When it comes to the 'Resident Evil' film series, this is the only other one I can say I actually like (along with the first). My mind has the potential to change on some chapters further down the road, as I only ever saw the next two, and it was a series I wasn't really invested in. I just went to the theater to be entertained, but a lot of the time had forgotten what happened previously, and they just ended up being all style no substance. But hey, they did have some pretty cool 3D action sequences. Anyway, for the time being, 'Extinction' isn't only the other one I like, but honestly, probably my favourite of the batch.
Fair warning, as we are doing a chain of sequels, there's high potential for spoilers from previous films, and this starts more or less where the last one leaves off. The previous film ends with Alice (Milla Jovovich) escaping an Umbrella research facility with help from Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), L.J. (Mike Epps), and Angela (Sophie Vavasseur). By the way, I failed to mention L.J. in my previous review, but that's mostly because he didn't seem to serve much purpose other than being an average joe caught up in the midst of all the chaos surrounding Raccoon City. Anyway, he survives, and we know that all of these characters become acquainted with each other.
As the film opens, we learn that Umbrella has completely failed to contain the outbreak of the T Virus, bringing the world to a devastatingly overrun zombie-ridden wasteland. A few have managed to survive, however, by staying on the move. Among the survivors are Alice, who is travelling solo when we meet up with her, as she discovers the possibility that Alaska may yet be untouched. She eventually meets up with a convoy of scavenging survivors, looking for food and supplies at any stop they can manage, and convinces them that Alaska is probably the best direction to head. Among the convoy are, Carlos and L.J. from the previous film, and it's lead by Claire Redfield (Ali Larter). We also meet the likes of "K-Mart" (Spencer Locke), Mikey (Christopher Egan), Otto (Joe Hursley), Betty (Ashanti) and Chase (Linden Ashby).
Meanwhile, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) makes capturing Alice his top priority, as she has somehow bonded with the T-Virus without physically mutating into some insane monster (as we saw with "Lickers" and Nemesis in the previous films). He believes that they can use Alice's blood to develop a serum that will not cure the zombie infection, but perhaps domesticate it. The idea is brushed aside by Umbrella CEO, Albert Wesker (Jason O'Mara), who would prefer he works on his clone project; the "Project Alice" mentioned at the end of the previous film. Basically, they have been able to clone a bunch of new Alices trying to recreate what they made at the end of the first film, when original Alice was first exposed to the T-Virus.
It's nice that we're introduced to a few new characters here, who I recognize by name base don the games - namely Claire Redfield and Albert Wesker. As far as their game presences go, it's hard for me to say how right or wrong they got these characters, but from what little I do know, it seems fairly accurate - although I pictured Claire a little differently, Larter does a fine job here, and I won't ever deny the little celebrity crush I've had on her since 'Final Destination'. So yeah, there may be a little bias here when you get right down to it. I'd have to say the only thing this lacks in is the quality of the main plotline. While what's going on at Umbrella seems intriguingly evil, the survivors are living out the typical zombie road trip plot with a few variations. But that might also be what I liked about it. It was simple.
The film ends on a pretty similar note as the first two, where Alice comes across something new about herself. In the first one, she is exposed to the T-Virus and is able to run faster, jump higher, be tougher, etc. In the second one, she develops telekinesis (which, again, I failed to mention, but it works as a pretty powerful weapon for her) and in this one... well, await my next 'Resident Evil' review that is sure to open with a few spoilers, although considering what I've told you, you may well be able to guess already. Anyway, I tend to lean towards this chapter of the 'Resident Evil' series more than most, but it tends to be a little more up the alley of someone like me - used to the average zombie flick without a lot of complex material. What does the next chapter have in store?