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Review: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Movie Review)

Resident EvilResident Evil: The Final Chapter is an aggressively silly movie, fueled only by jump scares and bum dialogue. Fans of the series might be sad to realize that this finale returns to a more grounded reality of the first film, as opposed to the fever-dream aesthetics of the last two films. Fear not though, all the energy is still in place, striking the audience in the most relentless way imaginable. I must give credit where credit is due; director Paul W.S. Anderson is having the time of his life, and no matter how absurd his films are, their playfulness is infective. I can’t help but smile big.

Does the plot really matter? It sure hasn’t for most of the series. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter skips the big battle promised at the end of the previous installment, opening up with Alice on her own, wandering the desolate streets of Washington D.C. Before long, she meets up with a typical rag-tag group of survivors, one of which is Claire (Ali Larter), the only survivor from the missed battle. The Red Queen has joined forced with Alice, informing her of a cure for the virus deep in Raccoon City. However, Alice only has a matter of hours before all of humanity is destroyed. Thus sets off a chase between Alice and Dr, Isaacs, who is bringing with him an army of easily defeated zombies. Ruby Rose shows up for a while, too.

What follows is a series of interchangeable sequences involving characters running from one place to another, with the occasional death. They go to Spot A, rest for a while, get attacked, run to Spot B, repeat. Only one moment involving a fan has any real tension to it; the rest of the film is so quick to get to the next set piece that it sacrifices audience involvement. It could be assumed that Anderson is incapable of creating horror atmosphere, yet he did a remarkable job with his sci-fi horror feast Event Horizon. I wish he could have brought just a morsel of that dread to some of his “Resident Evil” Films.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a film of unlimited zombies and gore but limited imagination. Every frame of the film is pulsing and oozing with body parts and fluids. The filmmakers are indifferent to whether they care about the characters, just as long as we’re enjoying the carnage on display. And for that matter, the film succeeds. It’s a haunted carnival ride you might experience around Halloween. It looks impressive on the outside, but when it’s over, you feel empty. There was something missing. It’s okay, though, because while you were experiencing it, your grin never left. While the title promises to be the end, we all know it won’t remain dormant for too long. In a few years, we’ll be treated with “Resident Evil: A New Beginning” or something of the sort. But for now, it’s been a fun time with Alice and co.

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I never stand in front of the elevator doors when they open. All because of the movie The Departed.

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