Cinema Review – Resident Evil: the Final Chapter

Immediately after the events of Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is contacted by an unexpected ally, and told there is hope for humanity, but she only has 48 hours to break into The Hive and save the world; a place where The Umbrella Corporation definitely does not want her to go.

The sixth, and allegedly final, instalment in the Resident Evil movie franchise keeps everything relatively simple, blood drenched and full of jump scares, with a distinct feel of Mad Max Fury Road about the entire affair.

Milla Jovovich is back as Alice, and makes the character a bad ass warrior who is hell bent on saving humanity, and not much more than that. The rest of the cast features Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose, Fraser James and Irish actor Eoin Macken. No-one truly gets to flesh out their character, instead only being given the chance to play one dimensional good guys or villains, who tenaciously hold on to their ideals.

As screenwriter, Paul W.S. Anderson plays up the Mad Max Fury Road feel of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, with much of the film being a road movie with humans used as bait to draw an undead army toward the last holdouts of uninfected humans. The dialogue of the film is fine, and every attempt is made to play up the violence and the jump scares, and although the film succeeds in this, there is little in the story that feels original or inspiring throughout the film. There are twists and turns involving clones and the history of the film franchise as a whole, which are obviously aimed at tying everything up in a neat little bow.

As director, Paul W. S. Anderson makes sure that the film is full of energy and high octane from the very start. The story – what there is of it – fits around the set pieces that litter the film, and although the set pieces are grand and large, the entire film is shot in relative darkness, meaning it is difficult to see the action, and see just who is getting the upper hand. Anderson seems uninterested in fleshing out the characters, or allowing them to be anything but ruthless in their fight for survival, and while this works from time to time, it does mean it is hard to root for anyone for any other reason than them being the default good guys.

In all, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter takes more than a few cues from Mad Max Fury Road, but never manages to flesh out the characters in the film or make the set pieces visible enough to be exciting. That said, there is an energy to the film that keeps it engaging, and fans of the franchise will be happy to see everything tied up neatly. Whether this is the last Resident Evil movie or not, remains to be seen.

Rating: 2.5/5

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