This one picks up where the last one left off, and again, hits the ground running with some action. As I mentioned in my previous review, this is part two of the "Umbrella Trilogy", which pretty much feels like one long climax complete with good fight choreography, action and visuals along with a pretty sweet soundtrack. In the right frame of mind, these can be fun. But the fairly bad acting and sometimes overacting, basic ongoing plot point of going after Umbrella, and many other reasons you need to throw your brain out the window to enjoy it, it's still not the best thing out there.
I'm gonna try to keep this spoiler free, but when we last left our heroes, Alice (Milla Jovovich), Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) (and a couple of other big spoilish names I'm iffy about mentioning), they were on board an Umbrella Corporation freighter. They are violently attacked by a bunch of V-22 Ospreys, led by a brainwashed Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory). During the attack, Alice is captured, and we are randomly thrown into her waking up, living an average suburban lifestyle with her husband, Todd (Oded Fehr), who we otherwise know as Carlos, and daughter, Becky (Aryana Engineer). We then see a fairly typical zombie outbreak occur, where Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) tries to help out to little avail. We also soon learn that this is not the real Alice.
The real Alice, having been captured, is interrogated by Jill, but escapes during a power failure, only to find herself in her own simulation of a zombie outbreak in Shibuya Square, Tokyo. Here, Alice runs into one of Albert Wesker's (Shawn Roberts) best agents, Ada Wong (Bingbing Li), and Wesker himself appears on a screen, thought to be dead, explaining that the Red Queen has now taken over Umbrella. The main facility is now in Kamchatka, Russia, located underwater. The plan is to have Alica and Ada rendevouz with a rescue team consisting of Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb), Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), and Luther West (Boris Kodjoe) and go take care of business. The thing is, do we dare trust that Wesker is trying to help the cause?
Of the 'Resident Evil' movies, I only actually caught three of them in theaters; 'Resident Evil', 'Afterlife', and then this. Between 'Afterlife' and this, I pretty much just stopped. In fact, if I'm being perfectly honest, I still haven't actually seen 'The Final Chapter'. So it may be unfair of me to claim these final three as the balls-to-the-wall three-film climax when I don't know anything about the last one yet. Well, except one thing - it's very easy to assume, considering it comes after these last couple, and the fact that it's the final film of the franchise. I see this one pretty much on the same level as I saw 'Afterlife'. The difference being that this is even a little more convoluted in its delivery of awesome eye candy, and plot that's a bit hard to make sense of.
It occurs to me with this one that the theme of reaching that final boss keeps happening, but keeps having to go further. In fairness, that's what video games do. But also, in fairness to the fans, all of the big-wig creations in those games, though often seen, do seem to take a bit of a back seat through this series. Once again, they look pretty damn cool, but I can't help but feel they are severely underused. I furthermore don't know how the hell one is supposed to suddenly be able to trust Wesker, considering he's been the source of so much of Alice's anguish through all of these movies up until this point. Even to look at him, you're just like "VILLAIN!"
I think the one thing this movie has going for it above the others is that it delves quite a bit into Alice's apparent past, which of course includes her daughter, Becky, who does come back around to play a sort of Newt (from 'Aliens') character while Alice is the very clear Ripley (although I might suggest Ripley is more bad ass). Much like the previous film, it's one in the series I sincerely don't care for much. All style, very little substance, and when it tries to have heart, it's actually kind of unsuccessful. There's something about Alice's past that feels too little too late, but perhaps that's just me. This isn't something I hate, but it's definitely a weak point in the series (which says quite a bit). That said, I'm actually kind of looking forward to how this all ends...