Never say die, because zombies seem to have long shuffle lives these days.
Resident Evil and its illustrious string of films return to grace us with an apparent final instalment, The Final Chapter. Directed and written by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich as its iconic femme fatale battling the Umbrella Corporation, the film follows humanity’s last chance at survival, with a pinch of CGI and BMW motorbikes.
Resident Evil originally came to us as a video game in 1996, making its film debut in 2002. The Final Chapter covers all the bases: larger-than-life, fiendishly aggressive and oversized mosquito creatures, painstakingly edited fight scenes, an Australian actor cameo (bless you Ruby Rose), and an exceptional core workout, with lasers thrown in for tension.
In short, The Final Chapter has not strayed from the previous five instalments. Its attempt to come full circle and return to where it all began is a double-edged sword: it’s likely to satisfy long-standing fans, but offer little for the newcomers.
The opening shot is of an alive Alice (Jovovich) clawing her way out of rubble in Washington, D.C., following her betrayal in the last film. After stumbling around bleary-eyed, she finds water – then boom, there’s a fight with an undead, a shock to the system and away we go.
Thanks to a predictable and stilted script, we are reminded that we did not come here for the dialogue. The fight scenes, the ongoing tension with Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen), the special effects and the guessing game over which character will be next to die do their best to retain interest, but it’s not always gripping stuff.
At the end of the line and Alice’s story, we’re left with a finely choreographed, action-packed and dialogue-dry last hurrah for the fans. No surprises here, apart from the jump scares.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is in cinemas now.