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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Review

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Ten years after the T-Virus destroyed civilisation and transformed most of humanity into raving zombies, amnesiac Alice (Milla Jovovich) returns to Raccoon City intent on thwarting the endgame of the evil corporation responsible and discovering her true identity.

★★★★★

This hexquel opens with a story-so-far recap that retcons elements from five earlier Resident Evil films – not to mention the game franchise and sundry animated spinoffs – to streamline things to allow for a simple set-up and some last-reel resolution of mysteries all but diehard series fans will have forgotten about.

Here, Jovovich’s unkillable tough chick has to recruit a team of literal expendables (watch out for that giant fan!) and fight her way back into the facility she escaped from all the way back in Resident Evil (2002) for a final reckoning with the series baddies – Iain Glen, playing several clones of evil mastermind Isaacs, edges Shawn Roberts’ blander minion Wesker off screen – and loopy revelations about her origins. Old pals (survivalist sweetie Ali Larter) and menaces (the zom-dogs, the laser-grid corridor) are reintroduced, and there is – of course – a get-out clause finish which would allow resumption of service if this Final Chapter gives way to a New Beginning or Next Generation.

Paul W.S. Anderson directs good, imaginative action – punched up by loud noises and jittery edits – but writes terrible word balloon dialogue (nail-on-the-head department: ‘I feel like I’ve been doing this my whole life – running and killing’). For what it’s worth, this saga is a brand-leader in its field – consistently more entertaining than the Underworld films and leaving non-starters like Aeon Flux, Ultra Violet and Priest in the dust. This entry, however, finds the invention flagging – one plot twist is a blatant lift from a well-remembered RoboCop moment – and winds up hurrying through its supposed end-of-an-era finish just to get it over with.

Reasonably entertaining but hectic (supposed) finale for the up-and-down series.

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