A Satisfactory Ending?: Our Review of ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - January 27, 2017
A Satisfactory Ending?: Our Review of ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’

In this day and age, whenever you say that something is ‘final’; it’s important to be able to take it all with a grain of salt.  While Resident Evil: The Final Chapter does give a satisfying emotional close to the adventures of Alice against the zombie horde and the Umbrella corporation, you can’t help but feel that there may just be a prologue to this final chapter after all.

Jumping back into it almost immediately after the events of Resident Evil: Retribution; Alice (Milla Jovovich) is once again 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 and where the one final hope to save humanity actually lies.

While it borrows pretty liberally from a myriad of different sci-fi and horror movies, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter actually manages to put a bow on all the events of the previous five films that doesn’t feel hackneyed or forced, allowing for the diehard fans to go home with a smile on their face.

Writer/Director Paul W.S. Anderson leans into the end of this franchise pretty hard as he steals some motifs not only from his own movies, but the likes of Neil Marshall and even the Matrix series to make this a full blown tragic type of adventure where Alice may or may not have to make the ultimate sacrifice.  As always the action is solid and the narrative for the most part manages to have some genuine flow to it all.  The film puts into the world weary boots of Alice who never quite knows who she’s killed or how many friends that she has left and Anderson allows us to feel her on her final fuck you to the Umbrella Corporation.  To be honest much of the movie plays like the final conflict between Neo and Agent Smith in Matrix Revolutions as he successfully evolves the Alice character into a type of ass kicking messiah against the corporate zombie horde.  It’s obviously derivative, but it works pretty damn well under the circumstances and when he puts that together with a dank and under lit vibe much like we got in his own Event Horizon is makes for a fun experience at the movies.

Milla Jovovich once again pours herself into the role that made her a genre icon.  Alice kicks ass and asks questions much, MUCH later and if you don’t like it just get out of her way.  But on top of all that, this time out she actually gets a little bit of emotional work to do as we see this as the end of the road for her character no matter the outcome of her final assault on the Hive with a ragtag group of survivors.  Iain Glen gleefully chews the scenery besides her as he finally gets to tear into his Dr. Isaacs with someone of a psychotic joie de vivre and they both play off of each other exceptionally well as they race towards the salvation or the extinction of the human race.  Ali Larter returns as trusted friend Claire Redfield but Shawn Roberts as Wesker barely resonates and the ragtag ensemble of human’s highlighted by Ruby Rose and a handful of other names just don’t have a whole hell of a lot to do and it makes us miss the likes of Bingbing Li, Boris Kodjoe, Oded Fehr, Sienna Guillory and others from the other installments of the franchise.

Ultimately, fans of the franchise will have no problem getting on board with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter as it gives us an end to this saga in a very satisfactory fashion while not necessarily closing the door on the what remnants of this world this have to offer.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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