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Nipples and Ass-Kicking 

Hot chicks and Sony products dominate the post-apocalyptic world in 'Resident Evil: Extinction'

Resident Evil: Extinction is almost a documentary on Milla Jovovich's right nipple. Although there's little actual nudity in the film, the filmmakers have contrived to give Ms. Jovovich's nipple star placement in nearly every shot.

And I don't think this could be attributed to an accident. It's not like they finished watching the first edit and then said, "Oh my, how is it that we have placed young Milla in a tight-white tanktop covered with a baggy vest, and the vest has neatly slipped just to the right of her right breast in each and every scene, giving her nipple a place of pokey prominence? Well, it's too late to reshoot the film now. We'll just have to live with it." It even looks like Jovovich is wearing some kind of iron nipple prosthetic, probably the same one they used on the first five seasons of Friends.

Which is reasonable, since Jovovich basically has two jobs in life: look hot, and kick ass. She's done this in the two previous Resident Evil movies, The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, where at least she was kicking ass for God.

And she does it pretty well in RE:E, which is not a bad film, except in some sort of moral sense of "bad" that film critics rarely deal with. Like a supermodel's body, it's reasonably thrilling, but has no original elements.

The story picks up after a zombie holocaust has destroyed the world. The few survivors Mad Max their way around the deserted Earth, killing dead things and looking for canned goods.

Meanwhile, in their secret underground lair, the architects of evil plot something both nefarious and, if their résumés are to be believed, dastardly. As if to emphasize how evil the evil men are, they all wear dark suits and keep their sunglasses on when indoors. And they're not just indoors; they're hundreds of meters underground. Evil!!!

Among the evil ones is a scientist (Iain Glen), and if movies have taught us anything, it's that science and scientists are the most evil things on Earth. It's like the film industry is controlled by naïve creationist-Heideggerians with a penchant for zombie blood.

So the evil scientist is busy making naked clones of Jovovich, which, inexplicably, he kills as soon as they hatch. This is a very bad use of a naked Jovovich clone, and it shows how far science has warped his mind. But mostly what the scientist wants to do is tame the zombie hordes so they can be used as cheap labor. He's like a Republican lobbyist, except he doesn't explicitly hate gays.

The underground complex where the evil scientist works is ripped off from Day of the Dead, widely considered the weakest of George Romero's Dead movies. On the surface, it looks mostly the same: a small hut leading to the underground lair surrounded by a barbed-wire fence surrounded by thousands of zombies. They even capture and experiment on the zombies like the characters in Day of the Dead did.

Most of the movie, though, is ripped off from Mad Max. It takes place on the open road where Jovovich--as a genetically engineered, zombie-resistant, super-ass-kicking, satellite-controlled nipple-vendor named "Alice"--rides around on her super-cool motorcycle, using her brace of pistols and mini-machetes to hack her way through slavering flocks of lifeless flesh-eaters. Also, everyone dresses like they're in Mad Max, with the leather and boots and guns.

You'd think in this brutal environment, goods would be hard to come by. And you'd be right. The caravan of survivors is nearly out of food and gasoline. On the other hand, they seem to have an inexhaustible supply of eyeliner.

Much of it is used by a young woman named K-Mart (Spencer Locke), who moons at Jovovich in a way that leads you to think they're going to get all Mary Cheney on each other. Spoiler: They don't. Also kicking ass and using some incredible skin-care products is Ali Larter, who leads the survivors, because she looks best in tight shorts.

Well, she looks best among all of the official caravan members. Jovovich is a newcomer to the group, and she has the finest post-apocalypse outfit ever put together. Like, what's the most important thing to have in a zombie-fighting costume? If you guessed "gartered stockings," you may well be one of the producers of Resident Evil: Extinction.

So if you're gathering goods for the coming apocalypse, here are things that you don't need to worry about, because there'll be plenty: eyeliner, zombies, hot chicks and garter belts. Also, you apparently will be able to get Sony products pretty much everywhere, since everyone in the movie is using them, and they politely hold the products so that the Sony logo is visible at all times.

I can't really say there's anything to recommend in this incredibly cynical exercise in commercial pandering and nipple exploitation, but it's not like it's boring or poorly constructed. The filmmakers aimed it at the young male/video-gamer audience, and they hit their target. This is like aiming a bazooka at the side of mountain. If you miss, you look pretty stupid.

More by James DiGiovanna

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