Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

(On Cable TV, September 2017) The Resident Evil series has been a mixed bag of inconsistent results, so it’s perhaps no surprise to find out that what is billed as a final instalment would be so uneven. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter starts on a sour note, as the big-scale Washington, DC, battle promised by the previous instalment is completely avoided, with an inferior opening action sequence setting low expectations. Much of the first and second acts are a moving post-apocalyptic mixture of road rage and zombie action, seldom reaching the lunacy that marked the series’ best moments. Iain Glen does bring a bit of gravitas to the instalment, just in time for the film’s most interesting third act, which sees the action go back to The Hive where the series began. The fan-favourite laser corridor makes a return appearance (although it’s absurdly easy to defeat when the panels are smashed) and it all leads to a competent set-piece between super-powered characters before a conclusion of sort is offered, finalizing series lead Alice’s role in the entire shenanigans. (Milla Jovovich gives it all she can, but the most interesting thing here is how visibly she has aged in the fifteen years between the first and last movies of the series.)  As an announced conclusion, it does carry a not-entirely-unearned weight—unfortunately, it can’t meet those expectations. While there are a few good moments here and there, The Final Chapter remains a disappointment for not following up on the previous volume, for not fully giving satisfying endings to the series’ recurring characters and for settling for a fairly obvious conclusion. Even on a strictly visual level, director Paul W.S. Anderson turns in a routine film, without any of the visual flair he’s proven able to accomplish, even in the previous volume of the series. Much more would have been possible. With this lukewarm conclusion, it almost goes without saying that you’d better be a fan of the series before watching The Final Chapter—there’s little here, either in plotting or execution, to make it interesting if you’re not already invested in knowing how it will turn out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *