The most successful video game film franchise in cinematic history comes to a fitting conclusion in ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,’ B-movie genre veteran Paul W. S. Anderson’s adaptation of the immensely popular but ultra-violent and gory Japanese post-apocalyptic shooter-survival video game series from Capcom featuring zombies, mutants, death traps, an unscrupulous (okay, downright Evil) pharmaceutical conglomerate and the heroes who fight them. Unlike ‘Underworld’ (see my first review this year), the producers of ‘Resident Evil’ knows when to wrap things up, deciding that six movies are quite enough, and rightly so.
41-year old Ukrainian beauty Milla Jovovich (and real life wife of Anderson) reprised her role as Alice for this final go-round, cementing her place as one of Hollywood’s most iconic and badass femme fatales in recent memory. 15 years after the original film, the story comes full circle as Alice and a group of like-minded resistance fighters including Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) return to Umbrella Corporation's labyrinthine underground complex to destroy the sinister organization and its head, Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen), once and for all. Any lingering questions and missing plot-lines are explained and neatly tied up, bringing the RE series to a somewhat satisfactory conclusion. We find out why the T-Virus was created, how its original creator had noble intentions but was subverted and betrayed by a scheming colleague, and what the objective and end-game of the Umbrella Corporation were. Then we get what we came for, seeing Alice shoot up and decapitate zombies and mutants, perform graceful acrobatics effortlessly like poetry and kick Umbrella Corporation butt.
‘The Final Chapter’ is by no means a great movie, or even a particularly good one for that matter. But really, do we seriously expect it to be? What RE offers is what its intended audience always wanted, no more and no less. ‘The Final Chapter’ may not even be the best film of the franchise (to me, the 2002 original is still the best), but what it does is give us a chance to see Milla do her thang one more time for old times’ sake.