Right, let’s get this out of the way, then. I hated Resident Evil as much as you did. I didn’t think Resident Evil: Apocalypse was much better, either. But I’ve already admitted to an unhealthy amount of love for Resident Evil: Extinction, so the DVD release was actually quite exciting for me.
The first thing that baffled me, though, was that although the check disc said it was the PAL UK version, all the movie trailers at the beginning had US ratings attached to them. (Vantage Point looked kind of awesome in a ridiculously-full-of-gratuitous-explosions kind of a way, while Gabriel looked like sub-Underworld junk, for the record.) The movie had a certificate stamped by the Government of India, which seemed a bit odd, but I’ll assume that when the DVD is out in shops, it’ll actually have a BBFC certificate slapped on it. The movie was rated 15 in cinemas and I don’t see that it could possibly be manipulated to merit anything other than that, so it’ll probably be A-OK by the time you’re reading this or considering buying the DVD at Tesco.
The film’s animated menu is pretty cool. There’s an exciting list of extra features, and as I’ve already discussed the movie – CGI-tastic, lots of Milla kicking things, suprisingly awesome in a post-apocalyptic kind of a way – I’ll skim over it here. The first of the special features is an audio commentary with producer Jeremy Holt, writer Paul W.S. Anderson, and director Russell Mulcahy. Holt and Anderson have recorded lots of commentaries together for various projects they’ve worked on, and bizarrely they’ve started to sound exactly alike: annoyingly wanky, and prone to braying laughter. Mulcahy can be differentiated by his Australian accent, which just means that while you’ll have to divide up the wanky American-sounding comments between Holt and Anderson, Mulcahy can be squarely blamed for everything he says without fear of misplaced hatred. Honestly, I don’t recommend listening to the commentary, you’ll soon want to put knitting needles through your ears just to make it stop, make it all stop. (And if you don’t own any knitting needles, you’ll be sharpening up your toothbrush as a makeshift alternative.) The commentary has actually made me like the film a little less; I’m docking it a point purely because everything I liked seems to have happened accidentally, or at least completely independently of the efforts of the writer, director or producer.
Next on the list, then, is a series of deleted scenes. These are all fairly pointless, mostly just a couple of extra minutes that used to be tacked onto existing scenes which were clearly removed for pacing. This was a good decision on the part of the person who removed them; watching them now, devoid of context, is an exercise in wasting perfectly good time.
The behind the scenes featurette is just as annoying as the commentary, except you get to see everyone’s smug little faces as they reel off a list of the movies they’ve ripped of… sorry, paid homage to, and then in the same breath proclaim Resident Evil: Extinction one of the most exciting, fresh and original new movies in years. I actually liked the movie, and I wouldn’t dare go that far – it’s a sequel based on a computer game which makes very obvious references to films like Mad Max and Day of the Dead. If there’s one thing this film really isn’t, that thing is “original.” Paul W. S. Anderson claims to have reinvented the zombie movie at one point, which is staggeringly arrogant of him. The best thing about the featurette is probably looking at Anderson and wondering when he got so ugly. Didn’t he used to be vaguely good-looking, in a twatty sort of way?
Finally, there are a ton of trailers slapped on the disc, including the two that you had to sit through when you first put the DVD into the player, one for Resident Evil: Degeneration, which I thought looked cool until I realised it wasn’t a game but actually a CGI movie, and a couple for games, one of which isn’t even a Resident Evil game. It’s a bit rude, isn’t it, asking people to accept that adverts are a “special feature”? They’re adverts, designed to dupe you into parting with more of your hard-earned cash for more low-budget output from the same jokers who persuaded you to watch three Resident Evil movies. Down with this sort of thing! Adverts are not content! Booooooo!
Wow, that was disappointing. Overall, I’ve got to say that if you’re a fan of the Resident Evil franchise, you’ll probably enjoy the movie, but woe betide you if you venture into the special features menu. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.