Following the events of “Resident Evil: Retribution”, Project Alice is forced to race against time as the villainous Red Queen attempts to destroy the final remnants of humanity.
Resident Evil’s latest and possibly last entry (at least in its current incarnation) comes to screens with Milla Jovovich once again in the lead role and with Paul W.S. Anderson returning as both writer and director, as he has with the previous two instalments.
This film picks up almost immediately following 2012’s “Retribution”, with Alice continuing her quest to defeat the evil Umbrella Corporation, and save who she can from the t-virus fuelled apocalypse. This film draws heavily from previous instalments with a number of returning characters and an overall macro plot heading towards some sort of conclusion. However the film opens up with some dense exposition looking to catch up anyone who’s not up to speed with what’s been happening.
The film wastes very little time getting into the action, it quickly sets up a thinly veiled quest for Alice to embark upon, and from there its major plot points are little more than a series of dots connecting various action set pieces within the horror setting. Alice picks up a few companions along the way, some familiar and others not, which allows for some fairly limited interplay among the characters, and a few death scenes for good measure.
There’s very little on offer here in the character department, those with the most depth are those returning from previous films and new characters appear only to exist so that they can be victim to a horrific demise later in the film. Most support roles have little to do and can boast barely more than a single attribute to play off in order to try and leave some form of impact on the film.
With those shortcomings aside, the film takes a trip down memory lane returning to the location of the original instalment, being the Hive underneath Raccoon city, while fleshing out some story elements and inserting more than a few call-backs along the way. While it all feels pretty flimsy in a story and plot sense, it is a quality looking film, with slick production values and some elaborate set pieces that help with the world building.
Anderson excels at exaggerated hyper-action sequences and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter delivers this in spades. The opening act could be confused for the closing act given its large set piece, after which the film opts for a smaller, more claustrophobic approach that emulates the original film albeit with less success and atmosphere. Packed with quick cuts, sound spikes, and elaborate choreography the action is always engaging and entertaining with plenty of horror that you’d expect from a Resident Evil film.
Jovovich’s role here is primarily a physical one, and as with previous instalments she delivers a convincingly tough character that looks comfortable in the apocalyptic setting. But she’s given little to do beyond that…Ali Larter is underutilised here, while Iain Glen and Shawn Roberts are convincing enough as the personification of an evil corporation, but again – without being given much opportunity to leave a memorable performance.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is far from the worst film in the series, but it falls short of the best the franchise has to offer as well. With high production values (including an oversaturation of visual effects), and its well-executed action sequences, it’s an entertaining time at the movies that serves well enough as a closing chapter for this story.
I’m giving it 6 out of 10 stars, you can catch Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in cinemas around Australia from Thursday 26th January 2017.