Thanks to Sony Pictures Releasing we had the chance to see Resident Evil: The Final Chapter before its official cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but as usual remember that there is no better critic than yourself.
The sixth film in the long-running Resident Evil franchise (supposedly) brings to a close the story of Alice (Milla Jovovich) versus the Umbrella Corporation and it goes out with a bang, in an explosive fright-fest which should delight devotees but leaves the rest of us pondering how such a consistently mediocre franchise earned itself such a long run.
Let’s be honest, if you’re queuing up to see Resident Evil: The Final Chapter on opening day, chances are you’re a fan who’s seen most, if not all, of the previous films in the franchise. If you’ve stuck with the series since the beginning (and if so, you’re more patient than I) you’re in for a victory lap of the series high points – relentless action, ridiculous twists and grotesque horrors.
There’s a quick recap in the opening minutes for those whose memory can’t stretch back the 15 years since the franchise began, before the storyline picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of 2012’s Resident Evil: Retribution. Surviving the attack on Washington D.C, Alice sets off on a path to Raccoon City where the Umbrella Corporation are amassing forces for one final strike on the remaining survivors. Along the way she battles hordes of monsters, encounters several characters from her past, and neatly ties up some series plot-lines befitting of the final chapter.
The film feels deliberately light on story, dialogue and character development, and most of the secondary characters serve only as zombie fodder. But the void this creates is filled with no-holds barred action and frights brought by the many mutant horrors. While this approach is a mainstay of the series, Director Paul W. S. Anderson employs breakneck editing, and shaky handheld camera in these scenes, which can be difficult to watch at times.
Alice’s ability to always flip, twirl, shoot and slice her way out of seemingly impossible situations is always entertaining, if a little predictable. And Jovovich deserves special kudos for clearly giving it everything – where she might have been expected to phone it in after a run of six films. She is deserving of the claim as one of the most iconic action heroes in film.
Whether or not Resident Evil will ‘rise from the dead’ in a series reboot remains to be seen, but this feels like a fitting conclusion to the current saga – even if it’s a far from perfect film.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is now showing in cinemas