Zombie-fied action ruled the weekend as a lone warrior took on the vigilante. The third entry in the Resident Evil franchise knocked The Brave One out of the top spot. Milla Jovovich returns to the video game-inspired role which breathed a little more life into the box office, following a few lackluster frames as school got back into session. It opened to $23.6 million, about a half million more than its predecessor, Resident Evil: Apocalypse. This outing was probably a bit better than the last, though it still remains firmly entrenched in the land of guilty pleasures.
I saw the film with an enthusiastic crowd Saturday night. It was a fun time. The movie was big, flashy, and devoid of any real depth. I found I didn't care a lick. While I could point out the flaws and missed opportunities afterward, I was right there for the ride. There is no denying that Resident Evil: Extinction delivers the goods. Will there be a fourth? Probably, and I will be right there for it.
Coming up a distant second is the Dane Cook/Jessica Alba romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck. I suspect that this will have a short lifespan. As soon as everyone realizes that Cook is not all that funny perhaps we will be able to move on from this idea of him as a comedic leading man. He has proven himself adequate in supporting roles (Waiting, Mr. Brooks), a trend that could continue in Dan in Real Life. As it stands, this movie has a few comical moments, but it is based on a high concept that doesn't work and relies on the standards of the genre. Never does Chuck attempt to be anything but a vulgar comedy. I am all for vulgar comedy, but more of the Apatow variety (Knocked Up, Superbad). There needs to be at least a hint of depth and this does not make the cut.
Two other films made it to the top ten this week, one is a debuting feature and the other underwent an expansion. First up is the expanding film. Placing fifth is David Cronenberg's excellent Eastern Promises. It is a gangster/crime film that is less about the crime elements and much more about the characters. Promises is a touch slow but it is so strongly written that it is a minor obstacle to the enjoyment to be gleaned. It also features one of the best fights filmed in some time, right up there with the one in The Bourne Ultimatum following the chase in Tangiers. The other new arrival is Sydney White, a new Amanda Bynes comedy targeting the tween audience. I was unable to make it to this one over the weekend, so I cannot comment on how good it is. I plan to try and make it sometime in the near future.