Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Review
Alice is back once more, fighting her way through armies of the undead
Paul W. S. Anderson write and directs Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, promising an end in sight but offering up little that is new or exciting.What started out as a successful, and extremely addictive, video game has now been transformed into yet another lucrative Hollywood franchise. Yes, you guessed it. Alice is back and this time she states that it will be her final adventure battling hoards of the undead and the evil Umbrella Corporation. Waking up in a now totally decimated Washington DC, Alice (Milla Jovovich) clambers her way through the rubble to find a miraculously working computer where the Red Queen tells her that she has a mere 48 hours to save what’s left of the human race. And so off Alice goes, down the proverbial rabbit hole once more, fighting her way back to where it all began: Racoon City and The Hive buried deep underground.However, as you can imagine from a Resident Evil film, it was never going to be a simple, scenic road trip home. Along the way Alice crosses paths with an arch nemesis she long thought was dead and buried (or more likely dead and risen up amongst the thousands of other walking dead). But as luck would have it, Alice runs into an old friend - Claire Redford (Ali Larter) - who she last saw as she was forced to back flip off of a ship. Holding up in a makeshift safe house Claire and some other survivors help Alice fight off the army of undead hot on her trail and assist her in a last ditch attempt to finally rid the world of the T-Virus and it’s devastating affects.
This is the fourth film of the six film franchise to be both written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and one really has to ask: can this dead horse be flogged any more? Well, no as it turns out. The storyline in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is so thinly spread that it seems it is just the latest excuse to churn out another rehash of what’s already been done many times before. That said, this chapter does offer an end game which keeps the momentum ticking along. The film does seem to try and make up for this lack of substance with an abundance of excruciatingly loud sound effects and barely distinguishable fight scenes.
CGI is copiously used and at times it works and looks good, but unfortunately the rest of the time it results in a screen that is too dark and with camera work too shaky to ever fully appreciate what is on show. And when I say the audio is excruciating I mean that the odd sequence where there is blissful silence is a welcomed respite from the music and sound effects berating my ear drums. There is plenty of guts and gore for those with a taste for carnage and there are some pretty savage beasties that try their damnedest to get in Alice’s way but these are few and far between.
Non-stop action isn’t enough to make up for frenzied camera work, poor lighting and a weak story line
With five films already under her belt Jovovich has plenty of backstory to keep her Alice character going and lets face it, she is the real star of the show. But there doesn’t seem to be much more behind Alice that we don’t already know. There is a small reveal moment but that aside, it’s all very much the same: Alice kicking ass with whatever weaponry she can get her mitts on and looking good while she does it. The supporting cast are exactly that, backing up the storyline just enough to keep it going. The survivors Alice meets aren’t given much of a backstory and are never given the chance to develop their characters any more than being a dab hand with a gun. The only one who is given half a chance is Larter’s Claire, but that’s only because we know her from the previous films.
If you’re already a fan of the franchise then Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will be right up your street, it’s more of the same formulaic action that the other five films mustered up. It’s fairly easy watching, providing you can make out what’s on screen, and reasonably entertaining with its non stop action. If you haven’t had the chance to sit through the previous five films, fret not, as there is a useful little intro at the start to get you right up to speed. And don’t get taken in by the film's subtitle ‘The Final Chapter’ as the ending is left wide open for number seven!
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.