The argument of the villain of this sixth and final film of the survival horror series, Resident Evil, sounds ominously like a ‘final solution’ proposal to end all problems. Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen), the man now in charge of the ubiquitous ‘Umbrella Corporation’ that controls earth, or what remains of it, says that the ever increasing population of our planet has made demands on the environment, on social structures, on nations, that have exhausted its resources. It is time now for a mass extinction, just like it happened in the Bible, with the coming of the flood. Except this time, the apocalypse will be man made, and executed with a deadly ‘T-virus’ that kills all but the chosen few.
It is an exhausting film that runs exactly like the video game program on which it is based. There is no attempt to give it a cinematic narrative by including interesting characters, or write in a few witty conversations. All we get is a brief background introduction that summarizes the story of the earlier editions, and gives us a short context synopsis for this installment. Then we are off in a jiffy with the heroine, Alice (Milla Jovovich), who is battling the sinister ‘Umbrella Corporation’ single handedly, searching for an elusive airborne antivirus that will negate the effects of the ’T- virus’. Naturally, this panacea to the infection, turns out to be in the possession of the great re-invented fascist, Dr. Isaacs. Unfortunately, there is more than one Dr. Isaacs. So first we meet his clone, a character more like an SS Commander, than the Führer himself. He controls armored cars that are perpetually followed by thousands of the ‘undead’, Zombies who eat all living things.
It has to be pointed out that Korean film makers have left Hollywood way behind in the Zombie business. Train to Busan, for example, shames every American film in the presentation of pure, cinematically enhanced horror, by evocatively describing the behavior and ‘personalities’ of zombies. There is a scene in this Korean cult movie, which shows thousands of the ‘undead’ running behind a train engine, trying to catch humans, balanced precariously on it. Similar scenes in Resident Evil, with armored cars being chased, seem to be an exact copy. This is extraordinary. Even in the production of ‘B’ grade horror scenarios, Hollywood is being undermined by the Koreans, never mind in the other exploitation genres like slasher movies and violent crime thrillers, where their production values now look infinitely superior. The votaries of ‘America First’ had better upgrade Hollywood, and quickly.
At the moment, franchises like Resident Evil are running on brand value alone. There are no performances to speak of in the films, the writing of dialogue is inane, and there is a complete absence of imagination and creativity in the designing of visuals. The Final Chapter is an unwatchable film, even for diehard fans of the genre, and yet, the producers are still in a position to pass it off as an entertainment product and collect revenue from markets across the world. This makes no business sense. The only existing asset of the film is the star value of Milla Jovovich, who, to be honest, is as svelte and athletic as ever.