Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Director: Paul W. S. Anderson (2017) BBFC cert: 15

Brace yourself for a ferocious return to the apocalyptic wonderland of Alice and the Red Queen.

The sixth in this zombie action franchise of variable quality, this demented trip improves on all but the brilliant first Resident Evil, which came out way back in 2002. It follows on directly from 2012’s Resident Evil: Retribution.

As Alice, Milla Jovovich once again teams up with her favourite writer and director, Paul W. S. Anderson. The talented Geordie is also the star’s husband and their daughter Ever Gabo Anderson, plays the scheming Red Queen.

So Alice sets off to the giant underground bunker, the Hive, where her adventures first began. Among the many threats facing Alice, are mutant pterodactyls and an army of rabid zombies.

With a love of the material feeding his down to earth showmanship, Anderson fills the screen with many inventive action sequences, all set to a thunderous soundtrack.

Refusing to worry about what he clearly considers to be silly and inconsequential things, such as plot holes, Anderson powers over them at a frantic pace, dragging us along behind him.

It’s not hard to detect the positive influence of British cult comic 2000AD in the sardonic response to the gleeful showers of ultra-violence.

The principal creatives claim this will be the series finale. However Sigourney Weaver starred in the Alien series at forty eight years old, and this year Kate Beckinsale starred in the latest of her Underworld films at forty three. Jovovich is only forty one, so age is very much on her side.

And with this degree of adrenalin fuelled entertainment, I hope this isn’t the final chapter.

@ChrisHunneysett

Survivor

Director: James McTeigue (2015)

This tedious terrorist thriller is a po-faced celebration of the secret security services trying to masquerade as entertainment.

It has unintentionally ridiculous dialogue, enormous plot-holes, little tension and no humour.

Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) is the new security chief of the American Embassy in London. She’s in charge of the young team who process visa applications to the US.

She spends a huge amount of time running down corridors and may be having a relationship with her boss Sam (Dylan McDermott).

Following a bomb attack on a restaurant, Abbott follows Embassy safety protocol and immediately goes to a pub toilet to check on her hair. Not being British she doesn’t even stop for a drink.

Abbott realises being the only survivor of the blast makes her a suspect.

When a colleague is murdered Abbott goes to the top of the most wanted list and even her own Ambassador (Angela Bassett) wants her taken out.

No-one in the myriad intelligence services thinks to stake out Abbott’s flash apartment.

As Abbott’s colleague Sally, actress Frances de la Tour does well not to look embarrassed at events. James D’Arcy plays Police Inspector Paul Anderson, a stiff-assed Brit.

The film emphasises the extensive use of CCTV in the the UK’s capital but doesn’t pursue the idea.

Meanwhile an even bigger atrocity being planned by a munitions expert known as ‘The Watchmaker’ (Pierce Brosnan).

He is steely-eyed, silver haired and occasionally sports a moustache. Playing a terrorist at large in London recalls Brosnan’s brief role in The Long Good Friday (1980), back when the Irishman appeared in great films.

Danny Ruhlmann’s cinematography casts rich shadows and is the best feature of the movie. It creates a suitably menacing environment not matched by the plotting, pace or performances.

As Survivor is set in December – there are Christmas trees and everything – the decision by the distribution company to release it in June suggests a fear of finding an audience for it.