The Final Chapter
review by Bobby Blakey
One of the few video game film adaptations that have worked was 2002s Resident Evil. Since then star Milla Jovovich has fully embraced the character of Alice and starred in the sequels Apocalypse, Extinction, Afterlife and Retribution. The tone shifted a bit from horror to straight up action and while all of them haven’t delivered the goods they have still managed to blast their way ahead. Now what’s being billed as the last film in the franchise is coming aptly titled Resident Evil: The Final Chapter also starring Ali Larter, Ruby Rose, Shawn Roberts, Iain Glen and Ever Anderson, but does it bring everything to a satisfying end or will it leave us with more unanswered questions and frustration?
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter picks up immediately after the events of Resident Evil: Retribution and finds Alice as "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. Resident Evil has been one of those franchises that never offered up much more than zombies, monsters and over the top action and that is all the fans clearly needed. I will admit I am a fan of the mindless fun of them all despite there being some clunkers along the way, but with six films in the franchise it comes as no surprise that some of them just wouldn’t work. The ending to Retribution promised a big battle and was along with the trailers for this new entry being the final film in the series and this time around they do a decent job at wrapping it all up once and for all.
I was a bit disappointed that it skips over the impending battle promised in the previous film, but it wasted no time at getting right into the expected chaotic action. As this new chapter unfolds it becomes very clear that it is going to move fast and actually plays up more as one long action set piece than anything else. It really only slows down enough to fill in the story gaps, introduce new characters, old characters and finally reveal all. This is one of the biggest issues as there is a minor flaw in the stories past in relation to who created the T-Virus that was revealed in Apocalypse and the new flashback here. I am sure there is something missing in the dialogue or something that would have easily explained it away, but I did not hear it and it left me a bit puzzled to why. This is a pretty minor overall plot point as it uses this to really drive the finale into place and still works despite this hiccup in the history.
As mentioned this film relies heavily on the action and once again delivers one sequence after the next. Sure half of them are over the top and unbelievable, but that is part of the fun to this series. I much prefer practical effects, but will say that the CGI here worked better than previous films with a pretty cool creature right off the bat. This series is not looking to try to ground itself in some gritty reality, but instead just let the bullets fly and the blood flow freely into a chaotic zone of mindless fun. I actually enjoyed this film a lot more than the last two entries, but make no mistake if you aren’t a fan of the series then you will likely not like this one either.
There are some that have complained of the ending being open for more despite being the final film, but it does a great job at wrapping up the main story. It leaves it open in a way that makes sense as there was no way to fully end it right away and they even rushed an aspect of it, but instead they use this as the cap to the story and perfect ending for a franchise that has likely run its course, but if not still has options.