Film triology goes extinct with disappointing finale

Some movies just lend themselves to trilogies. “Star Wars,” “Lord of the Rings,” even “The Matrix.” But “Resident Evil” is not one of those movies.

“Resident Evil: Extinction,” Sony’s latest million dollar baby, marks the third and final installment of the “Resident Evil” movie series.

Thank God.

Granted, this film takes the cake when it comes to special effects and outrageous overspending, but can money buy a blockbuster hit?

The thin plot centers around finding, capturing and killing Alice (Milla Jovovich). Basically, Alice’s blood has mutated to repel the infamous T-Virus, and Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) thinks it can be used to develop a cure. As his efforts to locate Alice falter, Dr. Isaacs makes fully grown and intelligent adult clones of her in hopes of finding an exact genetic match to the real Alice.

Meanwhile, a convoy of survivors is being picked off by undead and crows alike. When Alice finds and rescues them from their attackers, she puts herself on the Umbrella Corporation’s radar.

The movie spirals into a battle between the mutated Dr. Isaacs, who, during a nervous breakdown, injects himself with a huge overdose of antidote that alters his DNA, and Alice (along with the clones).

“Extinction” is not a horror movie per se, it’s more of a medley between a love story-free drama and science-fiction horror. Though neither genre is fully realized.

The flick begins and ends in confusion, even for those well-versed on the preceding movies. It’s a whirlwind of blood and suspense. Whoever designed the intricate play of musical anticipation deserves props for making this otherwise drab movie a thriller.

In one scene, Alice is creeping through the depths of the Umbrella Corporation’s laboratory. She prepared herself for the worst and is about to walk through the infamous laser chamber (remember that classic from the first movie?).

After a single step, the artificial intelligence computer chimes up to wish her good luck. There is no harsh music to backdrop the statement, but the interplay between the sound effects and silence throughout the film makes it more intense than it actually is.

It’s as if the director, Russell Mulcahy, made “Resident Evil: Extinction” and then chopped off the beginning and the end. This film has more than a few great moments, but they are so disjointed that they make for little more than a great trailer – even the boss fight lasts little more than three minutes.

Don’t get me wrong, “Resident Evil: Extinction,” can definitely hold an audience’s attention for 95 minutes with its high-energy action and phenomenal acting. But when the credits start to roll, viewers will be left dumbfounded, wondering what else they could’ve spent $9 on.

“Extinction” ran-up more than a $25 million tab, and earned more than $14 million on its opening weekend. That return made “Resident Evil: Extinction” this week’s No. 1 box office hit. So I guess the answer is yes, money can buy a blockbuster.