Films based on video games have mostly been hit or miss with one of the best being the Resident Evil series. I didn’t realize that the series has been around for 15 years and 5 films so it’s only fitting that the series end now with its sixth entry, entitled The Final Chapter.
Synopsis: The human race’s last hope against apocalyptic obliteration is supersoldier Alice, but she’s been stripped of her psychic powers. Alice is soon forced to form alliances and rally survivors in Raccoon City for the climactic battle against the Umbrella Corporation and its ravenous hordes of the undead. (Rovi)
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, and Iain Glen.
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Running Time: 106mins
For those who may missed any part of the series (such as myself), the film offers a short retrospective near the beginning but seeing the other films would be ideal. The film picks up where the last one left off in Washington D.C. with Alice (Jovovich) still alive but now powerless. She is given new hope when she learns of the way to rid the world of the T-Virus for good but in order to do so, she would have to go back to Raccoon City, where everything started.
Being the last film in the series, it does a good job at filling gaps in the story and answering lingering questions (I haven’t seen the whole series so I don’t know for sure). We know how it started and why it started as well as the truth about Alice. It all came as a surprise but it really wasn’t a surprise considering the film foreshadowed this early on.
Getting back to Raccoon City wasn’t easy as Alice had to face stiff competition from all the various T-Virus infected creations and the rest of the Umbrella Corporation and the evil Dr. Isaacs (Glen). Alice was not alone, however, as she was reunited in Raccoon City with her friend Claire Redfield (Larter) and a few other disposable characters. The characters were with Claire at the time but they did not matter whatsoever, making it easy to not care about what happened to them.
The Resident Evil series has never been the most cerebral and it continues here. The action is mindless, the dialogue is mindless, everything was pretty much mindless. Fans of the series won’t mind this but others might. The best part of the film had to be the action. It was very well done as it was quick and relentless, along with the rest of the story. It seemed like there was always something going on which was entertaining and also engaging. Sure, some of this takes away from the story and the characters but being the sixth film of the series, it didn’t bother trying as hard.
The acting was good with Jovovich being the standout. Even after six films in fifteen years, she is still compelling to watch, especially while mostly alone early on. She handled herself in the many action scenes, proving that she is still perfectly capable. Glen as Dr. Isaacs was the only other compelling character, serving as the main villain. He was also fun to watch, going toe to toe with Alice during their great final showdown.
The title means exactly what it says, The Final Chapter, so it would be surprising to see anything else from this series, barring the inevitable reboot.
Overall, this was an entertaining but mindless finale for one of the best video game film series with some great action and performances.
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