It can be rather hard to review a film like Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, for while incredibly flawed, it’s exactly as fans of the franchise would hope and expect for it to be, unrelenting in its commitment to action, moving tirelessly from one set piece to the next, it’s not a film that requires good acting or a decent screenplay, it’s just throwaway entertainment. So with that in mind, this final entry into the franchise is something of a success, it’s just not a very good movie.
Alice (Milla Jovovich) seems to be the lone survivor, having to find a way to survive in the never-ending battle against the undead. Unsure as to what her next move will be, she is given a message to return back to where this entire series of events first began; Raccoon City. Readying herself to come face to face with her most bitter adversary, the head of the Umbrella Corporation, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen), she is surprised to learn of other survivors, such as Clare Redfield (Ali Larter) and Doc (Eoin Macken) – who are willing to assist her in taking defeating evil once and for all.
The film opens with a contrived back story, as Alice narrates her entire story to date, which should be of great help to those new to the franchise, and a boring few minutes for those who aren’t. That said, the story is hardly what brings people to these movies, and while director/writer Paul W.S. Anderson has crafted a complex narrative with many twists and turns, it feels like mere filler, just like cut scenes in the video game franchise the movies are based upon, tying each big action sequence to the next. The film does get repetitive though, and we follow the same formula stringently, to a point where it’s difficult not to clock-watch by the latter stages.
The look and tone of the film remains faithful to the series though, distinctly of this universe, making it a landscape it’s easy to immerse ourselves in. The picture does have the feel of a video game though, episodic in its approach as you could almost highlight the save points and boss levels the protagonist finds herself in. It’s another fine display from Jovovich however, in a role she’s truly made her own across the past few years, believable as an action hero who can comfortably destroy whatever gets in her way.
There is an overriding sense of ‘been there done that’ where this title is concerned however, which perhaps derives from the fact the zombie sub-genre is one that has been overdone in recent years, and follows a formula that is tired and all too familiar. So, as the title suggests, perhaps it’s for the best this is the final chapter – as it does feel like we’ve now closed this book for good. Fingers crossed, anyway.