Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ★★★★½

"My name is Alice, and this is my story."

Oh, HELL yes! As much as I loved Revelations's deep dive into the finer points of gaming narrative, The Final Chapter feels even more concerned with the structural elements of video gaming, and W.S. Anderson lets them influence his form in increasingly interesting ways. It's got it all- time constraints! Quicksaves! Respawns! Glimpses into the existential horror of existing for a sole, limited purpose! Also pulls the excellent narrative trick of reframing the entire past of the franchise, which had a tendency to be a bit sprawling, as the story of Alice the protagonist becoming Alice the character. Her name is Alice, and this IS her story. The action, while not quite reaching the ludicrous highs of the prior entry's Tokyo hallway fight, is uniformly the strongest the series has had thus far, thanks to the hyperspeed shuffle of Neveldine/Taylor slicemaster (or Axeman, in keeping with the franchise's tendency towards self-reference) Doobie White. Similar to Anderson's own Soldier, this also leans towards the idea of smart versus fast- Anderson, lucky for us, knows that a director needn't be limited to one or the other. A fitting finale for a rollercoaster of a franchise.

P.S. Watched this on Starz's streaming service, which'll occasionally throw in a watermark in the bottom corner, leading me to fits of laughter every time I'd see STAAAAAAAAARZ

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