It is the series that has kept the talented Milla Jovovich gainfully employed since 2002, but the critics have grown weary of the action franchise as Resident Evil: The Final Chapter continues to screen in the US. Grossing an enormous $994.2m globally across six movies, this 2017 installment is expected to be the final outing, as the title suggests, seeing $78.4m taken to date to surge past their budget figure of $40m.
The ass-kicking heroine still looks in fantastic shape as though she could continue for more, yet the audience is not in love with the video game adaptation like they once were. The Paul W.S. Anderson title gained an early screening in Japan late last year and with the U.K. still to get a look at the epic, the feeling from the critics is lukewarm to say the least.
Same Old, Same Old
Frank Scheck from THR argued that the franchise was never really a revolutionary piece of filmmaking that stands apart from it's peers, reverting to the tricks of the trade we've seen before.
"This installment provides a fitting finale for the series, inasmuch as it’s as mediocre as all the ones preceding it," says Scheck. "As well as mutant monster creatures representing the worst CGI effects that money can buy... The action is practically nonstop from beginning to end, but is never remotely exciting due to the Cuisinart-style editing that reduces it all to an incomprehensible, messy blur. But the relentless mayhem at least has the benefit of providing mercifully little opportunity for the actors to deliver ham-fisted dialogue on the order of, 'What are we going to do?' 'We’re going to kill every last one of them.'”
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky from A.V. Club agrees with the sentiment wholeheartedly, wishing that the series could have given more despite being the best of a bad bunch.
"It’s a shame that the zombie-mowing, monster-bashing post-apocalyptic Resident Evil series should end on a bum note, with one of its weakest entries; whether taken as guilty pleasures or as termite art, these movies are the only good thing to have come out of the early 2000s craze for schlocky video game adaptations."
The Final Final Chapter? Maybe Not
Joe Leydon of Variety outlines that the ending actually hints at future installments, a prospect that detractors like himself cannot fathom.
"A few individual scenes of hand-to-hand and foot-to-face combat are undeniably exciting, and Jovovich once again impresses with her kinetic athleticism," concludes the critic. "Overall, however, the repetitiveness and occasional incoherence of the nonstop action leave the audience exhausted for all the wrong reasons. And it doesn’t help that the special effects — especially during the many, many fiery explosions — often appear at once expensive and unconvincing. Maybe it is time for everyone involved with the franchise to really, truly and absolutely call it a day"