Resident Evil: Extinction is a 2007 science fiction action horror film. It is the third installment in the series of film adaptations based on the Capcom survival horror series Resident Evil. The film follows the amnesiac 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.
The film was released in the United States on September 21, 2007 and was commercially successful, grossing $147,717,833 worldwide, however, it received many negative reviews from critics. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray in North America on January 1, 2008.
Following the events of the Raccoon City incident in Apocalypse, the T-Virus escaped containment despite the nuclear destruction of the city. The virus having spread from Raccoon City to San Francisco, the Umbrella Corporation was unable to contain it after a second outbreak. The virus quickly spread across the world, drying up the lakes, rivers, and continents while infecting the majority of the human population and spreading to other species. In 2008, after five years, almost every living creature has become a zombie, and life across the planet is on the verge of extinction. The Umbrella Corporation appears to be the only organized society of humans left, its remnants forced to live underground in Hive-like constructs dispersed around the world.
Alice (Milla Jovovich), Umbrella's greatest bio-organic weapon, is now alone in the desert wastelands of the remains of the United States after learning that the corporation has the ability to track her location via satellite. She has superhuman strength and psionic abilities gained from her brief imprisonment by Umbrella. Umbrella considers re-capturing Alice a top priority because of her blood's ability to bond with the T-Virus. Dr. Sam Isaacs (Iain Glen) believes that he can use blood from the original Alice to develop a permanent cure to save what is left of humanity, as well as tame the undead to create a sub-human workforce. Umbrella chairman Albert Wesker (Jason O'Mara) orders Isaacs to create a cure without Alice, using clones created from her blood. Wesker refuses to authorize manpower to recover Alice until they are 100% sure where she is, due to the high risk involved in missions on the surface. The Alice clones endure tests within the re-created Spencer Mansion, The Hive, and Raccoon City Hospital locations, but none survive. The bodies of the failed Alices are dumped in a drainage ditch alongside Umbrella's fenced-in desert compound, with hordes of zombies gathered around the perimeter.
Meanwhile, Claire Redfield's (Ali Larter) convoy, which includes Alice's fellow Raccoon survivors Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps), along with new survivors K-Mart (Spencer Locke), Mikey (Chris Egan), Chase (Linden Ashby) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti), are attempting to survive in this dystopia. While searching a small motel for supplies, L.J. is surprised by a lurking zombie and bitten, but he does not tell the others. The next morning a flock of infected crows gathers and begins to attack the convoy. The battle is going badly for the fugitives, when suddenly a reluctant Alice appears. She uses her newly-developing telekinetic powers to incinerate the flock by covering the sky in flames from a nearby flamethrower. Despite Alice's help, Nurse Betty, Otto, and five others die in the attack.
Back at Umbrella, Dr. Isaacs' attempts to domesticate the undead have led to a new breed of zombie (similar to the previously-seen Crimson Heads) with greatly enhanced aggression, bloodlust, and resistance to harm. Isaacs' work is discovered by Captain Slater (Matthew Marsden), Wesker's subordinate. Slater reprimands Isaacs, but grudgingly admits that these Super Zombies may be useful in capturing Project Alice.
Alice is introduced to Claire, and gives her a diary she had found in a deserted gas station. The diary tells of radio transmissions claiming that there are living humans in Alaska, and that there is no infection or undead there. Alice and Carlos convince Claire that the convoy should make an attempt to reach Alaska before the rest of them are killed. Claire, unable to make such a big decision herself, puts it to a vote of the convoy. The other survivors agree to try for Alaska, but realize that they need to be resupplied in order to make it. With no other alternative, the leaders of the group decide to search for supplies in Las Vegas.
The Umbrella corporation, with the help of a new artificial intelligence called the White Queen, is able to triangulate Alice's location based on the use of her psionic powers. Dr. Isaacs defies Wesker's direct orders and has a crate of his new Super Zombies transported to the convoy's destination. The convoy is ambushed by the new zombies, and a horrific battle ensues. In the carnage, Mikey is brutally killed along with Chase, L.J. turns into a zombie and bites Carlos before being shot, and most of the convoy is killed. Once Umbrella sees Alice is in position, they attempt to "shut her down" and control her actions. She is rendered catatonic for several minutes, thus unable to aid at the most critical part of the battle, but she ultimately resists Umbella's control and, using her psionic powers, is finally able to destroy the CPU on Umbrella's tracking satellite. She locates Isaacs at the scene of the battle, just as he slips away in a helicopter, and a Super Zombie bites him just before it takes off. Intending to capture the helicopter for the survivors' escape to Alaska, Alice and the others follow the helicopter's flight path, thus learning of Umbrella's underground location.
The convoy survivors find the Umbrella facility surrounded by hundreds of zombies. Carlos' infection has gone beyond a cure, and he decides to sacrifice himself for the convoy. Alice and Carlos kiss before he departs; he drives a gasoline tanker truck to the facility's entrance and sets off a dynamite charge, plowing a path through the zombies for Alice and Claire to drive through. All but Alice, who stays behind to exact her revenge on the Umbrella Corporation, depart on the helicopter, piloted by Claire.
Dr. Isaacs, having been arrested by Umbrella after his return from the failed mission, has been locked in his lab. Ordered to "liquidate" Isaacs, Slater finds him sprawled at his lab desk, injecting himself with massive doses of Anti-Virus. Isaacs explains that the strain of T-Virus carried by the Super Zombies is more potent, having been mixed with Alice's blood, and therefore he needs much more Anti-Virus. However, the Anti-Virus overdose triggers a massive mutation of Isaacs into a Tyrant. Isaacs goes on a rampage, killing all the employees in the facility, but eventually the White Queen manages to confine Isaacs in the lower levels of the lab.
Entering the facility, Alice meets a holographic representation of the White Queen. The recent homicidal tendencies of her sister fresh in Alice's mind, she nevertheless strikes an uneasy truce with her. The White Queen informs Alice that her blood is the cure to the T-Virus, and can end the madness. The Queen then informs Alice of her current problem with Dr. Isaacs, and Alice agrees to deal with him.
On her way to the lab's lower levels, Alice comes across a clone of herself still in a vegetative state. As she is examining the clone, Isaacs attacks her, but she manages to fight him off. The clone awakens, but the shock of the sudden awakening apparently kills her. Alice goes after Isaacs and finds herself in a replica of the Spencer Mansion, where a battle between Isaacs and Alice ensues, with both displaying use of telekinesis and cunning skill and strategy. When the fight spills into a replica of the laser corridor from The Hive, Alice grimly informs Isaacs that they are both to die there when the lasers activate. The laser grid slices Isaacs into pieces in the same fashion as the character One, but just as Alice is about to meet the same fate, the lasers are deactivated by the clone of Alice in the nick of time.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Japan, Wesker informs the rest of the Umbrella board that the North American branch has been lost, and he will now control further scientific experimentation from Japan. Using holographic technology, Alice makes an appearance at the board meeting, declaring that she and her friends are coming for them now. Standing beside the clone of herself, Alice looks onto the rows of pods containing other clones, their numbers in the hundreds. As many clones begin to awaken, the film ends.
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."
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, making it a sequel to the video game series, itself; however, 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 climatic 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 that 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" (otherwise known as Crimson Heads). 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.
In late June 2006, Sony released the films first two production stills which included Alice wearing a costume designed by her fashion company Jovovich-Hawk and Claire Redfield.
Horror magazine Fangoria featured the film in the August 2007 Issue, talking with director Paul W.S. Anderson, and on the cover of the September 2007 issue. The following details were revealed, although some points proved to be untrue:
The film's teaser poster was leaked onto the internet via a fansite in May 2007, before appearing on IGN, where as a German website leaked concept art for Extinction including vehicle and numerous set designs. The film's theatrical trailer premiered onto the 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, where as the film's score was released on December 18, 2007.
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. 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.
In September 2006, it was announced that casting had been underway for Resident Evil 4, and that Jensen Ackles was in talks for portraying Leon Kennedy. However, bringing Leon as a character in an upcoming film would contradict promotional information from Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Screen Gems created a faux newspaper, The Raccoon City Times, that detailed the background of Jill Valentine, and included that she was dismissed from the S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad) after the death of her partner, Leon Kennedy. During an interview with Bloody Disgusting, while promoting Extinction, Ali Larter confirmed she would reprise her role "100% if asked". Oded Fehr jokingly mentioned if his character was to return for a new film, he would have to be cloned like Milla's character in Extinction. Despite Resident Evil: Extinction being billed on the official website and elsewhere as the final installment of the Resident Evil film series, Rory Bruer, Sony's head of distribution explained, "It absolutely would not surprise me considering the success of the franchise that they find a way to come up with another. It's a real possibility". In an October 18, 2007 interview with IGN regarding the continuation of the franchise, however, producer Jeremy Bolt said, "It's not our intention [to make a follow-up to Extinction]. But we've been very pleased that the third part of the franchise has done so well. Paul Anderson has reported that there is a possibility of a fourth film and is talking to Sony about it..
On October 29, 2007, Capcom announced the start of production on Resident Evil: Degeneration, a full-length CG animation film based on the Resident Evil game series. The film is estimated for a 2008 release and features an entirely new storyline, speculated as being in continuity with the game series. A 60-second sneak peek of the film was included on the DVD and Blu Ray release for Resident Evil: Extinction which was released in January 2008.
On July 1, 2008, Paul Anderson announced a fourth live action film is in early development stages and negotiations have begun with Sony.
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.
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 Xbox". 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.
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 a "rather lazy pacing" but added that "the way Anderson keeps upping the ante with regard to Alice's ultimate fate continues to amuse.
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 the film was "better than [Resident Evil: Apocalypse]" and had "an effectively creepy empty world setting" but felt that it's "nevertheless scuppered by a lack of coherence.
A common complaint among critics 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.