Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Today’s Horrorthon movie came as a request from Alex, who requested a movie from this series, but not a specific one.  I hadn’t yet gotten around to it until coworker Merg mentioned that she randomly decided to binge them all in the same day.  I decided to join her, but unfortunately for me, I only joined in when the movies in the series started getting bad.  But that also means that they get easier to make fun of, which is fortunate for me.  That series is Resident Evil, and the first one I watched in said series is the third one Resident Evil: Extinction, written by Paul W. S. Anderson, directed by Russell Mulcahy, and starring Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Spencer Locke, Oded Fehr, Mike Epps, Ashanti, Jason O’Mara, and Madeline Carroll.

Alice (Jovovich) wakes up in a facility like the one from the first movie, and wanders the halls until she’s killed.  End of film.  Nah, just kidding, it’s a clone.  Get used to that in this series.  The real Alice is wandering the desert somewhere and Dr. Sam Isaacs (Glen) has been trying to perfect a clone of her, but needs the real deal to get it right.  Alice runs into a group of other survivors led by Claire Redfield (Larter) and Carlos Oliveira (Fehr) who are looking for a way up to Alaska to a place that is supposed to be safe.

One might be so inclined to call this movie garbage, but as I also rewatched the rest of the series, I feel like I need to hold on to that for later.  This is only the start of where they go downhill.  I feel like maybe they had gotten bored of making shitty zombie movies, so they decided to try to make shitty zombie Western with some Mad Max in there.  Because apparently zombies make the world a desert, I guess.  …Somehow…  At least for this movie.  I guess when zombies ate all the people, they started looking for vegetarian options and started eating the brains of trees.  But you really can’t go into even most zombie movies expecting them to make too much sense, and especially if they’re THESE zombie movies.

The look and visuals of these movies is pretty much what you expect.  Since they decided to go all desolate with it, it certainly doesn’t give you a terribly great landscape to look at.  Vegas might have been a good visual landscape, but they covered it in about 5% more dirt than the real Vegas and seemingly moved all the casinos of note into the same block.  The T-Virus is weird man.  It can do basically whatever it wants and ignore logic, just like writers on bad movies. 

Alice continues to get more and more overpowered in these movies.  I feel like in the first movie she was just a regular girl who was maybe really good at martial arts.  Like in this movie when she gets abducted by rednecks and one of them intends to flat out rape her in front of his family, she just kicks that dude in the face and kills him in one blow.  That would be much more impressive if she didn’t just decide to stop right there for some reason and relish in her sweet kick so that the other rednecks could knock her out.  At some point she also gained telekinesis.  I assume that happened in the previous movie because she didn’t seem terribly surprised that her motorcycle was hovering when she woke up, but I also wouldn’t put it past these movies to not sell that properly.  Mike Epps’ character annoyed me too because he was the classic zombie movie character that gets bit early on and just decides to keep it to himself.  To what end?!  You know damn well what’s going to happen and it’s not going away!  If you’re worried about them killing you, well that’s what’s going to happen when you turn anyway.  And you might kill some of your friends on your way out!  Just tell them and peace out or have someone kill you!  I also liked the character of Kmart – so named because she was found in a Staples – but I mostly only liked her because I enjoyed calling RC Willey by different retailer names.  Other than that, I had no thoughts about Pic ‘N Save.

So those are my thoughts on Resident Evil: Extinction.  It’s not a great movie, but the series has only yet begun to become terrible and this movie still manages to be fun enough that you can enjoy yourself while making fun of it.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense and the characters are mostly stupid, but things blow up and there are zombies.  It’s good enough.  Resident Evil: Extinction gets “Yeah, you’re the future alright” out of “It really is the end of the world.”

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American Outlaws (2001)

Since I asked for requests for movies to review, I feared this moment. That moment is the time when a friend would ask me to review a movie that they love and then I watch it to find it completely mediocre. Oh well, my integrity is worth too much to hold back. Today’s movie review is of the movie American Outlaws, starring Colin Farrell, Scott Caan, Ali Larter, Kathy Bates, and Timothy Dalton.

This movie starts with the James Brothers, Frank (Gabriel Macht) and Jesse (Colin Farrell), entrenched in the Civil War with Cole Younger (Scott Caan) and others. Well they have their backs against the wall but, worry not, Jesse James is a super hero. With his expert marksman brother Frank taking out people, Jesse rides around like a madman cycling through the 6 revolvers he has strapped to him and just takes out a giant portion of the North with their rag-tag gang of about 6 dudes. Then they find out that General Lee has surrendered at Appomattox and the war is over. Relieved, they go back home to their ranch. But alas, all is not well on the home front. The corrupt railroad people along with Allan Pinkerton (Timothy Dalton) are trying to force their people off their land, but the James Brothers will have none of it and run the people off. Cole was not so lucky, killing 2 deputies and getting arrested. But SuperJesse and his untouchable gang rescue him. The railroad retaliates by blowing up their houses and killing Momma James (Kathy Bates). The James’ and the Youngers form a gang and rob all the banks holding the railroad’s money. Then other stuff happens. The end.

Now, I like a good western. I can even tolerate a chick-flick if it’s good enough. But apparently the odd combination of the two doesn’t strike me very well, and that’s what this movie went with. It has all the classic western moments, then makes them a little silly and a lot over-the-top, and throws a love story with Ali Larter in there. An action movie allows for a certain degree of weak story and impossible situations for their hero, but this movie takes it a little too far. Take, for instance, when about 50 guys have the gang trapped in a bank, Jesse gets his 2 pals behind a table, jumps up with his dual six-shooters, rolls over a table while firing and seemingly not missing once, then diving through glass, leaving only about 3 enemies standing, seemingly wondering to themselves “How the hell did that just happen?” Then Jesse jumps through a window, grabs dynamite from his horse’s saddle, dives back in, and then proceeds to blow his way through the walls of the buildings and very quickly placing the dynamite so that a bunch of overly lucky explosions take out almost all of the enemy and they ride out of town, unscathed but for the unimportant character that gets shot on the way out.

And now for a couple of specific problems. I never felt the need to see Colin Farrell and Scott Caan mud wrestle. I’m not sure that any proposal to a woman you want to marry should first make her depressed because you’re acting like you’ve fallen in love with someone else but then “SURPRISE! It was you I was talking about! Thank God I threw that out there before you opened your veins, right?” Also, Jesse is such the Superman that they forgot by the time he went shirtless swimming with Ali Larter (him shirtless, not her) that he should probably have a scar on his shoulder from when he was almost mortally wounded earlier in the movie.

Basically, this movie is not for me. I like a good western, one that is gritty and awesome and realistic. Take a look at your Tombstones or your True Gritses. And if you’re so desperate for it to be all about Jesse James, you could probably see the movie that this movie tried to swagger jack (Young Guns) or a movie better than both of those, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. If you’d rather see Superman in the west with a touch of chick-flick, this is your movie. But it’s not mine. All in all, I give it a total and complete “meh” out of 2.