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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Movie Review)

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Movie Review)
01.29.2017by: Eric Walkuski
2 10

Resident Evil The Final Chapter review Milla Jovovich Ali Larter

PLOT: Alice is (once again) determined to put an end to the evil Umbrella Corporation's attempts to wipe out the last remnants of humanity while also searching for an anti-virus that might destroy the hordes of zombies and creatures once and for all.

REVIEW: You'd think they'd want to bring out the big guns for "The Final Chapter," but no. Somehow, even by RESIDENT EVIL standards, THE FINAL CHAPTER is a fail. It actually brings me no joy to say this. While these movies have never exactly qualified as "good," they've soldiered on admirably for 15 years, frequently changing their looks, always adhering to a particular "guilty pleasure" atmosphere that was often hard to screw up too much. Far from art, but they knew their place in the world. The last film, RETRIBUTION, was the low point, a laughable video game movie in the worst sense; just the pits. Now, against all odds, THE FINAL CHAPTER comes along to usurp its short reign as the worst RESIDENT EVIL.

This is an ugly, incomprehensible mess. Not a single action sequence is shot or edited coherently - and believe me, there are a lot of action sequences. There had better be, because things like character development and dialogue are below substandard here. The world-building in APOCALYPSE and EXTINCTION are positively sublime in comparison. Even poor Alice, the heroine of this silly series, doesn't come across well. She often looks flummoxed and put off by the whole thing. If Milla Jovovich and hubby/director Paul W.S. Anderson wanted to leave Alice with a shred of dignity in her (alleged) final adventure, they have mucked it up completely.

Resident Evil The Final Chapter review Milla Jovovich Ali Larter

What's the plot this time, you ask? Well, it's pretty much the same plot of the other RESIDENT EVIL flicks. Alice is the only survivor of the epic, apocalyptic fight that was seen brewing at the end of RETRIBUTION - a fight the movie decides not to show us - and wanders around the smoldering ruins of D.C. for a bit before getting a tip from usually sinister A.I. The Red Queen (Ever Gabo Anderson) that she needs to head to Raccoon City in order to snag an anti-virus that'll wipe out the zombie plague for good. Along the way, Alice meets another ragtag crew of rough and tumble survivors, mostly made up of characters so forgettable and uninteresting you'll barely react when they inevitably die. Old friend Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) is there, but she and Alice have zero chemistry; it's like they've never met before.

Determined to stop Alice is, once again, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen), who we last saw as a particularly gruesome mutant in the franchise's third film, EXTINCTION. That was a clone, you see, so the "real" Isaacs is the main villain here, and now he's a maniacal religious zealot for some reason. Lurking in Raccoon City's secret base The Hive is Alice's other nemesis, Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), who is relegated to pacing around a lame set and having conversations with the Red Queen, who is secretly plotting against him. Why? Does it matter? The film is wall to wall with exposition but it's all so monotonous you'll be lulled to sleep in no time.

A quick note on Iain Glen. The man does not phone it in. I'll spoil a minor plot point by saying he actually plays duel roles in the film, and hams it up heartily in both. The things his characters have to say and do are utterly ridiculous, and probably embarrassing, but luckily for Anderson and Co. they had a real pro on their hands here, one who wasn't about to give anything less than his all for his paycheck. It's a little thing to hold on to, but if I'm going to give an MVP award to anyone involved with this sad charade, it goes to Glen.

Resident Evil The Final Chapter review Milla Jovovich Ali Larter

In an attempt to get away from the artificial, glossy, green-screeny look of the last two movies, Anderson goes for something that could be called faux-MAD MAX, with grit, grime and dust taking over. Early on the film definitely tries out a FURY ROAD thing - there are motorcycles, fights on top of speeding caravans, etc. - but everything is so dreadfully put together that this film ends up having as much in common with FURY ROAD as it does with HAPPY FEET. We can barely make heads or tails of what's going on most of the time. The fight scenes actually get worse as the movie goes on; no shot seems to last longer than a second, nothing appears to be choreographed. The camera jitters and bounces, making damn sure we can barely tell who is in the frame or what they're doing. It's enough to burn your eyes, fry your brain and make you nostalgic for all the slow-mo Anderson once utilized. I'm so glad I didn't see THE FINAL CHAPTER in 3D.

The sad truth is, I don't think even the most devoted RESIDENT EVIL movie fan will find anything to like or care about here. It's a dismal, disheartening product. Not that this series necessarily deserved a fitting ending, but I suppose it would have been sort of nice if they gave Alice a worthy note to go out on. I won't spoil the conclusion, but it's a complete and utter cop out. How they messed up this bad is anyone's guess, but they did. Shovel some dirt on this rotten corpse... until it inevitably shambles out of the grave once again.

Extra Tidbit: RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER opens in theaters today, January 27th.

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+0
1:38AM on 01/28/2017
As a RE fan, I can say that this review is spot on. Just an awful letdown for a "final chapter". After 4, it was all downhill.
As a RE fan, I can say that this review is spot on. Just an awful letdown for a "final chapter". After 4, it was all downhill.
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