Resident Evil: Extinction

Screen Gems/Sony Pictures

Review in a Hurry:  You don't have to be a flesh-starved zombie to be swept off your feet by Milla Jovovich, but it helps. The statuesque star kicks ample undead ass in this trilogy-closing actioner, but there isn't much to it beyond the usual gamer-friendly plotting, grisly fight scenes and highly advanced Halloween makeup.

The Bigger Picture:  The trailers and teaser materials for Resident Evil: Extinction touted the idea that its fierce heroine, Alice (Jovovich), would be taking down legions of unlucky zombies in the city of Las Vegas. Who wouldn't be stoked to watch the L'Oreal beauty splatter baddie blood all over the slots at the MGM Grand or turn the famed Bellagio fountain into a mass monster grave?

Sadly, we may have to wait till the arrival of Ocean's 14 for a fresh serving of Sin City-inspired pulp. There's nary a single set piece here that hasn't been done better by somebody else, and only a slender fraction actually takes place on the post-apocalyptic Strip.

Extinction is better described as a so-so extension of the Resident Evil storyline with a Road Warrior-flavored twist, featuring Ali Larter as the leader of a desperate desert convoy in search of safe haven from the undead epidemic.

Alice makes a staunch ally at first, but all roads lead back to the infamous underground lab where power-mad scientist Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) is striving to shut her down and create a new breed of super-zombies. With her supreme fighting skills and paralyzing sex appeal, Alice faces the dual mission of thwarting the evil doc and helping the convoy light out for Alaska—yes, Alaska—where apparently there are no zombies.

The Resident Evil movies have never purported to be faithful to the videogame franchise that inspired them, so the disappointments here are less about gamer nitpicking than basic sci-fi-thriller standards.

Writer Paul W.S. Anderson and director Russell Mulcahy missed an opportunity to send this series off with a memorable bang, instead leaning on stale genre conventions and the loyalty of its built-in fan base to complete the final (?) mission.

The 180—a Second Opinion:  Lackluster as Extinction may be, Jovovich is the most genuinely talented and compelling female action hero in the biz. Jennifer Garner—and Nic Cage, for that matter—could stand to learn from Milla's artful balance of physicality, steely resolve and outright emotion. Also, wow is she hot.

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