author: ethan butterfield | a&c writer
A surprising last entry in the franchise.
You never expect the sixth movie in a franchise to be anywhere near the level of decent. Sure, there are certainly good sixth films, like Return of the Jedi for example. That, however, was part of an epic space opera that continues to stand the test of time. Resident Evil 6, on the other hand, has zombies getting kicked in the face… need I go on?
I’ll say this much about it, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter may be just another generic action flick, but that kind of works in its favour. This is a film that does what it does best: kill zombies, makes explosions, and… jump scares? Indeed, dear readers, maybe I didn’t pay close enough attention to the last five films, but jump scares in The Final Chapter feel much more potent than they did in the previous installments. I swear, it was like every ten minutes something was popping out; it didn’t help that it was in 3D, either. I’m not knocking it, though, because a Resident Evil film that at least tries to be scary is better than one that just blissfully ignores the entire foundation of which the franchise was built on.
What about the plot, though? Well, in a shocking turn of events, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has a plot that is weirdly intriguing, but not so much so that it can’t be campy every once in a while. Now this isn’t to say that there’s a drastic tone shift. However, I will say that the plot feels a lot more focused this time around, as though after six movies, the writer finally figured out what the formula for a good script was. And even if that were the case, it’s done to a decent enough degree that I didn’t care about any of plot holes throughout, because I wanted to see what happened next.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news, though. The characterization is really kind of a one-sided affair. Mila Jovovich’s Alice is the only one with any real payoff at the end of the film. But I would’ve liked to have seen Ali Larter’s Claire Redfield get some sort of big sendoff or something along those lines. In fact, there’s a line that Alice mutters in film when she responds to how she knew who the traitor was amongst the group, saying, “because you were the only one who didn’t die.” This line could sum up the whole series if you paraphrase a bit here and there. Why are you the villain? “’Cause you didn’t die.” Why are you important? “’Cause you didn’t die.” So on and so forth.
All in all, this is one of those action flicks that’ll go down in history as a “huh, that wasn’t actually half-bad” conclusion to the franchise. I might be speaking too soon in actuality, now that Saw is getting an eightieth film, despite their last one being called The Final Chapter. Sky’s the limit for films I suppose. As a final verdict, I’ll give Resident Evil 6 a jaw-dropping six out of ten, pretty good, take it or leave it.