Resident Evil is dead. Finished. Over with. Pretty sewn up. After 15 years and six films, we're at the end of the franchise with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Those of you in mourning may take a moment to reflect upon this moment, while the rest of you celebrating will be vindicated. While Paul W.S. Anderson's final entry into the series he created shows slivers of promise that are ignored in favor of bigger, louder explosions, it most certainly doesn't vindicate the direction the series decided to take back in Resident Evil: Extinction. This is the way the franchise ends. Not with a bang, but with a "meh."
After a prolonged battle against the Umbrella Corporation, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is returning to The Hive - the site that started it all. With only 48 hours to prevent the extinction of the human race, she'll meet up with old friends (Ali Larter) and face off against old foes (Iain Glen). When all of this is over, humanity will either rise from the ashes or fall from grace.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the second entry in the Resident Evil series that feels like it's jumped over a film, leaving gaps in the story so wide that one of those flying dragon creatures could easily fly through it. Whatever story is present in the latest Resident Evil film is pretty simple, and builds itself off of the back of the long legacy W.S. Anderson's original films sparked off. Most specifically, there are callbacks to the first film that bring the series full circle. While these would have been interesting points to make at the end of a trilogy, it's all too little too late when you hit your sixth movie.
And yet, for all of the faults this film has, it gives Resident Evil fans, and fans of entertaining movie villains, a great big parting gift: Iain Glen's performance as Dr. Alexander Issacs. A character introduced in the second film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, his return is the best damned part of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, as he leans into the absurdities given to his character with great aplomb. Playing Issacs with just the right amount of lethal smarm and snark, the veteran character actor chews scenery like the best of them, and offers the audience portions to take home in a doggie bag.
While Resident Evil: The Final Chapter isn't a film that comes highly recommended, it's certainly not the worst in the series: that dishonor belongs to the achingly dull Resident Evil: Afterlife. That's mostly because the groundwork that Paul W.S. Anderson tries to build retroactively into the Resident Evil story somewhat works. If the film spent some more time building its story foundation, and slowed down the camera work so that we could actually see the monsters, it may have ranked closer to the top of the list. As it stands, the film probably ranks dead center in the line-up. So if you're looking for the most meh-tacular finale to a high-octane action franchise, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter delivers. Hey, at least it's better than the Underworld franchise.
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