My name is not Alice.
And so we come to the Final Chapter (allegedly) of the long running Resident Evil franchise. I must confess that the original Resident Evil is one of those rare movies that will make we stop and watch if I happen to notice it while scanning through the cable guide. It’s not a “good” movie. There was never any risk that Resident Evil or any of it’s sequels were going to be nominated for an Oscar since they did away with the “Most Kicking of Ass by a Supermodel” category a few years ago. But it is a fun movie. Unfortunately, the last film of the series really isn’t that much fun.
The movie starts off well, picking up directly after the events of the previous installment. Surprise! Alice aka Milla Jovovich is still alive!
Alice immediate runs into a few monsters and there are some excellent chases and fights with a few jump scares tossed in to keep the audience on their toes. Then the plot shows up to ruin everything. Alice is given a completely nonsensical countdown where she has to get to the original Hive in Raccoon City to claim the Magic McGuffin by the deadline or all of non-Umbrella humanity will be extinguished. If she completes her quest with .000001 milliseconds to spare, humanity will be fine. One iota more and zip! everybody’s dead. And if you think this countdown is arbitrary and ridiculous when you first encounter it, it only makes less sense as you realize that Umbrella’s plan is to send massive armies of the undead against the last human strongholds, armies that would be pretty much impossible to turn around or make stop on a dime. Anyway, Alice is initially reluctant to take up the quest.
But eventually she decides she really has nothing better to do with her day and heads out. The road trip is still fairly good, with Milla having a vintage battle against some motorcycle goons and then discovering yet another fiendish, sadistic Umbrella scheme led by an old friend of ours.
After another daily recommended serving of Milla kicking ass, Alice escapes and rushes ahead. She discovers a small human community living in Raccoon City, which seems like the last place anyone would want to live what with having been nuked and all, but at least you get a lot for your property dollar and the commute to the headquarters of ultimate evil is quite convenient.
We meet the new gang which is made up of more old friends coming back for one last go and a few new people that we’ll enjoy watching die horribly later. Alice marshals their forces against the oncoming army of the undead and we get the cataclysmic battle that should have been the end of the movie. Unfortunately it isn’t.
No, sadly, we have to go on a long, boring, talky slog through the Hive. The whole thing feels like an addendum that got tacked onto another movie when they decided this would be the last one. They try for some call backs and Easter eggs, but none of it is satisfying. And the worst part is that the fights are literally a fight we saw earlier in the movie repeated two more times in slightly different settings. It’s not even that good a fight. Alice has had much more entertaining fights against the exact same opponent in the earlier movies. This is not how action movies are supposed to work. You’re supposed to build to a climax not just keep repeating the same sequence. Just to twist the knife a bit, they set it up so that it looks like the ending will be Alice fighting three big bad foes only to have two of them summarily executed with barely a whimper. Much like the franchise itself.
Maybe. Because despite the fact that they set it all up to be tied up with a bow, they chicken out at the last moment and leave it open to having more sequels. Because of course they do.