The Final Chapter is the sixth installment of the Resident Evil series. It’s quite the achievement for writer/director at the creative helm of all six, Paul W.S Anderson. (Note: he is not to be confused with fellow revered director Paul T Anderson, nor Paul Anderson the actor, known for voicing Nero in 2014 hit Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark). Also featuring in all six films is Paul’s wife Mila Jovovich. Mila returns as zombie conquering bad ass Alice.
Alice has been molded by the zombie apocalypse into a butt kicking heroine with matrix like reflexes and a litany of one liners. She is humanity’s last hope. The film begins with a recap of the previous films meshed in between dizzying CGI monster ambushes. With the action cut so quickly it’s often hard in these battles to know exactly what’s happening.
Alice is drawn to a computer under the earth containing the AI system known as the Red Queen, embodied by a young girl. She informs Alice that the last several thousand humans are to be wiped out in 48 hours. Alice has to get to Raccoon City, infiltrate the Umbrella corporation’s underground lair, and get to an anti-body that could stop all this carnage. Does she make it? You can probably guess.
On the whole if you don’t take the film too seriously, The Final Chapter is pretty good fun. On three separate occasions Alice is captured and knocked unconscious only to escape the inescapable. The cheesy dialogue and ham fisted plot bandaids can be enjoyed both with and without irony. Iain Glen shines in his role as Umbrella’s CEO, a bioengineered ambitious supervillain who could only be described as a campy Hitler. He does a great job straight facing it while delivering such rich lines as “You didn’t kill me, you killed my clone!”
Looking past the gauche dialogue and the enjoyably shallow action are surprisingly rich biblical themes. Coinciding with numerous symbols of religion is the overarching theme of Alice as the Jesus/savior figure. This is reiterated when she becomes the daughter in a mother-daughter-holy ghost triumvirate. It’s that kind of depth that often leaves you wondering if you’re enjoying the action flick ironically or genuinely. If you’re willing to mentally check out and gloss over the few inconsistencies, The Final Chapter is well worth the 106 minutes of adrenaline and violence.
Side Note: With everything said and dusted there’s only one last issue to take umbrage with. The nail gun as a weapon. It doesn’t work, people! I consider this a public service announcement but in the event of a zombie apocalypse please do not run to Bunnings for these. Having been shot many times in my personal work life I can attest to their uselessness as a zombie neutraliser. In the event of a post-apocalypse consider perhaps instead a cricket bat from Shaun of the Dead and attaching yourself to a Viggo Mortensen-type figure from The Road.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is in cinemas from 26th January through Sony Pictures.