Director: Paul W.S. Anderson Starring: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose Running Time: 106 minutes
Resident Evil 6: The Final Chapter comes to us just weeks after Capcom released the seventh game in the franchise. While the games have returned to their survival horror roots, this instalment in the film series ploughs ahead full-throttle with the all-out action fans have become accustomed to.
The Final Chapter takes place less than a month after the events of Retribution (2012). It sees our badass in resident, Alice, return to Raccoon City at the behest of the Red Queen to take down the Umbrella Corporation once and for all. Well, that is the plan until Dr. Isaacs intercepts her efforts.
If you are not overly familiar with the series or it’s just been awhile since watching the previous films, Alice has you covered. Through flashbacks and narration, we get a quick history of Umbrella, the T-virus and the Red Queen. Although this is a content heavy way to open, it sets us up nicely for the climactic battle with the dubious corporation. We are also rewarded for our patience here as the next scene sees Alice take on a huge, winged creature. The inclusion of this big beasty in the trailer had me worried they had spoiled the Nemesis or Tyrant of the film, so using it in the opening was a good trick.
This film had a few nice treats in store. One was certainly Ruby Rose, who recently starred in XXX: Return of Xander Cage last month. True to form, she serves up a kickass performance as Abilgail, a creative mechanic- even if she may have been underused. Claire Redfield , a character from earlier entries, makes a return with her new crew in Raccoon City. There are enough familiar faces from the franchise present to keep fans happy enough but there were complaints regarding Jill Valentine’s absence here.
I remain a fan of this series, albeit sometimes begrudgingly. There was so much potential through out the six movies and yet many times they fell short of the mark. The first will remain one of my personal favourite movies of all time – it has superb re-watch-ability! This film is the first decent sequel in awhile, as they’ve become a little bloated from somewhere around the third instalment. It definitely helps that The Final Chapter is littered with ‘memberberries’ for the first film. We are back in The Hive, deep beneath Raccoon City. It only makes sense that it all ends where it began. That hallway of lasers makes a very fun return – who doesn’t love that scene in the original? And those super cute dogs from the original also come bounding from the shadows of sequels past.
The constant switch up of power between The Red Queen, who appears to be Alice’s saviour, and Albert Wesker keeps both the characters and the audience on their respective toes. The contracting of story and set to The Hive was a clever choice. The vast wastelands of previous movies was becoming tedious, along with forgettable storylines. Everything is a lot more streamlined here: get to The Hive, save the world. The film does it’s best to wrap things up but it does, of course, leave things a little open at its close. There have been rumblings that a Resident Evil television series is in talks. May this rumour be just that! It’s fair to say that we are all experiencing some zombie fatigue at this point between The Walking Dead, iZombie, every film with a Z title on Netflix and now Santa Clarita Diet. A Resident Evil television series following the same formula as the films wouldn’t do much to diversify the zombie genre.
Overall, this film was enjoyable, action packed and a fun way to spend an evening. Jovovich did an excellent job as always, even if Alice was being played down to be weaker without her powers. Rose was a delight in her role and it was awesome to see the cool mechanic be played by a female too. Iain Glen is just a smidgen too good at being hate-able. It certainly helped keep your interest in the film having a villain you despise. Wesker is too two-dimensional to develop a real hatred for but he does look the part of a bad guy.
The cinematography was fine, nothing tremendously exciting. There were some decent shots in the city and within the Hive but the colour palette was so dreary that it was often difficult to see them. Basically, everything outside was brown and black and inside it was all blue and silver. This colour scheme is getting tiresome as it’s being used more frequently without really considering why or if it suits the mood. The editing was choppy, quick and just too much for even a fast paced action film. It became jarring at times. The Hive did have some impressive sets though, like the entrance way, the giant fan and the hall of lasers. The special effects were nothing too special but they did the job. Between the lighting, filter and editing it was a feat to take in the effects during action sequences. Some of the creatures have interesting designs but if you’re a Walking Dead addict, you’ll have already seen more adventurous representations. Except for that dragon.
Resident Evil 6 has a compelling story and that is what I found the most engaging, over the sets, direction or some cringey but necessary dialogue. There are a few twists and turns throughout, some better hid than others. If you know this series, you know what to expect. It is not the strongest in the series but not the weakest either. That is, doubtfully, the sentence you want your franchise to close out on but as we know with all ‘final’ films it may not be the last after all.(2.5 / 5)