The Journey Ends
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken, William Levy, Fraser James, Ruby Rose
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
2017 | 106 Minutes | Rated R
“My name is Alice and this is my story. The end of my story.” – Alice
Picking up immediately after the events of Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice and her allies returns to where it all began… The Hive in Raccoon City. Together they must find and release the T-Virus antidote held by Dr. Isaacs.
The original Resident Evil movie was one of the first of the wave of modern video game movies. Milla Jovovich also kind of led a new wave of female action movies. But the series has been going on for quite a long time. At a certain point though the series began to feel stale. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the sixth film of the franchise, is supposed to be the final film in the series and it was timed to release at essentially the same time as the new video game, Resident Evil 7.
The video games have essentially left the whole zombie thing in their dust many sequels ago but the movie series has continued to beat that drum to death. Maybe if the movies had taken a cue from the games they would still feel fresh and exciting instead of treading over the same ground over and over.
The Final Chapter goes off the rails pretty quickly. It starts with an explanation of the T-Virus and an introduction to Resident Evil’s zombies. Then all of a sudden Alice is getting chased by RE’s version of a flying dragon. Where did that come from? It’s entirely possible it’s from one of the previous movies and I just don’t remember but it felt like it came out of left field.
From here on out, it’s pretty much all action all the time. Lots of action sounds great but it’s so much that we never really get a feeling for who any of the characters are or why various fights are happening. It’s just bouncing from one fight to the next. With no foundation, the action ends up feeling hollow even though some of the scenes are quite fun… at least when you can see them.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a dark movie. Not in tone but in lighting. The entire movie, aside from the first few minutes, takes place deep in the shadows, at night or in unlit, underground rooms. It becomes hard at times to know what is going on in a fight or who exactly is involved.
Add the frenetic editing to the non-stop pacing and almost complete lack of lighting and the movie can feel awfully hard to follow, despite having a very straight forward plot.
The movie is filled with lots of cheesy dialogue but that’s pretty par for the course for the movie and game series. The problem lies more in the way that the characters interact with each other, which is essentially through these action movie quips, giving them little meaningful back-and-forth. We don’t even get a sense that Alice and Claire have ever met before.
Despite being the “Final Chapter” the door is left wide open for further sequels. Could this have been the “final chapter” for Anderson and Jovovich? Or could it just be the last we see of zombies in the RE film series? Or could this truly be the end of this round of RE films altogether? Maybe a full-on reboot is in the works? Who knows but with the seemingly poor box office performance of the movie thus far and the relatively low quality of the final film, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last we see of Resident Evil for a while.