After 15 years and 6 films the Resident Evil franchise has drawn to a close…thank god.
Milla Jovovich reprises her role as franchise staple Alice, the one woman capable of stopping any monstrous creation of the Umbrella corporation. For the final merry go round Alice is contacted by computer program the Red Queen who warns her that humanity will be wiped within 48 hours. To prevent that from happening she needs to return to where everything started, the Hive. There she must find the antivirus, which will completely wipe out every organism infected by the T-virus.
The Resident Evil franchise has many flaws littered throughout its films, but the ‘final’ entry is just nonsense. After we sit through yet another laborious introduction of how it all began (after 5 films I doubt anybody watching the sixth doesn’t already know this) we get a total cop out of a beginning. Resident Evil: Retribution ended a dour feature on an promising note, an all out war with the undead fought in Washington, yet The Final Chapter skips all the fun action that could have ensued by simply explaining away that they were betrayed by Wesker. The only folk betrayed here are the scant few still putting up with these films. Not only is this a cop out of action, it makes the entirety of Resident Evil: Retribution so redundant it’s embarrassing. However not to fear, instead we get to watch Alice fight a winged creature which face resembles the monster from Jeepers Creepers… because that totally makes up for what we didn’t get.
Just in case you were wondering the ambiguous fates of Chris Redfield, Ada Wong, K-Mart, Jill Valentine, and Leon Kennedy remain so, leaving us without the foggiest idea of what happened to them. They must just be all dead, but who cares right? It’s not like four of them are pivotal characters in the games franchise. Anyway, initial disappointment out the way you’d think we would be treated to some entertaining action to accompany our light story. Wrong. The best action we get is too dark to see, and moves too fast to enjoy. In fact some of the editing is so unusually fast it’s unnecessary, especially when contrasted with the slow mo action sequences of Resident Evil: Afterlife which were at least fun to watch.
Then we have the story, a potential last salvation to make up for every other poor element of the film. Well you’d be foolish to place any hope here. It’s infected with continuity errors stemming from the ignorance of previous instalments, and ridden with awful expository dialogue that tries to justify the changes. It’s as effective as painting over cracks with water. Also for some reason Alice always finds herself in perilous situations, which is dumb because we know she’ll survive until the end and as a result elicits zero drama. The singular redeeming feature is Iain Glen’s scenery chomping performance as a returning Dr. Isaacs.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a significantly disappointing experience, marking a braindead end to a franchise that misses more than it hits. Which considering how much ammo they have is remarkable.
P.S. If you want to play a drinking game whilst watching the film, have a shot every time a character looks at their watch. You’ll pass out and forget the film in no time.