Resident Evil: The Final Chapter review - Jovovich is innocent, the rest must hang

The latest instalment of the zombie franchise is 20 per cent boring plot and 80 per cent even more boring action

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
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Director: Paul W S Anderson
Cert: 15A
Genre: Action
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken, Rola, Lee Joon-Gi, William Levy, Iain Glen
Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins

I honestly don't want to spoil the fun, but in an era of false news I am obliged to tell you that the title of this film almost certainly contains a big fat lie. Few movies since The Empire Strikes Back have ended with so conspicuous a pointer towards future episodes. The Final Chapter, my bloody, disembodied eye! We should be so lucky.

If you haven't seen the early films in this zombie saga then fear not. The Final Chapter (I laugh as I type) is packed with endless exposition that efficiently talks the uninitiated into the same state of confusion as that endured by returning customers. The film comprises 20 per cent boring plot talk and 80 per cent even more boring action.

No great blame should be attached to Milla Jovovich, who, over the course of the sequence, has grown in confidence and physical presence. In the beginning, she was a mere counterpoint to impressively rendered cinematic incarnations of zombies from the (still surprisingly vital) Capcom video game. Now she’s the best thing in the film. She deserves some sort of honorary Oscar for making an effort with dialogue less impressive than that which followed the pulling of Action Man’s string. “Run . . . fast!” the poor woman actually says to an antagonist.

What's it all about? I listened. I took notes. But I still can't tell you. Remnants of the sinister Umbrella Corporation, led by Iain Glenn, continue with their plans to profit from the Earth's annihilation. There's some guff about a talking computer. There are heads in fish tanks. All this exists to facilitate an orgy of action sequences – many shamelessly ripped off from Mad Max – that are rendered almost unintelligible by hysterically fast cutting.

“Sometimes I feel as if I’ve been doing this my whole life,” Milla moans at one point. You and me both. You and me both.

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist