An improvement over the last few films in the “Resident Evil” series, but still a bit of a mess. After an awkward start that seems to retcon the finale of the previous film, and some of the overall narrative of the franchise, the movie settles into something more straightforward. There’s an overreliance on jump scares. At one point, it seems like there’s one every minute. While the “ticking clock” helps keep things moving quickly, the poorly defined stakes never give any weight to Alice’s mission. Some of the effects look great, like the ruined cityscape, but others are marred by poor CGI. The acting is bland. Characters are either over the top or blank slates that serve no purpose except to add to the body count. Milla Jovovich is the only one really allowed to emote. Most of it is fine, but there’s one aspect of her character that she is unable to convincingly pull-off. The action scenes rarely click. There is just too much flipping around and super-speed enhanced fights to make you feel like you’re not even watching real humans do battle. The ending is satisfying enough, although part of it feels like a bit of a cop out.
** out of *****