Thursday, May 22, 2008

Video Game Move Review: Resident Evil: Extinction

Before there was Uwe Boll, there was Paul W.S. Anderson – not to be confused with the auteur Paul T. Anderson who created such amazing films as Punch Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood. No, Paul W.S. Anderson is the guy who brought us such lackluster video game movies as Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil. He was the guy it was cool to hate for making bad video game movies before Uwe Boll made Paul W.S. Anderson’s films look like classics. Paul W.S. Anderson also directed and wrote the abysmal Alien vs. Predator, which I didn’t think was possible to screw up, but boy, did he ever. (Alien vs. Predator: Requiem isn’t as good as an Alien vs. Predator movie should be, but was leagues ahead of the first) He did not direct Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction, but he did produce and write them.

Anyway, Resident Evil: Extinction sucked pretty badly. Firstly, let me say I didn’t much care for the first Resident Evil movie. The second one was watchable, but mostly because it was laughably bad. This one is by far the worst of the bunch. This movie is amazingly unoriginal. One would suspect that wouldn’t be a bad thing from a movie based on a video game, but this movie seemed to have been based on the crapfest Waterworld. Yes, you read that correctly. While watching this film, I was constantly reminded of the parallels between this script and Waterworld. It took place in a post apocalyptic world where fuel is a precious commodity and convoys of people roam around in search of safe haven. Instead of the Mariner, we have Alice who somehow managed to develop psychic powers since the last movie thus alienating her more from the rest of the human race just like everyone’s favorite fishman. Instead of water, we have a barren desert. Instead of the Deacon, we have some rogue umbrella scientist who spends his spare time cloning Alice and slaughtering them in an intricate system of traps for no apparent reason. Instead of dry land, they are trying to go to Alaska, which they think is not infected just because Alice finds some dead guy’s journal talking about Alaska.

So, the entire time, I felt like I was watching Waterworld over again, which is not a good feeling to say the least. A large part of the movie was spent on the relationships between a boring band of survivors led by Claire Redfield, one of the few links this movie has to the video games. All in all, there were not that many action scenes, most weren’t any good and the plot was terrible. Hopefully you won’t mind me ruining a plot point towards the end. They decide to go to Alaska in helicopter from the Vegas area. In the scene before, they were worried about running out of fuel… I would guess anyone with an ounce of sense would know that helicopters are going to get a significantly worse mile per gallon than a car because it takes a crap ton of energy to fight gravity… As well, and perhaps this is less common knowledge, but you can’t just fill a helicopter up with automobile gas. I reckon helicopter fuel is going to be a hell of a lot harder to come by in the post apocalyptic vision from the creative mind that brought you AVP.

Anyway, it’s time for the turd rankings! (Remember, more turds means it is worse)
Production Values: 2.0 – This was actually pretty decent. They had a pretty reasonable recreation of Las Vegas landmarks buried in sand.

Story: 6.5 – There are plenty of worse movies to copy than Waterworld.

Action: 5.0 - The action was at least more entertaining than an Uwe Boll film. Honestly, people doing action movies should take notes from Shoot ‘Em Up. That movie was awesome, and the plot was kept to a minimum even though I actually sort of cared for the characters.

Faithfulness to the video game source: 7.0 - To be perfectly frank, I’ve never really played a Resident Evil video game. The terrible character relative controls and the fixed cameras was a big turn off back in the day because I was hooked on Mario 64. Resident Evil 4 has been on my list of games to play for a while, but I was waiting for the price to go down, and then it came out for PS2, so I was waiting for the PS2 version’s price to go down. Now it’s out for Wii, and I’m morbidly curious to see if they used the Wii-mote in any sort of interesting way, although I imagine they won’t, and I’ll kick myself for not getting the PS2 version. Anyway, I’m familiar with the games to know that they really just share the Umbrella Corporation name as well as Clare Redfield.

Laughs: 7.5 - Unfortunately, this was not funny bad. It was just bad bad.

Total Turds: 6.0 - Skip it unless you hate yourself.

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