Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ★★

It’s surprising to realise the Resident Evil movies have produced six instalments over 14 years, and somehow managed to avoid turning into a straight-to-video franchise. The movies have made an astonishing $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office since 2002, and last year’s conclusion hardly demonstrated audience fatigue with the franchise. It grossed a record $312m towards that figure alone. And unlike the Underworld movies, which are on a similar plane of quality, Resident Evil hasn’t done a random “prequel” with a new cast, or faced very many obstacles that weren’t of its own creation. What I’m saying is, I respect what these movies have achieved, although I can’t help thinking it’s a sad indictment of what teenagers are happy to pay money to see nowadays.

Paul W.S Anderson (hereafter PWSA) returns for the fourth time to the franchise he created as writer-producer-director (having skipped the first two sequels), for what promises to be the “final chapter”. I’m naturally wary of such claims, in the wake of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), and the Saw franchise being revived later this year, despite Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010) appearing to wrap up the story. Without spoiling things, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter does appear to end the story, but the final moments leave the door worryingly open for some form of continuation. I hear that Capcom are instead looking to reboot the series, doing something more faithful to the video games Paul W.S Anderson almost immediately strayed from.

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