RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER
On the set of what we’re told is the last Resident Evil movie, with our good friends Dickie Davies, Chinny Reckon and Tutankhamun.
AS THE NAME suggests, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter marks the conclusion of the zombie action franchise. “We’re taking the audience back, like a Möbius strip, to the beginning,” writer/director/producer Paul WS Anderson tells Empire on the South African set. “There’s a whole bunch of secrets, that we’ve had in mind for a long time now, that pay off in this movie. I want it to end on a high.”
Going back means a return to Raccoon City, site of the outbreak five films ago in 2002’s original Resident Evil (loosely adapted from the video games). Early-days sets such as The Hive — the lab complex of the evil Umbrella Corporation — have been reconstructed, but for tonight, we’re in a wind-blasted quarry in the hills outside Cape Town, where Alice (Milla Jovovich, back for the sixth time) and her band of survivors are being attacked by slavering hounds. Those will be added digitally later, but the wrecked street the cast are running-and-gunning down is viscerally real. “I felt with the last one [2012’s Resident Evil:
Retribution] we went very hi-tech and it was all very clean and stylish,” explains Anderson. “This one is really a reaction against that: I wanted to make it super-gritty, which meant a more location-driven picture. It gives this movie a reality that some of the others have lacked.”
“It’s a fun set,” laughs a breathless Jovovich between takes. “It’s going to get even funner tomorrow when we’re in that freezing lake over there.” She gestures towards an ominously dark and filthy-looking lagoon and shudders. Real locations require rather more dedication than a comparatively warm and comfortable studio.
She’ll miss it though, right? “Of course,” she beams. “I never thought we’d be making the sixth movie, 14 years later. I never thought we’d be making a second! I hate to say goodbye to Alice.”
“There are still some unanswered questions,” Anderson winks. And when an established movie franchise places a “Final” in one of its titles, you can often rely on it being nothing of the kind…
above: Milla Jovovich (centre) preps a scene with stunt actor Caprice Masinga (standing on the roof) and the crew; Jovovich with fellow survivors Ali Larter and franchise newbie Ruby Rose; Jovovich’s Alice, still kicking ass six films later; Exit pursued by zombie hordes.