Resident Evil: Extinction
|Resident Evil: Extinction|
Theatrical Release poster
|Directed by||Russell Mulcahy|
|Produced by||Paul W. S. Anderson
|Written by||Paul W. S. Anderson|
|Based on||Resident Evil
|Music by||Charlie Clouser|
|Editing by||Niven Howie|
|Distributed by||Screen Gems|
|Running time||94 minutes|
Resident Evil: Extinction is a 2007 science fiction action horror movie and the third installment in the Resident Evil film series based on the Capcom survival horror series Resident Evil. 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. The film was directed by Russell Mulcahy and produced by Paul W. S. Anderson.
The film was released in the United States on September 21, 2007 and was commercially successful, grossing $147,717,833 worldwide. The film received mixed reviews from critics. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in North America on January 1, 2008.
This film was initially titled Resident Evil: Afterlife according to the leaked script. For unknown reasons, it was renamed to Resident Evil: Extinction. The title Afterlife was used for the fourth installment of the series.
Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up in a mansion. She defeats several obstacles, which include the laser room from the first film and a giant blade that falls from the ceiling of a hospital corridor. She is eventually killed by a miniature rotating machine that shoots her in the stomach. Her body is taken outside and dumped into a pit. The pit is then shown to be filled with hundreds of Alice clones. The camera zooms out to show a shack camouflaging the facility's above-ground entrance (the rest of the facility is underground); it is surrounded by a high, sturdy fence with thousands of zombies around it.
Despite the best efforts of Umbrella 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 destruction of Raccoon City, the T-Virus has spread around the world. As the virus spread, it affected not only humans, but other plants and animals as well, and the Earth's environment rapidly detoriated, turning cities into desolate landscapes and the wildlife into wasteland deserts. Alice wanders the wastelands of the Southwestern U.S. She comes across a group asking for help on the radio, broadcasting from station KLKB, where they have taken refuge. It turns out that they are a group of bandits, robbing the survivors who showed up to help them. They put Alice in a basement to fight with several infected dogs, but she overpowers them, and lets them loose on their owners, killing them.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Isaacs, former head of the Project Alice and the current manager of the North American Umbrella facility, operated in the vast landscape of Nevada, considers Alice's recapture 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 world-wide Umbrellla facility, that he can use her blood to develop a permanent cure as well as tame the infected. The new Umbrella chairman Albert Wesker (Jason O'Mara) orders Isaacs to instead use the clones to create a cure, and he refuses to authorize Alice's recapture until they are informed of her location.
Meanwhile, Claire Redfield's (Ali Larter) convoy, which includes the 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) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti Douglas), along with others, travel cross country.
While searching a motel for supplies, L.J. is bitten; he keeps this a secret instead of warning everyone. The next morning the convoy is attacked by crows that had been feeding on the infected. The crows almost overpower the convoy, killing Nurse Betty and taking out the flamethrower operator, causing the weapon to careen out of control. Alice appears and saves Carlos and the others from a fiery death, using her psionic powers to cover the sky with a blanket of fire, killing the crows. Alice is introduced to Claire and gives her a diary she found. The book claims there is a "safe zone" in Alaska. Alice and Carlos convince Claire to take her convoy to Alaska. They agree to go to Las Vegas to search for supplies for their trip 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' disregarding Umbrella's regulations. Slater does admit that the "super zombies" (the Crimson Head) would be useful, but reiterates that Isaacs is out of control. Wesker, in private, informs Slater to keep watch about Isaacs' actions, and that if he disobeys his direct orders, Slater will terminate Isaacs' employment.
Umbrella triangulates Alice's location based on her psionic 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 Chase and Mikey, 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 tries to flee. Alice and K-Mart use Isaacs' computer to track the helicopter's flight path, leading to Umbrella's underground location.
The convoy goes to the site, which is surrounded by zombies. Carlos sacrifices himself by plowing his truck into the zombie mob and blowing them all up, 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, explaining that the zombies are enhanced and as such, he requires a bigger dosage of the anti-virus; he disobeys Slater's command to stop, since it will only increase his mutation. Issacs refuses, and Slater reveals that his employment is terminated and shoots him, triggering his mutation into a Tyrant. Despite retaining his intelligence and thought, Isaacs kills Slater, kills 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, defending the Red Queen's actions as well. 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 seems to die from shock upon seeing Alice. Alice finds a replica of the mansion she lived in and finds Isaacs, who fights her with equal strength and psionics. Finding themselves in a replica of the Hive's laser corridor, Alice awaits the grid's arrival, watching Isaacs getting sliced into cubes. Just as Alice is about to meet the same fate, the system is deactivated by her clone, which has inexplicably revived.
Later, in Tokyo, Japan, Wesker, who is the head of the Tokyo Umbrella facility, informs the rest of the Umbrella chairman, 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 the hundreds of pods containing her developing clones.
- Milla Jovovich as Alice and the clones: A woman 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, leads a convoy of survivors alongside Carlos.
- Oded Fehr as Carlos Oliveira: An Ex-U.B.C.S. 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 "cleansing" of Raccoon City. Since the events of Apocalypse, he has helped lead Claire's convoy of survivors.
- Iain Glen as Dr. Sam 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 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 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, he is a prominent antagonist in many of the video games. 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 The 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 Captain Slater: Wesker's second-in-command after Dr. Isaacs.
- Linden Ashby as Chase: A cowboy and ex-cop whose expertise is with a rifle.
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).
Two main characters were added to the film's cast: the main antagonist Albert Wesker (portrayed by Jason O'Mara) and secondary protagonist Claire Redfield (portrayed by Ali Larter) from Resident Evil 2.
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-production
Resident Evil: Extinction began principal photography with a budget of $45,000,000 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 release
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 Resident Evil: 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. It opened more strongly than the two previous films in the series, and as of January 1, 2008, the film had grossed $50,648,679 domestically and $97 million overseas for a worldwide total of $147 million.
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 two stars out of five, saying that while the film was "better than Resident Evil: Apocalypse" and had "an effectively creepy empty world setting", she felt that it was "nevertheless scuppered by a lack of coherence."
Frank Scheck says that as the film is "fast-paved 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 numerous close-up shots of Jovovich's face, for which reviewers were confused at the use of, or found unnecessary.[dead link] The film won the Golden Trailer Award for Best Action Poster and was nominated for Best TV Spot.
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