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"Resident Evil" The Good, the Bad and the End of Evil:
For those of you who have never watched a single movie in the franchise, you'll be mistaken to think that you'll be left dazed and confused throughout the whole final chapter. Quite the contrary, the movie opens with a neat little narrative by the main character, Alice, which will more or less sum up the past movies for the uninitiated.
Now that you're armed with the basic knowledge of what has been happening for the past 15 years - the first movie was released in 2002 - you're ready to enjoy the ride.
Milla Jovovich reprises her role as Alice. There's a reason why she's the leading lady of the franchise and has been in all six instalments, she plays the character effortlessly. Alice might not display a wide range of emotions, but what she does display, Jovovich pulls it off, pulling you in into her world of pain and despair.
Fans of Ali Larter would be happy to see her back as Claire Redfield. She might not get as much screen time as Alice but even with the tight window, Claire had ample time to show off her badassery.
There are several other familiar faces in this movie, such as Iain Glen and Shawn Roberts. Then there are new faces including Ruby Rose, who is definitely not a miscast for her role as Abigail, Eoin Macken as Redfield's love interest Doc, and South Korean actor (hey, nowadays you need at least one Chinese or South Korean star in your movie or it ain't a blockbuster) Lee Joon-gi, whose appearance is unfortunately more gratuitous than necessary to the plot.
The movie flows from one act to the next easily. Fast-paced it may be, but you won't be lost and will be able to follow the storyline easily enough. It's another "Alice versus the zombies" movie, but that is the premise that has kept it going over the years. There's no shortage of action as the movie is basically a zombie-filled obstacle course for Alice, as she races against time to return to the Hive to save humanity. One of the highlights of her trial against the undead is when she realises the massive horde of zombies running behind her and she will have to keep running to avoid being turned into one of them. The scene imbeds in audiences the gravity of the situation that Alice is in.
The visual effects are good enough. Not the best but not the worst either. The sound effects, however, can get a little jarring at parts. Usage of sound can be crucial in building up the tensions but overuse them and the audiences will only be too tense to even enjoy the scene.
While this has been confirmed as the final instalment of the movie franchise, it will come as no surprise if a final "final" instalment comes along. Barring Hollywood's love for keeping cash cow franchises alive even long after they're all milked out of proper ideas, the ending also leaves the door open, it has a hint of possibility for future expansion, a safety net lest the creators wish to continue the franchise.
However, if the franchise were to truly end here, then this movie is the pretty red ribbon that ties everything neatly together. Serving its purpose as the final chapter, it does not disappoint. It has just the perfect balance of wrapping things up nicely and leaving a little gap in the door, just to keep audiences forever enthralled by the "Resident Evil" franchise. Trivia:
• Milla Jovovich's daughter Ever Gabo Anderson makes her movie debut as the Red Queen.
• Li Bingbing was not able to reprise her role as Ada Wong due to conflicting schedules.
• Fans who play the game would recognise the clothes Ali Larter's character Claire Redfield wears; the clothes are worn by Redfield in the game "Resident Evil: Revelations 2".Cinema Online, 18 January 2017