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Resident Evil The Final Chapter movie review: Like being eaten to death by zombies

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter review - Milla Jovovich is a terrific action star, but that being said, this is still a terrible example of filmmaking.

movie reviews Updated: Feb 06, 2017 15:07 IST
Rohan Naahar
Don’t stick your hand down the zombie’s mouth.
Don’t stick your hand down the zombie’s mouth.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Director - Paul WS Anderson
Cast - Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose, Iain Glen
Rating - 1/5

Over the course of the six Resident Evil movies, there have been countless faceless ghouls who’ve had their faces bashed in, limbs torn off and heads severed by Milla Jovovich’s Alice. Purely as an attempt to bring you on the same page, I must tell you that watching these movies makes me feel like I’m one of those ghouls, each new instalment in this miraculously resilient franchise a sledgehammer to the skull.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is no different. Perhaps the most auspicious thing about it is its title and the sweet, sweet release that it promises. But as you wait for it to end – because, let’s face it, there is no other way to experience a Resident Evil movie – you will find yourself wondering how in the world this series could’ve lasted as long as it did when a film like Martin Scorsese’s Silence can take 28 years to finally get made, and still bomb.

This time however, out of shame perhaps, there is a noticeable uptick in the amount of effort they’ve put in. There is – and let’s be very, very clear that this is in no way praise – the flimsiest, most rickety idea of a plot. Even when compared to other video game adaptations (they’re notorious for having wafer-thin plots) Resident Evil 6’s story will likely collapse at the slightest prod. But unlike a house of cards, which is usually constructed with patience and care, the plot of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has all the fragility of a piece of burnt paper.

In a strange way, this film’s very mission-oriented, point-A-to-point-B story slightly resembles The Wizard of Oz. The only difference being that writer-director Paul WS Anderson has mixed up his fantasy fiction and introduced to a film which already has a character names Alice, another named The Red Queen.

To make matters more confusing, she – the Queen, that is - is played by Milla Jovovich’s real-life daughter Ever Gabo, whose father, in another unnecessarily perplexing piece of trivia, is director Anderson. Anyway, the Queen has a mission for Alice: She must, within 48 hours, travel to Raccoon City, across miles of post-apocalyptic wasteland, where an antivirus to the zombie plague is rumoured to have been created.

Before everything else, a very important point must be raised: Milla Jovovich is a terrific action star, and we cannot dismiss the unusual distinction she has achieved of carrying such an enduring franchise all by herself. Here, the mere thought of making a ‘female-driven’ film is met with raised eyebrows and declarations of progressive thinking. So, to have survived (and defied) an industry that isn’t unlike the hellscape in which her movies are set, she must be applauded.

But that being said, Resident Evil is still a terrible example of filmmaking. And most of the blame can be directed towards Paul WS Anderson, who has invented his own, frustratingly abusive version of auteur moviemaking.

Even as a schlockmeister in the vein of the great Roger Corman, his movies are tragically self-serious. And each joyless sequence is edited with manic lunacy; shot after nauseating shot (sometimes as many as 20 in less than 10 seconds) assaults your eyes as it all blends into a rusty brown blur.

To simply brush it all off as a movie made for the fans is not only lazy, but also insulting to the very hand that feeds. Resident Evil, the video game series, only recently released its eleventh installment (to enthusiastic reviews), the film series however, will go out with a dull thud. Of that, there can be no doubt.

To call it a slight improvement on its predecessors is similar to declaring that you would rather have your pinkie bitten off by an infected zombie instead of your index finger, simply because it is shorter. They’re both going to hurt. Don’t stick your hand down the zombie’s mouth.

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar