Maybe it’s because of some misplaced loyalty I have towards the game series, but every time there’s a new Resident Evil movie, I feel inexplicably drawn to it. I love the games, and I feel that the concepts and lore, if handled properly, could easily make a compelling and interesting film. Hell, at one point zombie maestro George Romero was set to write and direct the first Resident Evil film, instead they gave it to the guy who did 1995’s Mortal Kombat.. The people who chose Paul W.S Anderson over George Romero for a zombie movie need to exiled from the film industry; even Romero’s worst films have substance, all Anderson ended up giving us with his take on the source material was a bunch of “stylistic” Matrix rip-off movies with obsolete CGI and more Milla Jovovich then anybody ever asked for. Still, after the first one let me down completely, I bought a ticket for the second one…and the third one…and the fourth one…and then the fifth one…
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter promises to be the last of the Resident Evil saga; I have my doubts, and I’m sure in a few years Paul W.S Anderson will return to his wife in Resident Evil: A New Beginning, or Resident Evil: Haha, We Were Just Kidding, or Resident Evil: The Revenge: This Time It’s Personal: Electric Boogaloo.
Electric Boogaloo jokes never get old. Anyway, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has series main character Alice (played by Anderson’s wife, Milla Jovovich), embarking on a fetch quest to Raccoon City in order to find a cure and fix the zombie apocalypse. She has 48 hours to complete this task, or we’re told the last remaining human settlements will be wiped out. Why 48 hours? It’s not important enough for the audience to be told. Alice meets up with a ragtag group of survivors, including character from the games Claire Redfield (played by Ali Larter, returning from sitting out of the last Resident Evil flick). There’s not much to say about any of the other characters, they’re all just there to die, really. Game of Thrones actor Iain Glen also returns to the franchise as Dr. Isaacs, this films main protagonist…he died in the third film, but he’s back because…erm, clones!
Set aside all logic of comprehension of gravity and physics, and if you know anything about any of the previous movies go ahead and set all that aside too; this movie does not care about your rules, or your allegiance to series continuity! It blows my mind how much Paul W.S Anderson has forgotten about his own movies. When he starts writing a new Resident Evil film, does he just flat out refuse to go back and watch any of the previous entries? There are blatant, unforgiveable contradictions that spit in the face of anyone who has been keeping up with the series for the past 15 years! How does this happen?
What more is there to say, really? Its action porn with dated computer generated effects, a shitty script, pointless characters only there to serve as zombie fodder, and a lot of convoluted nonsense that contradicts all of the previous movies. To this film’s credit, it’s a hell of a lot more fun that any of the Underworld movies. Underworld has the annoying habit of taking everything way too seriously, whereas the Resident Evil series seems to know its place as a dumb action series with over-the-top action set pieces. It’s knows it’s not Shakespeare, and thankfully it never tries to be. Milla Jovovich always seems like she’s having the time of her life doing these movies, and Kate Beckinsale always seems to have that “Where the fuck is my check?” look on her face.
I saw the movie in 3D, and it really didn’t have anything that makes it worth the extra ticket price. I will say this though; for a movie that primarily takes place in the dark, I was surprised at how much I could see. The fight scenes are ludicrous, and it has a ton of shaky cam, but I could at least see what was happening for the most part; which is more than I can say about so many modern films where the lighting is way too dark and the fight scenes are shot so close that you can’t figure out what’s happening or who has the upper hand.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter does not come off like a definitive ending; nothing is really wrapped up or solved, it’s left ambiguous and open-ended. Again, I doubt this will truly be the “Final Chapter”. Personally, I’m hoping for a reboot; no Alice, no silly Michael Bay explosion-fest bullshit…just a series of movies where semi-normal people have to fend off monsters and zombies in a claustrophobic setting where not everything is as it appears to be. Let the Resident Evil franchise start fresh, and completely disregard the damage Paul W.S Anderon has done these past 15 years.
Oh, who the hell am I kidding? See you in three or four years when I review Resident Evil VII: The Quickening.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) Written and Directed by: Paul W.S Anderson. Starring: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose, Shawn Roberts
4 out of 10