Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ★★½

A long running franchise can have its ups and downs. It's particularly unfortunate when the downs turns out to be the last film of the series. "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" is the culmination of six films about the Umbrella Corporation, a more than usually irresponsible evil corporation that spreads a mass virus that turns everybody into zombies - well, everyone except our dwindling group of heroes (and a couple of non-zombie baddies). The last six films have seen Mila Jovavich as Alice, initially an amnesiac who wakes up just above an Umbrella facility as an outbreak starts, who has travelled the globe and beat up all kinds of infected creatures, often in fairly skimpy outfits, and accompanied by characters from the videogames that have inspired the series.

This one sees her all the way back to where everything began as the clock ticks down to the final end of humanity (yes, quite literally the clock, as apparently humanity's demise has a very specific schedule). Along the way Alice assembles a team to break back into Umbrella headquarters to unleash a cure, but of course there are surprise revelations along the way and Umbrella operatives to be fought off.

This one doesn't have the pristine design sense or general aesthetic pleasure of the last two films (Afterlife and Retribution) - whether it's a budget choice (the budget is noticeably 1/3 lower than the last two films) or an attempt to capture a post-apocalyptic vibe, this one looks grittier and takes place largelyat night. There isn't quite the entertaining supporting cast that previous films have offered - only Ian Glenn really gets a chance to chew on scenery as the chief baddie - everybody else is painted in pretty shallowly.

Still, it does close off the series for a fanboy, which I admit I am. And it's a nice chance to say goodbye. So maybe not for the general audience, but for the fans, it works.