Review of “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”

Alice (Milla Jovovich) emerges from the bunker under the White House to a destroyed Washington D. C. Stumbling amongst the ruins, Alice hears a noise and follows it inside a building. There she finds a computer printer spitting out “Hello Alice” over and over again. The hologram of the Red Queen (Ever Gabo Anderson) appears and tells Alice the human race is down to less than 5,000 people after 10 years of the T-virus ravaging the population. In 48 hours the final enclaves of humanity will be overrun by the infected. There is an anti-virus in the Hive back in Raccoon City that if released in the air would kill any person infected with the T-virus, including Alice. Alice doubts the Red Queen’s word but the computer program tells her all will be revealed once she arrives at the Hive. Alice finds a car that runs and begins the nearly 500 mile journey back to Raccoon City but her car runs over a spike strip and crashes. She begins searching for another mode of transportation and sees an Umbrella Corporation motorcycle under an overpass. She assumes it’s a trap and she’s right as her foot is caught and she is hauled upside down and surrounded by Umbrella Corp. troops. After quickly dispatching the soldiers she hops on the motorcycle and is hit with an electric shock knocking her out. She awakens inside a large armored transport carrier and is met by Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen) who she thought she had killed but it actually was a clone. Isaacs is also heading for Raccoon City with an army of the undead behind him. He plans on wiping out any remaining humans in the city. Alice manages to escape and steal another motorcycle and race ahead to Raccoon City. When she arrives she encounters a group of survivors including Claire Redfield (Ali Larter). Alice and the survivors defend Raccoon City from the hordes of undead but see two more groups headed there way. They head for the entrance to the Hive in hopes of releasing the anti-virus and stopping the end of humanity. Meanwhile Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) is trying to keep Alice and her friends from reaching the cure and discovering the truth buried deep within the Hive.

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” is the seventh film in the franchise. Much like the other installments I’ve seen, this one is an incoherent mess filled with choppy action, a meaningless story and logic holes that, if thought about for a few seconds, would cause the entire franchise to collapse into a heap. In other words, the seventh in the “Resident Evil” series is just about as bad as it gets.

One of my consistent complaints about the franchise is the action scenes. The fights are shot with the camera practically between the combatants. This leads to a massive number of edits with individual shots often lasting less than a second. Add to that a camera that seems to be bolted to a paint can shaker and you have a nearly unwatchable and practically nausea-inducing fight scene. At first I thought his might be an effort to hide Milla Jovovich’s lack of fighting skills or bad CGI monsters. Now I believe it is just a preference by director Paul W.S. Anderson. Does he think it looks cool? Is he trying to give his editor a challenge? Is he hoping for some kind of technical award from the Oscars? I’m not sure what the reason is but it makes watching one of these action scenes nearly impossible.

Anderson also wrote the script which probably explains why the story is just as choppy as the action. I suppose with seven films worth of loose ends to tie up it only makes sense that some items get more screen time than others; but Anderson has also thrown in whole new aspects of the story including a twist or two that renders any other plot elements meaningless. Of course the story is the least important aspect of these films. It is after all based on a video game so the visuals, the monsters, the fantasy of it is far more important to get right. The story is merely a scaffold on which to hang the action set pieces. Sadly, as stated earlier, the action is difficult to watch and the story is just as bad.

There are also some major lapses of logic in the movie and the series as a whole. The entirety of human civilization has collapsed. As “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” opens it’s been 10 years since the outbreak of the virus. Despite all this time and the human population being down to 5,000 uninfected people, Alice is still able to randomly find not one but two vehicles that run and still have fuel. Where is this fuel coming from? Even if it somehow managed to be kept from evaporating (perhaps in underground tanks), how does it get pumped into the vehicles? Are there still people manning power stations? Batteries and generators would have long ago run out of charge and fuel but the electricity would need to come from somewhere. Anytime Alice or another character finds a gun, there is also ammo for it. Who’s making the ammo? Does the mysterious person working at the power station then also work in an ammunition plant? I realize I’m once again thinking too much about the minutiae but these things bothered me throughout the film. I suppose this is just a sign of how bad the movie is.

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” is rated R for violence throughout. I could spend hours describing all the ways people and the infected die in this film but here’s a short list: Gasoline explosion, decapitation, shooting, stabbing, eaten alive, chopped up by a massive exhaust fan, Claymore detonation, multiple bomb blasts, clone-on-clone attack and knife through the head to name just a few. Foul language is surprisingly minimal.

While the title “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” implies this is the last film in the series, I believe that is a lie…or a misdirection. Watching this abomination of a movie all the way through to its conclusion will show the viewer that more mayhem is likely on the way if the box office indicates enough interest. I personally would prefer a T-virus infection and mutation into one of the winged critters seen in the film. At least then I could fly away from the next catastrophe in this franchise to hit the big screen.

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” gets one star out of five.

This week another franchise gets something of a reboot and a love story that crosses from one planet to another arrives it your local multiplex. I’ll see at least one of the following:

Rings—

The Space Between Us—

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