The latest installment in the popular “Resident Evil” franchise of films is out. As a collection of increasingly spectacular battles between humans and zombies, it’s right up there with the rest of the collection. It also tries to put a new spin on the events of every single previous “Resident Evil” film with several big revelations. How successful that is for you will depend on how demanding you are about the plot consistency, continuity, and coherency of this series of zombie movies.
Like all the films in the series, “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” revolves around Alice (Milla Jovovich). It opens with a monologue from her to bring any new viewers up to speed, then dives pretty much straight into action. If you like watching pale and pretty women battling increasingly hideous monsters, you are in for a fun couple of hours. The story, such as it is, involves Alice racing to the underground facility where all this started: The Hive, in Raccoon City. There, she hopes to retrieve an anti-virus that will destroy anything infected with the zombie virus. On the way, she picks up a few people from previous movies, and we see the villainous Umbrella Corporation taking steps to stop her.
The battles are many and varied, which is fun. There’s a longish sequence with an army of undead attacking a semi-fortified settlement, multiple flying zombie monsters, a pack of zombified dogs, and plenty more. Although the film has an R rating, a lot of the monstrous details are hidden in low light. Between that and the frequent use of shakey-cam to film battles, it can be annoying to keep track of what’s going on.
If, however, you are able to turn your rational brain off for the duration of the film, it’s a good time. Enjoy the spectacle, which includes messy hand-to-hand combat, one-on-one stalking in darkened rooms, a memorable fight in the lazer hallway from the first film, and a whole lot of gunfights against the super-powered zombies.
Paul W. S. Anderson wrote all the films in the series so far, and directed most of them – but there’s a whole lot of inconsistencies both within “The Final Chapter” between it and the events of the rest of the series. If you’re the kind of person who latches onto questions like “but the bomb that was dropped on Raccoon City was a nuclear weapon, why isn’t there any radiation or at least a few creatively-mutated zombies there?” you will drive yourself crazy watching this. The film itself doesn’t bother itself with explaining these things.
Fans of the series may or may not like this installment, depending on how the big reveal goes over. This is an enjoyable film if you aren’t thinking too much, but if you have high expectations and low tolerance for ridiculous-but-awesome-looking material, stay away.