Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Paul W.S. Anderson returns to direct what the title would suggest is the final word from Alice (Jovovich) and the Resident Evil franchise. Whether that is the actual case remains to be seen. I, for one , wouldn’t complain if there was more but at the same time if this is to be the parting tale then it certainly goes out in spectacular fashion.
Well, it’s simple enough. Emerging from the Washington rubble Alice is contacted by the Red Queen. She informs Alice that this can all be ended and the Umbrella corporation destroyed. She tells Alice she has forty-eight hours to return to Raccoon City and recover the anti-virus that will wipe out the T-Virus and anything that has come into contact with it, including Alice herself. The Red Queen, of course, has never been trustworthy but despite this Alice begins her journey back to Raccoon City. En route she is faced with an ongoing battle with the returning Dr Isaacs (Glen) and refreshes her alliance with the always loyal Claire Redfield (Larter) and her new band of resistance fighters.
Much like I said in my Underworld: Bloodwars review about how only Kate Beckinsale could be Selene, the very same would stand for Milla Jovovich and Alice. It’s always been about Alice and her ongoing battle with the Umbrella Corporation and Jovovich has really been at the forefront of the kick-ass female leads for some fifteen years now. Despite what some cynics might say, she is a good actress (see Joan of Arc) and nobody could take her place in this franchise. Ali Larter provides reliable back up as the stalwart Claire Redfield, an ideal partner to Jovovich in all her Evil outings. It’s Iain Glen that really stands out however. He puts in a quite maniacal performance as Dr Isaacs who Alice had thought she’d killed but this is Resident Evil, there are no guarantees you haven’t killed a clone. Glen just seems to love the psychotic villain role and revels in it throughout giving the character the truly sinister edge it requires.
The Final Chapter is a relentless joy ride of zombie fun. It should be long forgotten that this has anything to with the video game in anything other than title and the characters involved. After a short recap bringing you up to date, briefly, with what had gone before the action kicks right in and there’s very little time to breathe between action sequences. These sequences are a nice mix of one on one combat, chase scenes, and fire fights and they are all well constructed and very exciting to watch. Of course, it’s a pretty simple film, as are they all, but they know their limitations and don’t try to do anything outside of the franchises box. I came out of the cinema feeling thoroughly satisfied with what I’d seen and I don’t think I was the only one. The cliché about saving the best for last could easily be used here. Whether it is actually the best I’m not sure, you always look to the first film in a series to be the stand out tale but The Final Chapter is certainly the biggest and most epic of all the follow ups.
3.5/5 Stars: If this really is the end, it’s everything it needs to be.