Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Cast: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, and Eoin Macken

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

106 minutes (15) 2016
Widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Sony blu-ray region B

Rating: 8/10
Review by Steven Hampton

Narrated by Alice, the recap montage presents the horror story so far, sketching out 15 years worth of game movie plots and extreme survivalism, from Resident Evil (2002), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), and Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) to Resident Evil: Retribution (2012). Following the above, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) starts in a devastated Washington D.C. where a troublesome dragonoid is slain by a well-placed claymore mine. The history of Umbrella’s corporate bio-tech evil is a conspiracy of viral corruption that abandons all humanity in favour of archiving their elite for re-populating a replenished Earth long after the infected world ends. The heroine’s mission quest here is to find the secret antivirus and save the planet.

On the road to hell, Alice goes by Hummer, by car, on a motorbike, and, when captured, she’s pulled along behind a mega-tank. Escaping from predators, she meets old friends and forms a new gang to fight against the overwhelming numbers of bad guys and nasty creatures. A tower siege using improved heavy weapons results in demolition mayhem. The only way to escape from a pack of zombie dogs is for everybody to jump off a cliff. This sixth outing returns to the beginning, with the first movie’s location now under the bomb crater in the ruins of Raccoon city. Once inside the Hive bunker complex, there are various puzzles to solve, lethal obstacles to overcome, and nested plot twists that unpack with witty references to Aliens, Blade Runner, and RoboCop to mention just a few of the notable genre franchises that Resident Evil is influenced by. 

Strobe lighting effects and fast editing techniques enhance a busy narrative giving the movie its non-stop action appeal. Despite antagonism for the protagonist, the arrogant chief villain eventually proves t be his own worst enemy. This offers a slick entertainment milieu combining the best of post-apocalyptic zombie-mania, giant monster movie action, comic-book sci-fi scenarios, supporting an iconic super-heroine character franchise. It is a better effort than Underworld saga, if only for the more colourful variety of lighting set-ups that avoid blue-filtered monotony of Beckinsale’s adventures. Fans of the animated series of RE movies can expect a third feature, Resident Evil: Vendetta, due to be released this year.

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