Quick housekeeping note: I have made a change to the review format. It will now be out of 4 as opposed to 5 in reviews past. To see my reasoning Click Here.
Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in the sixth and reportedly final film in the Resident Evil film franchise. Does this film wrap up the story of this superwoman fighting zombies, monsters and evil corporations?
This film series is something that sits in the middle for me as a movie watcher. There are people who do not like that it shares the name with the beloved horror video game franchise that they are loosely based on. I don’t have that connection with the games, so that doesn’t play a role for me. I never found the movies unwatchable, but there certainly isn’t any aspiration to be found with them. Paul W.S. Anderson, who directed this installment as well as the first, fourth and fifth films in addition to penning all six never seemed to be a bad director to me. Just servicble. And that’s always how I see these films as well. I’d like to think that in 20 years these movies will be seen as fun distractions or Saturday afternoon movie marathons.
So what about the actual movie?
The story continues Alice’s battle against the Umbrella Corporation. Alive learns that the last settlements of humanity will fall within 48 hours unless she can return to The Hive, the location of the events of the first film. There she must retrieve a vial of the T-Virus’ antidote and release it to the world or see the extinction of mankind.
I’ve always found it great fun to see Milla Jovovich kick ass in these films. Regardless of what you think of the overall quality, it seems she puts her all into the role and enjoys making these movies along with her husband/director Anderson. We also have some returning cast and characters as well. Ali Larter is back as Claire Redfield, Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker and Iain Glen as Dr. Issacs.
The film has a rough opening third. It’s basically 20 odd minutes of Alice killing creatures left and right before being captured in a pseudo Mad Max manner. In addition to the meandering going on, most of the action going on is edited in so many fast cuts you can’t focus at all. Once we move on past this we do have a sequence that is pretty cool. If you love the Lord of the Rings, this is basically Resident Evil’s Battle of Helms Deep. Once the film settles in a we follow Alice and crew to the Hive, the film then becomes your standard Resident Evil film experience. Take what you will from that. I did like that we got to see the setting of the original film again. Some nice fan service there. There also is a little bit of a character moments for Alice. It’s a shame that what you learn about her in this film wasn’t a thread in the previous five, it would have made those at the very least more interesting overall. Pretty much, if you’ve seen these films before and have enjoyed them, you probably will this one. If you’ve hated them since the first, then you’re probably gonna hate this too.
I won’t lie, as modern B-movies go I enjoy the Resident Evil films as chilling with my wife, popcorn entertainment. I don’t think they take themselves seriously at all and neither do I. However, if his is truly the final chapter for Alice, I would hope that Screen Gems takes the time to carefully reboot it and give it a much needed refresh with true horror cinema in mind.
Final Rating (2.5/4) Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is more of the same. It’s glaring issues are a slow first third as well as some tough to comprehend fight editing. It’s no surprise what you’re getting into.