well.
I think the Resident Evil franchise is an easy one to ridicule and not take seriously. While we are not in the realms of more modern “elevated horror” (whatever the hell that means) that takes itself a lot more seriously, Resident Evil isn’t trying to do anything clever, it just wants to show Alice handing Zombies their asses (brains?) and sticking it to the Corporation.
And I, for one, am here for more of that. Sometimes you just want to disengage your brain and have a blast, and you can easily do that with Resident Evil.
But, hey, we had a bit of a cliffhanger at the end there, so I wonder what is going to happen next…
Next up: Resident Evil: Afterlife
Back to: Resident Evil: Apocalypse