While I never got past the first UNDERWORLD entry, I've followed the RESIDENT EVIL series faithfully from the beginning... no matter how crazy, scrambled or outlandish the story got, there was always just enough reason for me to want to see what happened next after each cliffhanger. And I always enjoyed Milla Jovovich as Alice. Without her, I probably would have drifted away.
Complicated story short? RE:TFC cheats by not picking up exactly where the previous entry left off (even though the situation is pretty much the same, Alice is suddenly on her own scoping stuff out again). On the other hand, you get a genuinely helpful recap of what you're supposed to know about the entire series to date--and you'd be lost without it. All of a sudden, we get the final ultimatum. The Red Queen informs Alice that humanity will be forever wiped out in exactly X hours and X minutes unless Alice can obtain and release a convenient anti-virus that just happens to be located in the original Hive. Oh, and pretty much everybody you took for dead was really still alive or was just a clone to begin with. Alice obtains a team, and everybody but the secret saboteur gets booby-trapped to death along the way. There you go.
Anyhow, you've heard all sorts of warnings about this sixth (and supposedly final) entry, and I'm about to add a few more. You're doubtless aware that RE:TFC sets a new standard for frenetic, rapid-fire, incomprehensible editing in the action sequences--and yes, this makes CRANK look like MY DINNER WITH ANDRE. And I love the CRANK films. (I also loved MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, but the comparison ends there.) You get the bad guy who teases Alice with the anti-virus and puts it IN HIS POCKET instead of simply destroying it, which would immediately give him game, set and match. You get the ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK wristwatch countdown timer... you know, the one where the first nineteen or so hours disappear in a flash of movie time but the last ten minutes take half an hour to play out on screen? Hey, you forgave the ridiculously out-of-sync countdowns in everything from GOLDFINGER to INVASION U.S.A., so you don't get to complain about this one. Of course you get the laser trap that encourages its victims to employ on-the-spot gymnastic routines rather than run them through a veg-o-matic in the first place. Alice DOES lose her hand to the trap, but she just slaps a chainsaw over her stump and says "Groovy." Okay, I made that part up. Because you already heard about the outrageous steal from ROBOCOP... but perhaps not the one from LEON/THE PROFESSIONAL. And then there's the 3-D that you absolutely do not need--it's only fun during a few amusing "combat calculation" vignettes.
So... about that 'final chapter' business? Well, the movie's tanking here but it's a hit worldwide, so I can't call it on that basis. I will simply allow that by the time this one fades out, I was okay with ACCEPTING it as the final chapter. It didn't leave me hanging, and Alice was given something resembling closure. So there's that. I don't feel the need to see yet another RESIDENT EVIL movie, and if they send one without Milla Jovovich, then I won't be first in line to see that one if I see it at all.
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