Resident Evil: Extinction Review

I've been here before so rather than bore you all once again with my thoughts on Albert Wesker, Resident Evil: Extinction and Tom Cruise dancing in his underpants, you can, if you so wish, click here to go to my review of the R1 release of this film.

As for the R2 release of the film, most of the problems of the R1 remain. As was mentioned in the comments and in my review, there was an odd airbrushing of Milla Jovovich that came and went throughout the film. Rather than simply taking my word for this, I've included the following screenshot to illustrate the difference in Jovovich's complexion to the actress beside here. Any suggestion of colour, of grit or of lines has been excised in favour of a look that will be more familiar to those who've seen Jovovich in the pages of a glossy fashion magazine.

Perhaps Jovovich does feel as though age is now catching up with her or that Russell Mulcahy wants to stress how Alice has been artificially created but looking as though Paul WS Anderson's hands are behind her at all times stretching her face back is a disconcerting one. It continues to be annoying with this DVD release. Otherwise, Resident Evil: Extinction is much the same here as it was on the R1 release but with a picture that offers slightly less detail, as is obvious from the comparisons below even on my aging PC.


R1 Release (Above) / R2 Release (Below)



R1 Release (Above) / R2 Release (Below)



R1 Release (Above) / R2 Release (Below)



R1 Release (Above) / R2 Release (Below)

Inasmuch as I haven't paid for either of these DVD releases, my choice would certainly be for the R1 release, which offers the viewer much greater clarity in its presentation. Both releases are similarly bright and colourful but the R2, as it does so often when I compare R1 vs R2, just loses out on detail. As with the R1, the DD5.1 audio track is slightly less impressive than is the picture, not using the rear channels as much as one thinks it ought to. There's far too much snarling of zombies from the front speakers and while there's a little spooky ambience from the rears, there's not enough of zombies jumping (or stumbling) out from behind the viewer and while there's very little wrong with the audio, it's not that great either. Finally, there are English (and English HOH) subtitles throughout.



Extras

This section has been reprinted from the R1 review with some slight adjustments made to the running times of features and deleted scenes. Otherwise, both releases offer exactly the same features, trailers and extras.

Commentary: Jeremy Bolt, Paul WS Anderson and Russell Mulcahy are the contributors for the commentary on this DVD. While there will be many who say that the world could have been saved from many a shit movie had a neurotoxin, a small bomb or, indeed, a zombie been sneaked into the room in which they were recorded, in the interests of keeping the Highlander, Resident Evil and AvP franchises going, Bolt, Anderson and Mulcahy appear to have been recorded separately and edited together to create a single commentary track, much like how the heads of major corporations and governments journey apart from one another. One dreads to think what might have happened to the three of them had they been together. Films might, when taken as an average, suddenly have gotten a whole lot better.

To be fair, the editing together of this commentary is pretty good and it took a listen-and-a-half to say that they weren't together. Although, even then, I might be wrong and perhaps the commentary was filmed on an off-day between them when they weren't actually talking to one another. However, they don't say a great deal. There's some pointing out of movie references (Mad Max 2, The Birds and the first Resident Evil film) and how the film ties into the game but Anderson seems to be the only one of the three who's played the games, talking about where this film fits into Capcom's series and how one connects to the others. However, there's not much else that's interesting about it, largely, I suspect, because Bolt, Anderson and Mulcahy aren't together. Mulcahy does mention Duran Duran, though, which is alright of him.

Deleted Scenes (8m35s): There are eleven deleted scenes, which fall into two categories, those set in the desert that feature the cast talking a lot but doing very little and those with Ian Glen making do with zombies in the underground Umbrella lab. There was quite enough of both already in the film and these would have added little to it.

Making Of... (31m07s): In a series of on-the-set interviews, Russell Mulcahy does make the occasional appearance but not half as many as Paul WS Anderson, which gives you some idea of from whom the creative juices are flowing. No matter that Anderson praises his director somewhat - "Umm...I liked Highlander!" is the be all and end all of it - it's the writer who's on the set talking about the games, about the movie and how his zombies have developed from the shambling undead of the original to the super-undead of Extinction. This look behind-the-scenes talks a little about the games but given that the movie bears so little resemblance to them, it's more a half-hour in which Anderson talks about what little he's fitted in from the games and why. The cast appear to complain about the heat and makeup during the shoot, although not much is heard from the extras passing out underneath their prosthetics, and there's some bits of the visual effects at the end but this isn't very much more than Anderson and some glimpses behind the scenes. And very little Mulcahy.

Finally, there are a few trailers/previews, including one for the CG film Resident Evil: Degeneration (1m00s), which doesn't look to be any better than the FMV included with the videogames and possibly even worse than the Resident Evil 5 preview, and a bunch for other DVD releases including Zombie Strippers, 30 Days Of Night and the video games Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles and Devil May Cry 4.

Film
5 out of 10
Video
6 out of 10
Audio
6 out of 10
Extras
6 out of 10
Overall

5

out of 10

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