A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the sixth -- and possibly (possibly not?) last -- movie in the sci-fi/horror series that began in 2002. The violence is gory and graphic, especially where the main character is concerned. Although Alice (Milla Jovovich) seems to be able to take it, she's constantly beaten and is knocked unconscious twice. There are also monsters and zombies, loud jump-scares, and plenty of blood. Hands and fingers are severed, there's guns and shooting, and viewers see stabbing, explosions, fireballs, car crashes, etc. Children are briefly in peril. Language is infrequent but does include "bitch," "hell," "my God," and a middle-finger gesture. Villains drink whisky in a background way, and female characters are somewhat objectified.
What's the story?
In RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is still surviving, avoiding the nasty zombies and monsters infected with the T-Virus. Then she's contacted by the Red Queen and told that there's a cure for the virus. The problem is that it must be retrieved from the underground stronghold of the Umbrella Corporation -- and it must be used within 48 hours. Alice finds her old cohort Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), who's teamed up with a band of rebels. Alice enlists their help to invade the stronghold, but Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) is leading a zombie army to stop her, and she learns that there's a traitor in her group. Worst of all, even if Alice manages to use the cure, it could actually kill her in the process.
Is it any good?
The sixth movie in this violent sci-fi/horror series feels cursory and carelessly made. The cluttered, clunky footage is nearly unwatchable, and it's difficult to care about the flat, lifeless characters. The title of part six, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, sounds like a promise, but don't be fooled: If this one does well, there will most certainly be more. Writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson clearly doesn't care much anymore; he uses some of the laziest plot devices known to man, starting with the totally unexplained "48 hour" time limit. (If the time limit, and the movie, could have been shorter, that might have helped.)
Jovovich, still looking fierce, throws herself physically into her role, but she endures quite a beating this time around, and -- as tough as she is -- it's hard to watch. The other characters barely appear to have memorized their lines, and they look rather glazed as they recite the inane dialogue. The footage is constantly shaking; it's edited with jackhammer speed and finesse, and the sound design is loud and jumpy. It's like being trapped in a washing machine filled with gray clothes, and occasionally someone bangs on the side. And there are explosions. All of that said, fans of the series will no doubt be happy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Does it feel exciting or brutal? How do the filmmakers accomplish that affect? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?
What's the appeal of zombie movies? How does this one compare to other zombie movies you've seen? Why is it sometimes fun to be scared?
How does this one compare to the other movies in the series? Does it feel like an ending? What does the entire story arc add up to?
Are there strong female role models in this movie?
Would you risk your own life to save the lives of others?
- In theaters: January 27, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: May 16, 2017
- Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Iain Glen
- Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
- Studio: Sony Pictures Releasing
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sequences of violence throughout
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.