Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: Film Review
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose
Director: Paul W S Anderson
Much like the Underworld series, the Resident Evil movie franchise staggers on with no sign of abating, thanks largely to industrial sized box office returns.
As the sixth film in the Resident Evil series, The Final Chapter at least dangles the prospect of closure in audiences' faces by way of its title. (But this turns out to be a lie.)
However, in providing a generic awfully muddy and dark action zombie set film, The Final Chapter ends up feeling like a bridge too far.
Picking up right after events from Retribution, Milla Jovovich's Alice is forced into taking a chance to wipe out the T virus that mutated the world once and for all.
The twist is she has only 48 hours to do it and needs to race across a Mad Max style landscape to head back into Raccoon City to get the antidote.
But standing in her way once again is Game of Thrones' Iain Glen's villainous religious zealot Dr Isaacs, who chews as much scenery as the undead do flesh. (However, he gets points for inadvertently invoking one of the great lines about the Winchester and a pint in one laughably cheesy shot toward the end)...
So with the clock racing and the fate of all humanity in her hands, Alice faces her last great battle...
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a muddied mess of a video game film that feels limp in comparison to the rest of its series. Thanks to a dark aesthetic and a continual desire to visually soak everything in a blackness, it's hard to remotely care about proceedings - nowhere more so than when fight sequences happen and characters are picked off.
There's no emotional gut punch to this film where there should be; and there's no feeling of closure or an epic end when there should be either. It's just a mesh of video game stylings (big boss battle atop a tank, rescue the colleagues from traps, escape the bad guys) and some awfully frenetic editing in the action sequences which mar proceedings.
Anderson's desire to put in repeated rapid cuts during fight sections leads to a feeling of choppiness and robs them of the fluidity needed to give admiration to the work going on. In this aspect, he's his own worst enemy of the film - a director with clear signs of ADD desiring nothing more than yet another angle on the same section.
Jovovich is convincing enough as Alice, and there's a certain weariness to her outlook that's endearing as the film and its fight against an evil mega-conglomerate go on. There are answers coming in this "last" part but they're not worth the investment to be frank.
However, not nearly enough has been done to flesh out the characters around her and it shows, lending no sense of suspense or tension to various quandaries and no feelings at all when they're dispatched.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is not quite in stinker territory, but it dangerously dips its toes into the water.
3D adds nothing to it, making the action murky as the talk of clones, zombies and shooting gets underway after the starting recap. There aren't enough nods to the creatures of the iconic series and while some of the earlier action sequences pack a punch, there's no freshness in this as it trudges wearily on.
To make matters worse, the ending makes it patently clear that this is not a franchise the box office wants to die and you can't help but feel cheated as it ends. But that said, there's also a palpable sense of relief it's over, because Resident Evil: The Final Chapter squanders a lot of its promise and brings you nothing you've not seen before.