Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ★★★½

For much of its runtime merely a perfunctory, if admirably lean, action movie, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter reveals additional ambition and resonance in its final act. Anderson begins splicing time itself as his six-film cycle spirals to a close, not only fragmenting action sequences until they are comprised largely of shots that last two or three frames long each, but also exploding chronology as characters look into the past and into the near future, a countdown timer ticking away all the while. This expansion of what might be the planet’s final moments places intuition and memory on equal footing with lived experience, suggesting a poignant, surprisingly historical element to a series grounded in kinectics (the eloquent concluding shot from Pompeii comes to mind in this context). Condemnations of the 1% are made explicit as revelations come to light, but at no point do we forget that at the center of all this Sturm und Drang is Jovovich’s Alice, now painted as an explicit Christ figure, simultaneously incarnated as mother, daughter and holy ghost in the machine. Uneven, and not the best in this consistently imaginative series, but a feat of directorial prowess all the same.


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