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Resident Evil: Extinction
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Resident Evil: Extinction, the third in the series of video game-based zombie movies following Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse, features extremely gross and graphic violence, with many disgusting deaths. People are in extreme peril, and most of the main characters -- even sympathetic ones -- wind up slain grotesquely. There's some swearing (though maybe not quite as much as you'd expect, considering the butchery and the R rating) and non-sexual nudity. The heroine is a courageous and capable woman, and the good guys are a nicely multicultural bunch (even if they don't last the duration). Some of the background story might be confusing if you haven't seen the two previous movies.
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What's the story?
As gory as the first two zombie films based on the popular video game, RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION takes place five years into a global plague of cannibal undead unleashed by the Umbrella Corporation, an evil multinational whose executives are holed up in bunkers around the world, trying to find a cure (though it really doesn't seem like these businessmen and doctors care all that much about humanity, since billions have already perished or turned into monsters). As seen in the previous movies, the heroine is a former Umbrella corporate security agent named Alice (Milla Jovovich), who was genetically transformed by an elite Umbrella researcher named Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) into a super-powered type capable of wielding psi-power force fields and performing martial-arts type acrobatics.
In Extinction, Alice wanders the U.S. desert wastelands in a way that's very reminiscent of the Mad Max series. She's avoided her former friends for years because of what her Umbrella pursuers might do to them, but now she reunites with surviving allies who've joined a highway convoy of uninfected refugees that's trying to reach safety in faraway Alaska. But Dr. Isaacs pinpoints Alice near Las Vegas, and he sets a trap with his own specially trained species of zombie.
Is it any good?
Jovovich's Alice is a watchable and physical action heroine, even if the part doesn't exactly call for great depth. It goes in the "plus" column to have a courageous, capable woman at the center of things who doesn't dress for battle mainly to show off her figure. There's also a decent racial mix to the good guys -- even if most of them don't survive the finale. The Umbrella authorities, meanwhile, are overwhelmingly white and male.
The graphically violent Resident Evil movies are based on a popular series of video games in which players must use their weaponry against contagious, flesh-eating ghouls and monstrous mutations -- the spawn of an evil, high-tech corporation that infected humans and animals with a genetically modified virus strain. You don't need to have played the games to comprehend Extinction; but it does help to have seen the original and its sequel. Resident Evil: Extinction earns points as the least-predictable of the set, in basic terms of what happens next. But you can safely expect the gore quotient to be high ... and frequently sickening.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of zombie-gore movies like Resident Evil: Extinction. How does the action in the Resident Evil movies compare to that in films like Night of the Living Dead and 28 Days Later? Which is spookier? Why?
How do the Resident Evil movies compare to the video games they're based on. Which is more entertaining -- the interactive zombie-killing experience, or the passive one?
What is the impact of the violence in the movie and the video games it's based on?