FILM REVIEWS | Passengers and The Final Chapter of Resident Evil

POTPOURRI REVIEW | Passengers (2016) and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)
Review by Mark David Major

Passengers (2016) stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in an action-thriller about two passengers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. Jim (Pratt) and Aurora (Lawrence) are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, with the lives of thousands of passengers in jeopardy. Passengers is your typical ‘boy stalks girl, girl falls in love with her stalker’ romantic space adventure. The film draws heavily on the audience’s willful suspension of belief; not because of its futuristic setting (the visual effects are actually quite good) but because Lawrence is described as “the perfect woman” and “beautiful.” Like Julia Roberts before her, Lawrence is the type of the woman that other women think men find attractive. That is a lot for some audience members to accept as well as the more troubling ‘serial killer’ implications of the story, i.e. what if Pratt’s character discovered he did not really like Lawrence’s Aurora after all – in fact, he desisted her – and wanted to ‘try’ another passenger? Passengers is not bad per se but it is not great, either. Just me’h. Mark’s Grade: C

In Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017), the human race’s last (no, we really mean it this time) hope against apocalyptic obliteration is super soldier Alice (Milla Jovovich), but she’s been stripped of her psychic powers. She must form alliances and rally survivors in Raccoon City for the climactic battle against the Umbrella Corporation and its ravenous hordes of the undead. What do you expect from a Resident Evil film? Milla Jovovich as Alice wearing a sleeveless shirt, kicking ass, and taking names? Check. An army of (weird) undead creatures? Check. Villains you thought were dead but prove darn near impossible to kill but they eventually are, that is until they come back the next time? Check. Ali Larter as the Robin-like sidekick Claire to Alice’s Batman meaning she’s not really necessary to the story but still fun to have along for the ride? Check. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter delivers the goods of what any Resident Evil/Milla Jovovich fan might reasonably expect. Anybody else will only be confused about what the hell is going on in this film. It is not as good as Extinction (the outstanding third film) or Afterlife (4th) but it is better than Apocalypse (2nd) and Retribution (5th). The first film is kind of its own thing from a different era. Mark’s Grade: B-

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