Review: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

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Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Written by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken, Ruby Rose

Rating: [1.5/5]

A franchise as special in its awfulness has received plenty of grace where the horrific lack of competent storytelling, writing, and editing can be excused because of what gets left behind. Fun and creative action allow for this mercy, but limits do exist for what can be tolerated and it took until its conclusion in Resident Evil: Final Chapter for this franchise to break through and represent the final straw on the camel’s back. 

After being betrayed by Wesker, Alice (Milla Jovovich) receives information that the Umbrella Corporation has a cure for the T-virus that could end all of the suffering. However, she only has 48 hours to reach the center of the hive and retrieve the cure before the final remaining humans get wiped out. 

It takes plenty for me to hate a Resident Evil film seeing as much has been forgiven, but this final feature really does something special in its awfulness I simply could no longer turn a blind eye to. From beginning to end, this feature does everything with such a distinct lack of quality it’s almost impressive. The plot immediately moves away from the idea of Alice and Wesker working together as humanity’s final assault against the undead monsters and completely flips the script. Now, these films have never truly cared for continuity or shown a larger plan for the series of films to culminate to but the utter disregard for what happened in the previous film brought water to my eyes in its lack of shame. Instead, we receive a plot where the Umbrella Corporation has always had a cure for the T-virus, which never received a mention until now. Something not only incredibly convenient to bring up in the final film, but also completely discredits nearly every villainous motivation in the previous films. 

With this being the conclusion, this feature wants to bring some finality so we spend the first 10 minutes listening to the largest of exposition dumps about information never shared in any preceding film. This simply comes from them not having an interest in picking up where they left off in the last film and just wanting to rewrite everything to tell a stupid plot with absolutely no rhyme or reason in how it operates. Truly shocking stuff, which ultimately proves to be insulting to audience members and to anyone who has made excuses on behalf of these films. This level of terrible writing simply cannot be tolerated but this does not represent the only major failing of the film. 

All of these films employ a level of quick-cut editing because they cannot capture the type of stunts with a more cohesive unit. The other previous films managed to still make these sequences somewhat watchable, but what gets employed in this final chapter will literally give people headaches in how it captures all of these action set pieces with no sense of unity or sense. They certainly had no faith in what they crafted seeing as they did not want audience members to comprehend any of it as it transpired. A level of over-editing that made me look away on occasion so as to not pass out from all of the different cuts. It certainly gives me more of an appreciation for what the other films managed to accomplish with their action but proves to be disturbing this final culmination displayed this all at its worst. 

The less said about the characters the better seeing as dying simply does not exist in this feature to an astounding degree. It parallels a soap opera on how any death can be excused as they can claim the individual was just a clone of an original. Turns out if you kill them again, they can continue to claim the existence of another clone to the film’s content. By erasing this element of finality, it diminishes any sense of purpose of what transpires in the feature to a laughable degree. 

While being an avid defender of this film franchise as a whole, the finale cannot receive any sort of defense. It presents stakes with no reason to them and continually puts Alice through this dreck of nonsense, which does not have any logical coherence. Seriously, Alice has 48 hours to get the cure or the rest of humanity will be wiped out. Really, wiped out by what? An attack by Umbrella, a hoard of zombies, or just because we need to set an arbitrary time limit for Alice to complete all of this? None of it has any weight and it does not have the strong action sequences to make up for it simply leaving this film to be a complete waste. We can all just pretend this film series concluded with Retribution and we’d all be better for it.

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