Since the very first Resident Evil film first graced our screens back in 2002, it’s fair to say that the zombie
Beginning soon after the events that took place in the preceding endeavour Resident Evil: Retribution, we rejoin Alice (Milla Jovovich), who seems to be the lone survivor of the viral infection which wiped out humanity. Strong willed, and kicking the crap out of the undead on a daily basis, she is presented with a message, to head back to the place it all started; Raccoon City. Upon her arrival she is surprised to learn she’s not alone, reconnecting with her old friend Claire Redfield (Ali Later) and the pair, with a group of committed rebels, make their way to the Hive, hoping to put an end to this madness once and for all, as Alice readies herself to come face-to-face with her greatest adversary of them all, the co-owner of the Umbrella Corporation, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen).
The film opens with a horribly contrived, yet rather important segment to inform the viewer of the entire back-story and context which has led us to this very point. While ensuring that newcomers to the franchise will be able to wrap their head around the world they’re about to inhabit, it seems superfluous for the narrative here really does play second-fiddle. Thinly tied together by a series of action set pieces, it becomes evident this is a film that has been adapted by a video game series, for we have brief moments of dialogue, like cut-scenes, and then we’re back into the action, making for a film that, while unrelenting in its approach, and entertaining with it, does require a little more of a story for us to adhere to, particularly in the latter stages when we need a few of our loose ends tied up and some closure to kick in.
What transpires is a film that feels episodic, like a video game, with boss levels to complete and pass, while you can even detect every single save point our character encounters. But it’s a universe that is distinctive in its depiction, a bleak, desolate landscape that remains faithful to the style and tone of this franchise. Another consistent, that has lasted across these six cinematic endeavours is Jovovich, who yet again proves herself as an action hero we can believe in, so often faced in impossible situations, and yet always comes out on top.
It may well be the last time we see her in this role however, as Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, as the title suggests, appears to be putting an end to this series of movies. Which is probably for the best, as while serving a purpose, and certainly playing into the hands of the established fans in place – with this film no exception in that regard – it does feel like we’ve taken this narrative as far as we can possibly go.