‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ Review

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Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson

Cast: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken, Fraser James, Ruby Rose, William Levy, Rola and Ever Anderson.

Synopsis: Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

 

After six films and fifteen years, the Resident Evil films are done. Whether you like them or not, the films had staying power due to its devoted fanbase and the love that Paul W.S. Anderson and star/wife Milla Jovovich had for the franchise (again, whether you liked it or not). Now, The Final Chapter has arrived and it sends the film franchise off on a somewhat proper note for the film and the characters. Not without it’s problems of course.

The film opens with a new recap of how we ended up where we are, but also giving us the backstory of how the T-virus was created and why. We then find Alice, who is coming out of bunker in a now destroyed Washington D.C. and while she’s finding her bearings, The Red Queen – played by her daughter this time around in Ever Anderson – suddenly appears and tells her about a cure to the T-virus that can end everything and stop Umbrella from accomplishing total domination. Alice reluctantly agrees to go back where it all became: The Hive in Raccoon City. Along the way, Alice meets a new group of survivors lead by Alice’s old friend, Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and eventually the group makes it to the dangerous Hive to stop Umbrella and a returning Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) and Wesker (Shawn Roberts).

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Like most Resident Evil films, the film leaves most of the characters from the last film out and skips a potentially big plot point. Alice is by herself at the opening, but we don’t see any signs of the characters like Ada Wong, Leon Kennedy or Jill Valentine. That’s always been something I never liked about the Resident Evil movies, they add and drop characters like nothing. It is something that drove me absolutely crazy, and all for the sake of following Alice.

Nothing against the Alice character, she has come to become her own character and her arc does reach an conclusion here thankfully, but in true fashion in these films – it’s utterly ridiculous in its own way, but in a way that somehow makes sense in these movies. Jovovich already knows the character in and out, and at this point she could have played the character in her sleep, but she still finds a way to spew out one-liners the only way she knows. Alice is also the only one that really gets in some of development.

The rest of the cast is okay, but none of them really do anything that lasts or too memorable, which begs the question again, why not bring back characters people love and know? That would have upped the ante and the real risk of the mission to finally stop Umbrella, especially this being the last film. Anyway, with the expectation of Iain Glen and Ali Larter, the rest of the cast is just there. Shawn Roberts, who has already played Wesker literally does nothing throughout the film and just stands around looking at computer screens and talks to Dr. Isaacs. Eoin Macken’s Doc, Fraser James’ Razor, William Levy’s Christian and Ruby Rose’s Abigail have a short scene each to let us know who they are, but it’s never enough.

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Even when it comes to Ali Larter’s Claire, it’s almost like she’s a completely different character, and that’s saying something considering she lost her memory in Afterlife. Iain Glen returns in – again – the way only way this franchise can bring back a character, but his performance is a little odd from what we’ve seen before. I’m not saying the Resident Evil films are built on Oscar-worthy performances, but some character personality continuity would be nice. There’s also an out-of-the-blue/out-of-nowhere subtext that was never once hinted, but knowing it now, it still makes no real sense.

Thankfully, the film avoids the overabundance of slow-motion during its fight scenes, but instead switches them for quick cuts and tight camera work that you can’t even tell what’s going on half the time. The only time that’s not too much of an issue is when Alice fights Dr. Isaacs, which is good considering they are the two focal points of the franchise. Also, The Final Chapter is filled with action which should make fans of the franchise happy. Although, I could have gone with one less action scene for some character development, to be honest.

All in all, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is more-or-less of the same name from the past with only a few minor improvements. The film sadly doesn’t let you know the other characters keeping its focus on Milla Jovovich’s Alice and Iain Glen’s Dr. Isaacs. While the film does go through its ridiculous stages, a franchise staple, the film does feel like a proper sendoff to the series. Although, I wish they brought back popular characters to make the film feel more important.

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

2.5 out of 5