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Not ‘Extinct’ yet, unfortunately

Mankind’s last hope rests in the hands of a ragtag group of survivors and the one woman key to stopping the rampaging virus in this week’s thriller, “Resident Evil: Extinction.”

The Umbrella Corporation’s virus has surpassed its creator’s wildest hopes. The planet has been decimated as well as the population. The streets teem with countless mobs of the undead and the Earth itself has “died,” becoming a dry wasteland.

Within this wasteland are scattered survivors, including Umbrella Corp.’s original genetic experiment Alice (Milla Jovovich). The one-woman wrecking crew wanders alone, fearful of bringing the watchful eye of the Corporation down on any other innocents.

Despite her best efforts, she ends up engaging a flock of infected crows attacking a caravan of survivors. After beating back the horde of undead fowl, Alice and the group discuss the current state of affairs and decide that a remote Alaskan village that has been broadcasting its uninfected status is their best hope for survival.

In order to make the long trek to Alaska, the convoy must re-supply. They decide to take a chance and hit the remains of Las Vegas figuring it to hold a true treasure trove of goods and fuel. Unfortunately for the survivors, the Umbrella Corporation has been tracking Alice and have implemented plans of their own to regain their property (Alice) and eliminate any bystanders. Will the gamble pay off?

Whoever said “third times the charm” probably had a financial stake in the creation of this film. It is painfully obvious after the assault (read: film) ends that it was created purely as a giant financial orange with the hopes of gorging on the squeezins.

I must say it was far more enjoyable than the second outing which was an insult to anyone possessing opposable digits (and possibly even further along the Darwinian tree). But, where No. 2 was just that (crap), “Extinction” was one of the single most trite, shallow and clichéd pieces of film I’ve ever had to sit through. The great panning shots from above and the heavily armored vehicles come to us straight from the excellent remake of “Dawn of the Dead.” The desert motif came directly from “The Road Warrior” 101. But perhaps the most infuriating little nugget of all is the total lack of Las Vegas when the trailers would lead anyone to believe the major bulk would occur in Vegas. Yeah, not so much. Maybe a soundstage in Carson City, but definitely not Sin City.

Fan-boy icon Milla Jovovich is in her best (and only) form. The requisite amount of flesh shows at all times, and her nightmare- and injury-inspired moans will give plenty of fodder to prepubescent imaginations. I’ll give her this: in all of her outings, at least she’s consistent.

I can recommend this week’s cinematic treat to those that are looking for a mindless hour and a half of implausibly good looking post apocalyptic survivors battling a horde of undead culled from any of the classic zombie flicks.

As for me, I just hope the series takes a cue from the title and finds itself most “extinct.”

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