Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) Review

Following the events of Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), Alice (Milla Jovovich) is given a 48-hour time period to return to The Hive in Raccoon City. En route, she reunites with Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) alongside a new team of survivors to fight against the enemies of the Umbrella Corporation once and for all.

So, this is it. All good evil things must come to an end. Well, at least that’s what the title (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) and taglines (“Evil Will End”, “The Journey Ends”) have indicated in various promotional materials. And with a title like that, you would expect franchise director Paul W.S. Anderson would go all out with a bang. Instead, after more than four years of a wait since Resident Evil: Retribution in 2012, this allegedly sixth and final instalment of the Resident Evil movie series ends with a big whimper.

From the first 2002 movie to its subsequent sequels throughout the decade, the Resident Evil movie series hardly excelled in terms of plot and characters development. But like it or not, it does deliver a certain B-movie energy that best categorised as a guilty-pleasure entertainment.

Unfortunately, Paul W.S. Anderson hits an all-time low in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Although the movie has a potentially entertaining race-against-the-time premise, Anderson alongside cinematographer Glen MacPherson and editor Doobie White botches everything with incomprehensible editing and shaky camerawork. The action scenes are simply frustrating to watch, especially with all the over-reliance of quick pans. Even a simple scene of Alice reloading her gun is shot in a hasty manner. It looks as if the cinematographer is high on ecstasy pills when he filmed the movie. If that’s not enough, Anderson relies too much on cheap jump scares during some of the so-called horror moments in the movie.

The plot, in the meantime, is structured like a video game where the character has to endure through various obstacles to get from point A to point B. Likewise, it was all generic stuff like the previous Resident Evil movies. There is also a twist towards the end. But frankly, it was nothing surprising.

As for the actors, 41-year-old Milla Jovovich still has what it takes to play a physically demanding performance as Alice. Iain Glen, who plays a dual role as both religious-fanatic clone and the scheming Dr Alexander Isaacs, delivers a decent support here. However, the rest of them are mostly undermined by phoned-in roles. This is particularly evident with Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker and a barely-there performance from Ali Larter, who reprised her role as Claire Redfield.

Now, back to the title. There is a reason why the movie is called Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Sure, it does offer a closure towards the finale. But Anderson doesn’t seem to be done with his franchise. Sadly enough, he chose to conclude his movie with an open ending.

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