Resident Evil: Extinction
Resident Evil: Extinction is a 2007 action horror film directed by Russell Mulcahy and written by Paul W. S. Anderson. A direct sequel to Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), it is the third installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is loosely based on the Capcom survival horror video game series of the same name. The film follows the heroine Alice, along with a group of survivors from Raccoon City, as they attempt to travel across the Mojave desert wilderness to Alaska and escape a zombie apocalypse.
|Resident Evil: Extinction|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Russell Mulcahy|
|Written by||Paul W. S. Anderson|
|Based on||Resident Evil|
|Music by||Charlie Clouser|
|Edited by||Niven Howie|
|Distributed by||Screen Gems|
|Box office||$148.4 million|
Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up disoriented in a mansion. Wandering through its halls, she is forced to escape several security traps. However, she is eventually killed by a bounding mine hidden in the floor. Her body is dumped into a pit filled with dozens of Alice copies and is revealed to be one of many clones being produced inside of an underground facility whose entrance above ground is surrounded by thousands of zombies.
Despite the best efforts of the bio-tech company Umbrella Corporation to cover up the contamination of The Hive and the release of the T-virus to the surface, going so far as to authorize the bombing of Raccoon City, the T-virus has spread around the world. As the virus spread, it affected not only humans, but other animals as well, and the environment deteriorated, turning cities into desolate landscapes and the wilderness into wastelands. The real Alice (from whom the clones are made) wanders the wastelands of the Southwestern U.S. On her travels, she finds a dead man's diary which states that there is an uninfected area in Alaska. She later begins to realize that she has developed telekinetic abilities due to the experiments performed on her.
Meanwhile, Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen), former head of Project Alice and the head of the North American Umbrella facility seen earlier (based in Nevada), considers Alice's recapture to be a top priority, since she has the ability to bond with the T-virus and not suffer mutation. He tries to persuade the Umbrella board, operating via holograms from the worldwide Umbrella facility, that he can use her blood to develop a permanent cure as well as tame the infected zombies. The new Umbrella chairman Albert Wesker (Jason O'Mara) orders Isaacs to use the clones to create a cure, and he refuses to authorize Alice's recapture until they are informed of her location.
Meanwhile, a convoy of survivors led by Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) travels across the country in search of supplies. The convoy includes Raccoon City survivors Carlos Oliveira (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps), along with new survivors K-Mart (Spencer Locke), Mikey (Christopher Egan), Chase (Linden Ashby), Otto (Joe Hursley) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti Douglas), among others.
While searching a motel for supplies, L.J. is bitten by a zombie, which he keeps secret. The next morning the convoy is attacked by crows that had been feeding on the infected. The crows almost overwhelm the convoy, killing Nurse Betty and Otto and taking out the flamethrower operator, causing the weapon to careen out of control. Alice finally appears and saves Carlos and the others from a fiery death, using her telekinesis to fill the sky with fire, killing the crows and leaving her unconscious. After recovering, Alice is introduced to Claire and gives her the diary she found, and she and Carlos then convince Claire to take her convoy to Alaska.
Dr. Isaacs' attempts to domesticate the infected have led to a new zombie breed that remembers basic things, such as how to use phones and cameras. Wesker's security officer, Captain Alexander Slater (Matthew Marsden), is adamant about Isaacs' disregard for Umbrella's regulations. Wesker, in private, informs Slater to keep watch on Isaacs' actions, and tells Slater that if Issacs disobeys orders, Slater should kill Isaacs.
Umbrella triangulates Alice's location based on the signal sent out by her telekinetic abilities. Dr. Isaacs has a crate of his new zombies sent to ambush the convoy, against Wesker's specific orders. L.J. succumbs to his infection and bites Carlos. Most of the convoy, including Mikey and Chase, are killed in the ambush. Umbrella tries to shut Alice down remotely, but she breaks free from their programming and continues to fight. She finds Isaacs at the scene, and he becomes infected as he flees via helicopter. Alice and K-Mart use Isaacs' computer to track the helicopter's flight path, leading them to Umbrella's underground location.
The convoy heads over to the site, which is surrounded by thousands of zombies. Carlos sacrifices himself by plowing his truck into the zombie mob and blowing the rig apart, giving Alice and Claire time to load survivors into the helicopter. Alice decides to stay behind. Ordered by Wesker to terminate Isaacs, Slater arrives with a group of commandos and finds the scientist locked in his lab, injecting himself with massive doses of anti-virus in an attempt to counteract the infection. Slater reveals that his employment is terminated and shoots him, triggering a mutation that transforms Isaacs into a monstrous creature. Despite retaining his intelligence and thought, Isaacs kills Slater and all the facility employees, but is confined to the lab's lower levels.
Entering the facility, Alice meets a holograph of the Red Queen's "sister" AI, the White Queen (Madeline Carroll). The White Queen informs Alice that her blood is the cure to the T-virus, while also defending the Red Queen's prior actions. She then tells Alice about Dr. Isaacs. Alice agrees to deal with him. On her way to the lab's lower levels, Alice discovers one of her clones, still in development. The clone awakens, but appears to die from shock shortly after. Alice soon discovers a replica of the Racoon City mansion deep within the complex and finds Isaacs. The two engage in a fight, eventually leading them to a replica of The Hive's laser corridor, where Isaacs is killed by the laser-defense system. Just as Alice is about to meet the same fate, the system is deactivated by her clone, whom is revealed to still be alive.
Later, in Tokyo, Japan, Wesker, who is the head of the Tokyo Umbrella facility, informs the rest of the Umbrella chairmen (all holograms) that the North American facility has been lost. Alice's hologram makes an appearance, declaring that she is coming for him, and she's bringing some of her "friends." Standing beside her clone, Alice looks out onto a huge number of pods containing numerous developing clones.
- Milla Jovovich as Alice and the clones: An-ex Umbrella security officer who is being tracked down by the Umbrella Corporation in order to develop a serum from her blood. Since being exposed to the T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City, Alice has been captured and subjected to experiments.
- Ali Larter as Claire Redfield: Based on the video game character of the same name, she plays a prominent role in Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil Code: Veronica, and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. In the film, she leads the convoy of survivors alongside Carlos.
- Oded Fehr as Carlos Oliveira: A former U.B.C.S. commando elite soldier, based on the video game character of the same name in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. He is a survivor of the Nemesis program as well as the destruction of Raccoon City. He also serves as Alice's love interest. Since the events of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, he has helped lead Claire's convoy of survivors.
- Iain Glen as Dr. Alexander Isaacs: The head scientist of the North American facility. Dr. Isaacs had been involved in the creation of the Nemesis program as well as the creation of Program Alice in Apocalypse. He is turned into the Tyrant monster as a result of a bite by a "super-zombie" and from then injecting himself with too much anti-virus. He is based on William Birkin from the video games.
- Ashanti as Nurse Betty: A tough young woman who acts as the medical unit in Claire's convoy. She is a nurse, helping to aid members of the group to full recovery. Betty drives the paramedic vehicle and is a love interest of L.J. She sacrifices herself by locking herself inside the bus with the crows when they attack.
- Mike Epps as Lloyd Jefferson "L.J." Wade: Former citizen of Raccoon City, who survived the Nemesis program and Raccoon City's destruction in the previous film. He also travels with Claire's convoy. He is Betty's love interest. He is bitten by a zombie in the motel near the beginning of the film and later turns into a zombie himself when super-zombies attack.
- Spencer Locke as K-Mart: A girl found by Claire's companions hiding out in a K-Mart store prior to the outbreak.
- Christopher Egan as Mikey: A young mature computer junkie who drives the "computer station" portion of the convoy. Mikey is responsible for monitoring the radio in search of other survivors as well as monitoring the motion sensor perimeter cameras. He is killed by the super zombies.
- Jason O'Mara as Albert Wesker: Based on the video game character of the same name. In the film, he is the Chairman of Umbrella, and through holographic technology (him being in Tokyo), he has regular meetings with committee members including Dr. Isaacs who gave the order to find and capture Alice.
- Madeline Carroll as White Queen: The sister computer of the original Red Queen. She is designed to protect and preserve human life and monitor the Umbrella facility, like her sister computer. However, the White Queen has more advanced holographic technology.
- Matthew Marsden as Alex Slater: Wesker's second-in-command after Dr. Isaacs.
- Linden Ashby as Chase: A cowboy and ex-cop whose expertise is with a rifle.
- Joe Hursley as Otto: a survivor who drives the school bus, is later pecked to death by the infected crows.
Resident Evil: Extinction was first discussed by Resident Evil franchise writer Paul W. S. Anderson after Resident Evil: Apocalypse opened at number 1 on the US box office in 2004, earning more than $23.7 million dollars on its opening weekend. Anderson told SciFi Wire that he would like to oversee a third installment, under the original title of Resident Evil: Afterlife. Shortly after, the film and another planned sequel were officially announced by Sony Screen Gems on June 13, 2005.
On November 7, 2005, Davis Film, Constantin Film and Screen Gems announced their distribution rights worldwide with the film's title being changed from Resident Evil: Afterlife to Resident Evil: Extinction. Impressed with Russell Mulcahy's work on Highlander, Highlander II: The Quickening, The Shadow and Ricochet, Anderson signed Mulcahy on as director, stating, "Russell pioneered a very distinct visual style, a lot of moving camera and crane work, lots of very fast cutting. He’s got a very cool eye and sees great ways to shoot. His work certainly had a big influence on me as a filmmaker and that’s why I was very excited to work with him on this movie."
On June 12, 2005, Milla Jovovich was announced to reprise her role as the heroine Alice. In an interview with BlackFilm.com on September 9, 2005, Mike Epps confirmed that he would be reprising his role from Resident Evil: Apocalypse as L.J. Wayne, noting that "Black people die in these movies and [Anderson] was like, 'Well Mike, I kinda like you.' So then I asked him, 'Are you setting me up to die because if there's a fourth movie, I'm as good as dead.'" Sienna Guillory was planned to reprise her role as Jill Valentine; however, she passed on the role, citing commitments to Eragon. On May 9, 2006, Oded Fehr was confirmed to reprise his role of Carlos Olivera, as well as Iain Glen, Spencer Locke and Ashanti Douglas who were added to the cast. It was rumored that Debra Marshall was originally cast as Cindy Lennox. However, it was proven to be only a rumor. Chris Redfield was rumored to appear in the film portrayed by Australian actor Charlie Clausen and Leon S. Kennedy was also rumored to be played by Jensen Ackles.
The film's story takes place in Death Valley, where the large scale action sequences take place amid post-apocalyptic landscapes of Las Vegas in broad daylight. Drawing inspirations from western films and post-apocalyptic movies, including the Mad Max series, Extinction manages to reference such predecessors, with plot elements revolving around the shortage of oil, the shortage of supplies, a convoy traveling across a desert, and the desert taking over civilized land.
Anderson stated that the film's story is original and unfolds in a world that fans of the game recognize: "It's all part of trying to deliver a movie-going experience that satisfies the fans of the game but also provides a fun cinematic experience for a broader audience that has never played a Resident Evil game." The story takes place five years after the events of Resident Evil: Apocalypse. While previous installments in the series had minor changes to plot and characters, Extinction branches completely away from the video game series as evidenced by the fact that Resident Evil 4 takes place six years after the events portrayed in Resident Evil 2 and the world has not become overrun with zombies. References to Code Veronica are made, such as the replica mansion and the viral outbreak itself. A common element used throughout each Resident Evil film is the climactic battle which occurs in the finale. Extinction marked the first appearance of herbs, a healing item in the video game series, as seen in Dr. Isaac's lab, and it also referenced the first film with the inclusion of a replica Hive facility designed after the one in Raccoon City, the Raccoon City Hospital, a holographic computer database known as the White Queen, and the replica Spencer Mansion.
Numerous references to the video game series have been made, including zombies being unleashed through a T-virus mutation. While the concept of the undead remains the same, this film includes "Super Undead". As Anderson explains, these are "a result of Umbrella experimenting with the Undead and attempting to give them back some of their reasoning power, some of their intelligence and a little of their humanity. Unfortunately, these experiments don't quite work and the side effect is the Super Undead, which are Undead that are faster, stronger and [a] more cunning foe." Other creatures from the video game series have also made appearances in the film, including the Tyrant, a swarm of crows, and a pack of Dobermans (although Belgian Shepherd Dogs were used during production).
Horror magazine Fangoria featured the film in its August 2007 issue and also on the cover of its September 2007 issue, talking with director Russell Mulcahy. The following details reported were inaccurate, possibly indicating to a change in the storyline:
- Alice's convoy are traveling across the Nevada desert trying to reach sanctuary in Alaska to meet Chris Redfield and other survivors. In the film, however, there is no mention of Chris, and the convoy is headed by Claire.
- The film would feature new "super zombies" that had been "pumped up on some sort of alter-essence steroids". The final "super zombies" are created using blood taken from clones of Alice.
- Mulcahy stated concerning the (what was then considered to be) ending of the film trilogy, "As far as I'm aware, this is indeed supposed to close the book."
- Resident Evil: Extinction takes place eight years after Resident Evil: Apocalypse. In the film, this was contradicted when characters stated that it had been five years since the outbreak.
- The character of Claire Redfield did not exist in the early draft scripts for the film and previously Jill Valentine (who appeared in Resident Evil: Apocalypse played by Sienna Guillory) would continue the role in Resident Evil: Extinction. Later, producers Paul W. S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt decided to have a separate game character appear alongside Alice, saying, "We thought, rather than bring Jill back, put her with another game heroine."
Filming and post-productionEdit
Resident Evil: Extinction began principal photography in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico in May, 2006 after filming locations had to be changed from the Australian Outback to Mexico, causing production dates to be pushed back repeatedly from November 2005 to May 2006. Numerous sets were designed by production designer Eugenio Caballero including Umbrella's underground laboratory, the Las Vegas Strip, the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Realto Ponte, Luxor Hotel and the replica of the Spencer Mansion. The film entered post-production in late July 2006 with details about production being kept secret and with the film's special effects being covered by Tatopoulos Studios and Mr. X Inc., whom both worked on the 2006 film Silent Hill.
Marketing and releaseEdit
The film's teaser trailer was shown with Ghost Rider on February 16, 2007, and was structured in the same manner of the "Regenerate" teaser trailer for Apocalypse. The film's website was launched by Sony on February 17, 2007 with confirmation of its September 21, 2007 release date.
The film's teaser poster was leaked onto the internet via a fansite in May 2007, before appearing on IGN, whereas a German website leaked concept art for Extinction including vehicle and numerous set designs. The film's theatrical trailer premiered on Yahoo! Movies in late July 2007, with NBC releasing several scenes including the crow attack sequence. The social networking website Myspace also featured numerous clips of four of the main characters—Claire Redfield, Carlos Olivera, Nurse Betty, and Alice. The official website for Extinction launched an online game titled Resident Evil: Extinction – Online Convoy Game in August 2007. On September 12, 2007 Sony released numerous promotional clips and television spots and on September 17, 2007 the film's soundtrack was released, whereas the film's score was released on December 18, 2007.
On July 31, 2007, a full two months before the film's release, a novelization by Keith R. A. DeCandido was published. At 368 pages, it is the longest of all of the Resident Evil novels. DeCandido also wrote the novelizations of the first (subtitled as Genesis) and second films.
Resident Evil: Extinction was released on DVD, UMD, and high-definition Blu-ray Disc in North America on January 1, 2008. A Blu-ray release of the Resident Evil trilogy, featuring the three films in one package was also released on January 1. A 3-disc DVD set of the Resident Evil trilogy was also made available in 2008. Milla Jovovich and Oded Fehr filmed a commentary while Jovovich was pregnant, which Fehr expects to be shown "in a little square box in the corner" of the Blu-ray version. The DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film showed previews for Resident Evil: Degeneration, a trailer of Devil May Cry 4, and a video of Resident Evil 5. Resident Evil: Extinction was released on DVD in Australia on February 13, 2008 and in the UK on the February 18, 2008.
The film was the number one movie at the North American box office on its opening weekend, grossing $23 million in 2,828 theaters, averaging $8,372 per theater. As of January 1, 2008, the film had grossed $50,648,679 domestically and $97 million internationally for a worldwide total of $148.4 million.
Extinction was negatively received by critics upon release. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a score of 22% based on 94 reviews and Metacritic gave it a "Mixed or average" score of 41 out of 100, based on reviews from 12 critics.
Steven Hyden of The Onion′s A.V. Club said that "the movie delivers some simple-minded thrills" and praised the "solidly effective killer-ravens sequence" but felt the film was too predictable, saying: "Anybody who has ever seen a zombie movie can figure out what happens next. Somebody will get bit without telling the others, which will inevitably backfire. Survivors will be forced to shoot suddenly undead friends in the head. One of them dastardly science folk will protect the monsters in order to study them, which will also inevitably backfire. And legions of undead will be re-killed in surprisingly easy fashion."
Kevin Crust of The Los Angeles Times praised the film, saying that "the story and characters are surprisingly engaging, with fight scenes and scares effectively placed between plot turns" although he felt that the ending was too "open-ended".Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave Extinction half a star out of a possible four, saying that the film was "no more interesting than watching someone else play with his Playstation". Scott Brown of Entertainment Weekly said that Extinction "plays like a flabby middle chapter, full of nerdy details but fraudulently short on the ruined Vegas-scape that ads have been promising." Jack Mathews of the New York Daily News gave the film a score of one and a half stars out of five, calling the action scenes "monotonous" and urging audiences to "flee this yawn of the dead." Helen O'Hara of Empire gave Extinction a score of 4 out of five, saying that the film was "better than Resident Evil: Apocalypse" and had "an effectively creepy empty world setting"."
Frank Scheck says that as the film is "fast-paced and filled with brisk action sequences", it should "reasonably satisify the devotees." Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide gave the film a score of two and a half stars out of four, saying: "Equal parts Mad Max and Day of the Dead, [Extinction] is no less derivative than its predecessors but moves along at a brisk clip." Pete Vonder Haar of Film Threat gave Extinction a score of three out of five, saying that the film had "rather lazy pacing" but added that "the way Anderson keeps upping the ante with regard to Alice's ultimate fate continues to amuse."
A common complaint was the noticeable digital airbrushing on many close-up shots of Jovovich's face, for which reviewers were confused at the use of, or found unnecessary. The film won the Golden Trailer Award for Best Action Poster and was nominated for Best TV Spot.
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