Sunday, January 22, 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Year: 2017
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts

Plot: The Red Queen gives Alice one last chance to save humanity: an airborne anti-virus that will effectively eliminate all those infected with the T-virus. But in order to get to it, Alice has to go through her old nemesis Dr Isaacs and the man who betrayed her, Albert Wesker.

Review: After 15 years, Resident Evil is at its end at last. Or is it? Hollywood has the tendency to continue beating on a dead horse. For what it's worth, star Milla Jovovich and director Paul W.S. Anderson have withstood all the bad criticism to keep on making these films till now, and that merits them some respect.

In this final chapter, Alice emerges from the rubble of Washington, humanity's supposed last stand against the undead. She runs into the Red Queen, who gives her a mission: retrieve an airborne anti-virus that will save humanity once and for all. A bonus: she gets some answers about her past. However, Dr. Isaacs, whom she thought she had killed in RE: Extinction, is alive and determined to stop her.

First, what I don't like. For the past few RE films, continuity has has been severely absent. Characters disappear and reappear again with no explanation, and new characters are introduced, only to be killed off or vanish again. Perhaps getting the same actors to return had been more difficult than we thought, but they could have been recast. Secondly, Anderson oddly chooses to abandon his slow motion filming style and adopt a quick cut, multiple angle style instead, making it very difficult to see the action sequences properly.

Strangely enough, this would be the first RE film where plot triumphs over action, as we get some answers on Alice's true origins and her connection to the Red Queen. This, coupled with a few twists, make this RE much better plotwise than its predecessors, where the story was paper thin and inconsequential.

Milla is of course, still on point as Alice, with Iain Glen making a solid foe as Dr Isaacs, who is more than capable holding his own against her. Ali Larter and Shawn Roberts return as Claire Redfield and Wesker respectively, but both get next to nothing to do. It really feels like they're here just to fill a contractual obligation and nothing more. The rest of the cast are just fodder for the undead, as usual.

It's a pity that the action sequences were poorly filmed, as Anderson goes all out in creating some awesome sequences, borrowing ideas from Book Of Eli, The Equalizer and even Kingdom Of Heaven. Anderson also adds in more types of monsters to play with, including giant bats. It would really have been nice to be able to see them properly.

Resident Evil ends appropriately, with a tiny window for the future, but not as perfectly as it could have been. If you've been following this franchise from the start, go see this and give it a proper farewell. (7/10)

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