Review: New Resident Evil is like watching someone else play a video game

Matt Adcock reviews Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (15), starring Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich as Alice / Alicia MarcusMilla Jovovich as Alice / Alicia Marcus
Milla Jovovich as Alice / Alicia Marcus

Ah, Resident Evil – we’ve come so far. With five films in the bag and over a billion dollars in the bank as a result, it looks like we might have come to the end of this action-over-substance videogame series.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (although if this makes more cash I wouldn’t rule out them making more of these) picks up the end-of-the-world carnage immediately after the events of 2012’s Resident Evil: Retribution. Alice (Milla Jovovich) is back as the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity's final stand against the undead. This time she must return to where the nightmare began - The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

Cue an hour and half of flashy images, frantic zombie battling action and scenes basically inspired by (I say inspired by but I mean ripped off from) a host of other films including Mad Max. All of it lacks any real sense of a narrative or anything you’d struggle to call a plot. The Final Chapter is basically the closest films have come to actually being a video game – just one you can’t play. It feels like the longest ever between level ‘cut scene’, like someone on their PlayStation but never letting you have a go.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter does try to bring at least a little closure to those who have been paying to see this series since it kicked off 15 years ago but it fails to be the thrilling conclusion it obviously wants to be. The reason for this is that it is edited in such a confusing jump-cut jumble that even scenes which could have been effective lose some of their currency due to the fact that you can’t always tell what’s going on.

I have the same feeling with every single film ever made by Paul WS Anderson – I want to like it more than I actually do when I see it. So here the evil Umbrella Corporation are using their infected zombie army, enhanced soldiers and a variety of ‘Boss – end of level’ bad guys to try and wipe out the last of humanity. Jovovich as rebellion heroine Alice is our last chance and fortunately, she might just be bad ass enough to pull it off. Whether you care or not is very much in the balance however…