One Nine Seven One: The Review AE: Resident Evil The Final Chapter: A Surprisingly Good Send Off To A Bad Franchise.
15 or so years ago on a cool Abu Dhabi night, I decided to catch the midnight showing of the new Resident Evil flick starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez. I was never a fan of zombies as the idea of cannibalism and the desecration of the dead could never, and should never pass for entertainment. However the popularity of the 90s game and the birthing of a new genre of high concept action films inspired by The Matrix was enough to convince me to watch a movie about Alice, a supermodel looking secret agent, aided by an equally good looking SWAT team and their mission into the high-tech underground facility known as The Hive in order to stop the T-Virus from turning the world into a zombified landscape.15 years later, and now that world has indeed become that apocalyptic landscape in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, aka The Matrix meets Mad Max with zombies. Here, like in the original movie, The Final Chapter sees Alice lead a team deep into the bowels of The Hive to complete the original mission, this time to find the zombie anti-virus and release it onto the surface of the planet, effectively ending the plague.But the journey from then to now has been fraught with troubles with a series of lacklustre sequels that primarily prove one thing: Not even the most cinematic video games can make good movies. From 1993’s Super Mario Brothers to 2016’s Assassins Creed, Hollywood just cannot seem to make a good movie based on a popular video game. Yet somehow director Paul W.S Anderson has managed to keep on producing movies based off the Resident Evil games that continue to make a profit and warrant another sequel. After the first big budget sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse was trashed by both fans and critics alike for its infantile story, the cinematic series briefly found its footing with the more superior Resident Evil: Extinction. However what good faith it had restored to the franchise with this entry was quickly lost with two more laughably bad sequels that became more superhero science fiction and less gritty survival horror. Fortunately, both of those movies made enough money for the studio to green light one last feature, and this movie (despite the unwarranted hate it is currently receiving online) signals a return to form for the film franchise and its horror roots.Surprisingly, unlike the previous sequels, The Final Chapter not only has some legitimate thought put into the details of the story, but it also has a genuine warmth and heart… which admittedly is extremely unusual for the hyper violent zombie genre. This final chapter is not so much about flesh eating mutants (of which there are thousands of), it is about closure for the character of Alice and her 10 year long story arc. The sense of nostalgia and finality of this film works well as Milla Jovovich brings to a close an era of cinema many of us in our youth grew up with in the Early 2000s (the final chapters of The X-Men series and Underworld are also in the process of playing out). Sure the bulk of the screenplay is plot holed and as wafer thin as the depth of the supporting characters who serve only the purpose of getting shot, squashed, stabbed, sliced or eaten, the story moves along with a light briskness, while Milla not only has to outwit the plethora of deadly traps, but also the James Bond-esque supervillain and series arch rival Albert Wesker.With a left field twist ending that puts all of the previous movies in a new light, The Final Chapter is a violently fitting end to a franchise that somehow resiliently survived in a world dominated by far more superior franchises, such as The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later and World War Z. 7.5/10Just, please….. no more sequels.Genre: Superhero/Action/HorrorBad Language: Moderate/StrongSex and Nudity: NoneViolence: Very Strong FantasticalAbdullah Yahya is a Producer and Film Editor at One Nine Seven One Media in Dubai.Follow him (@yehya_ae) on Twitter and Instagram and One Nine Seven One Media on Twitter (@1971Productions)and Instagram (@1971Media)Read Full Blog Post