I’m a massive fan of the Resident Evil video game franchise. However, I wouldn’t consider myself a massive fan of the Resident Evil movie franchise. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the films or anything. I just look at them as mindless yet entertaining horror/action movies that awkwardly cram in references to the game series. It seems to me that this is generally the universal opinion but box office sales tell a different story. 6 movies across 15 years have grossed over a billion dollars. The latest installment, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has become the highest earning movie of the entire franchise.
Regardless of quality, fans & casual movie goers alike are flocking to see each new chapter. In China, the film made more money than Captain America: Civil War! How crazy is that? Maybe it’s simply the power of the Resident Evil name. Maybe they offer something a little bit different to the avalanche of Marvel/DC super hero movies. If you think about it, there really isn’t anything else like them and as I said they always manage to be entertaining. Anyway, let’s see how Resident Evil: The Final Chapter fares.
As usual, the story isn’t particularly complicated. However, they have played around with the history of the franchise this time around. At the beginning of the movie, Alice gives a history of the Umbrella Corporation. She says that the T-Virus was created by a Dr. Marcus for his daughter Alicia to prevent her rapid aging. This completely contradicts the story of Resident Evil: Apocalypse as this movie establishes the T-Virus as being created by Dr. Ashford for his daughter Angie. Why did they decide to change this you ask? I have my own theory that I will present a little later in the review. Either way, it was a strange decision.
Sometime after the events of the previous film, Alice miraculously awakens in the now-ruined White House, after being betrayed once again by Wesker. While searching for survivors, the Red Queen appears and tells Alice she must return to the Hive in Raccoon City within 48 hours, where the Umbrella Corporation has developed an airborne antivirus, which will kill every organism infected by the T-virus, before the remainder of humankind is wiped out. When asked why she is betraying her creators, the Red Queen says that she will explain once Alice arrives at The Hive.
Alice then encounters a huge winged monster which leads to the first of many action sequences. I had to question the existence of the beast. Monsters in Resident Evil are usually humanoid in some way or another. They started out as a person and mutated into whatever monstrosity but it always made some sense. This flying dragon monster made no sense to me, how did it even come to exist?
On the way to Raccoon City, Alice is captured by Isaacs, whose clone Alice previously killed, but she escapes his convoy. Alice later arrives in the now-destroyed Raccoon City and is captured by a group of survivors, consisting of a bunch of people you won’t care about and Claire Redfield. The group survive a ridiculously huge attack from Isaacs with some admittedly quite badass looking action sequences.
After that, Alice & her group of forgettable nobodies make their way to hive for the final standoff. Will they succeed? Is there any point? Do you even care?
If you thought previous entries in the franchise were fast paced with few if any moments to breathe, you haven’t seen anything yet! It’s immediately apparent that Resident Evil: The Final Chapter moves at such a quick rate in an attempt to hastily wrap up a story that has become quite a mess. The speed of the film makes certain action sequences more headache inducing than entertaining. For the most part though, the action is impressive visually with a number of cool looking stunts.
Another aspect that the pace affects heavily is the newly introduced characters. None of them are developed in the slightest. It’s hard to remember a group of people in a film that I cared less for, I barely even care about Alice to be honest. When each new addition inevitably dies, you’ll realise that was their entire purpose.
It suddenly being revealed that Umbrella had developed an anti-virus might sound ridiculously convenient. That’s because it obviously is and it’s an airborne anti-virus as well, what luck!
I found it interesting that they changed the origin story of the Red Queen. I found it even more interesting when I found out that she is now played by the real life daughter of Paul W. S. Anderson & Mila Jovovich. It seems to me that they made this change only so their child could be cast in the film. I think this theory is backed up even more so when you witness the revelation about Alice & her own origins.
Other than some bad CGI, I have another huge complaint. Wesker hasn’t been portrayed too terribly up to this point but his conclusion is pathetic at best. I didn’t enjoy seeing one of the actual characters from the games be made to look like such a cowardly tool.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the worst movie in the entire franchise, of this I’m certain. Yes, it is entertaining in the same way that the others were before it. The problem is that it has far too many problems in practically every other department. The characters are worse than ever. The story is predictable yet hard to follow and laughably convenient. The action may be impressive but it just feels so over the top, unrealistic & unnecessary. The biggest crime that it commits is that it does indeed leave it wide open for a future installment, dear lord.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter