Continuing right where the previous film ended, The Final Chapter seems to be the last in this marathon of undead action movies with a solid albeit frenetic paced plot and some exciting action scenes mixed in with the usual array of nods to the game series and some plot twists along the way.
Its worth noting at this point that although I watched the first load of films, I didn’t see the last film which this immediately started from so I took some time to read up on the plot and watched the key parts of the previous title, including the ending, just so I wasn’t completely lost upon watching this one. Emerging from an underground bunker, Alice (Milla Jovovich) wards off a flying hell beast before being given a new mission from the Red Queen (a computer AI that controls the Umbrella Corporation who started the whole zombie mess) – secure an airborne anti-virus within 48 hours to end the zombie plague once and for all.
What follows is a series of impressive action scenes and frantic running, driving and fighting to get to The Hive (the headquarters of Umbrella Corp. deep underground), to secure the anti virus and save humanity.
I’m not going to lie, I came into this expecting a train wreck and to be writing a really poor review but it’s actually not bad. For newcomers to the series this is the worst possible film to jump into though, despite the 3 minute intro to try and bridge the gap there’s just so much going on here that ties into previous films its impossible not to get confused if this is the first Resi film you jump into.
Having said that, some of the scenes are a little lazy – we have yet another laser corridor scene where the choreography is identical to the original film. Whether this was deliberately done as a nod to the first film I’m not sure but it came off as poor writing. Furthermore, although most of the characters have clear goals and motivations, the series once again suffers from devaluing the zombies – more people die from each other or crazy traps than eaten alive.
The editing is what really drags this film down for me. The quick cuts – and I mean blisteringly quick – make the action hard to follow and really exhausting to follow. I counted 70 cuts in 60 seconds. This isn’t initially obvious until you get two or three scenes in where it becomes more apparent and especially the scenes during night time, it becomes really hard to work out exactly what’s going on.
My final point is simply on the brilliance of Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) who’s deliciously evil here and really steals the show with some fine acting. After his working as Jorah Mormont in Game Of Thrones and his brief role in Doctor Who, I’m a massive fan of his work and it was really good to see such a fine example of a well fleshed villain with a decent motive rather than a cackle and a bid to take over the world.
Overall Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is an enjoyable action flick with some decent action scenes let down by frantic editing and its slightly lazy screenplay in places. The story is passable, even if it does feel well trodden it almost makes up for it with a pretty decent climax to not just this film but (hopefully) the Resident Evil movie franchise.