Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Review: If You’ve Made it This Far…

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If I’m honest with myself, I found plenty to enjoy in this supposed finale of the Resident Evil franchise. But let’s get one thing out of the way, these are bad movies. Some worse than others, sure, but this is a franchise that has survived remarkably well (15 years!) for never garnering more than an ounce of critical appreciation. What these movies are good for is watching Milla Jovovich kick mountains of ass, some cheap jump scares, and a few hokey moments per movie that let you laugh at the series.

After the long slog that is the first hour, the last 40 minutes or so of The Final Chapter are so amazingly silly, yet almost completely self-serious in execution, that I found myself bursting out in loud laughter at lines like “Ah, the trinity of bitches.” That one comes from the film’s chief villain, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen of Game of Thrones), resurrected after a few movies away to add some much needed ham to this version of the apocalypse. Glen’s delightfully goofy performance is a gift to this fledgling franchise, battling with Alice (Jovovich), who somehow has our support despite utterly lacking in character, over the course of the film.

Between their many rounds of fisticuffs, there are undead dogs, mutated monstrosities, some giant bat dragon thing, and hordes and hordes of zombies. For this final bout, Paul W.S. Anderson has made a film that feels unmercifully true to the franchise. This is still Resident Evil, so that’s mostly a bad thing. But sometimes the action shimmers, despite the manic editing and obvious budget constraints. As for the actual ending, well, it’s dumb. But with so much random silliness surrounding it, the series might have finally found the right way to be dumb. Too little too late, or going out with a bang? Your loyalty to the series will likely decide that. But for what it is, The Final Chapter could be a lot worse. Grade: C+

By Matt Dougherty

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