- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2017

The live-action homage to Capcom’s popular survival horror gaming franchise concluded earlier this year with a noisy and battle-packed flurry in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, rated R, 106 minutes, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, $45.99).

The sixth and supposedly final film now arrives to the ultra high-definition format to offer director Paul W.S. Anderson’s bleak and muddied look at a post-apocalyptic world overrun by mutated monsters and zombies.

Once again, starring Milla Jovovich as the infected hybrid Alice, the film finds the superheroine looking to finally stop the ultimate plans of the Umbrella Corp., a biotech company that unleashed the near-humanity-ending T-virus upon the planet.

She get help from a computer avatar named the Red Queen (Ever Gabo Anderson), Claire Redfield (played by Ali Larter again and a character that is a stalwart from the game series), and a ragtag group of grizzled, disposable survivors with a “Mad Max” flair.

Gamers will appreciate the group’s eventual return to Raccoon City (the source of the original outbreak) and the Umbrella’s underground research bunker called the Hive as they battle with zombie dogs, a disgusting bipedal mutant called Bloodshot, walk through a deadly laser gate, and confront the evil Albert Wesker.

Jaded viewers will consider “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” simply a cash grab for the director and his investors. However, fans will find a satisfactory conclusion to a film franchise that has existed for over a decade.

Now, for those new to Capcom’s survival horror escapades, and have a penchant for video games, I strongly recommend playing the company’s latest “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” that offers a terrifying story, grotesque creatures and plenty of scares delivered at one’s finger tips.

4K UHD in action: Viewers, in theory, should get the best possible experience available since the film was reportedly shot in 5K, mastered in 4K and ported over to HDR-enhanced (high dynamic range), 2160p resolution.

Well, it’s kind of hard to tell in a movie set with a landscape full of rather bland color choices, overall earthy tones and dimly lit battles that only occasionally impresses with splashes of bloodied creatures and explosions.

I did appreciate scouring the finely detailed rubble of a destroyed Washington, D.C. (down to every smoldering brick); watching a massive wave of zombies attacking the heroes; and admiring the fine detail on Alice’s triple-barreled shotgun (practically reading the engravings on the bullet brass casings).

The energetic action scenes also often stand out, and a motorcycle escape with Alice driving through waves of explosions presented enough clarity and visual pop to practically feel the fiery heat off my television screen.

Best extras: The daunting “Retaliation” mode, found on the Blu-ray disc only, offers a visual commentary track starring Miss Jovovich and her husband of eight years, Mr. Anderson.

Viewers get about 30 minutes of the lovebirds intercut throughout the film as they occasionally takeover the screen, like in a television news bulletin.

The couple starts by ribbing one another, and after a few laughs, get down to the business of discussing the entire film franchise.

They touch on the first “Resident Evil” (released in 2002) with Miss Jovovich fondly remembering playing the original game with her brother and wanting to take the role of Jill Valentine (she actually read with Jason Issacs during the pre-casting).

We learn why Mr. Anderson developed new characters who were not part of the game, and his obsession with presenting strong and competent female characters.

They often discuss all of the films, supplemented with archival clips; and viewers learn production nuggets, such as Miss Jovovich redubbed one the earlier movies after being horrified by her squeaky vocal performance.

Most real moment, from a parental point of view, was watching both proudly talk about their child portraying the Red Queen.

Suffice it to report: I could have used much more of the entertaining pair.

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