oh-so-original title of “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” the sequel would see Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich coming back one last time, to conclude the baffingly long-running series they started.
Humanity's last stand in D.C. didn't go so well, as the resistance was apparently betrayed by Albert Wesker, something apparently nobody anticipated. Alice is the only survivor again. She soon gets in contact with the Red Queen, who informs her that Umbrella has an airborne anecdote to the T-Virus, hidden within the Hive under the remains of Raccoon City. Alice has twenty-four hours to find the anecdote, before the last remaining humans are wiped out. Along the way, she teams up with Claire Redfield and a new team of wasteland warriors. They take on Umbrella together, led by the suddenly alive Dr. Alexander Issacs, and learn many secrets.
In fact, “The Final Chapter” is weirdly dismissive of so much stuff from the later, better “Resident Evil” films. Even as someone who defiantly does not give a shit about these movies, I'm kind of pissed at how freely the concluding chapter disregards stuff the last film set up. The showdown in D.C. happens totally off-screen. Alice regaining her superpowers was a lie, apparently. The Red Queen's motivations are the exact opposite of what they were last time, as are Wesker's. With the exception of Claire, all the other reoccurring cast members are nowhere in sight, apparently dying off-screen. That presumably includes Becky, Alice's adopted daughter, who is never even fucking mentioned. It's not like Anderson was retconning stuff he didn't approve off from later sequels. He directed the last two movies! Why toss out so much stuff the previous installment took the time to set up?
shaky-cam, some of the fights being rendered impossible to follow. All the action scenes are ridiculously over-edited, with roughly a hundred cuts every time something happens. This is most apparent in a totally gratuitous scene where Alice spins upside down while shooting random thugs. (Humanity is nearing extinction but she has no problem murdering more of it.) The film throws in a random martial arts expert for Alice to fight, though I don't know why as you can't follow what the hell he's doing. Yes, there's plenty of slow-mo and “Matrix”-style bullet time, people leaping from CGI explosions, and heavy metal on the soundtrack. I guess Paul was also feeling nostalgic for how shitty that first “Resident Evil” looked.
With most of the sequels' established cast gone, “The Final Chapter” includes a bunch of new characters. None of them are memorable, save for Ruby Rose's tough and resourceful mechanic. She bluntly exits the film following a few scenes. Claire Redfield is the only notable return and Ali Larter gives a bored performance. The decision to make Ian Glen's Dr. Isaacs the big bad of the series is so strange, though Glenn at least gets to ham it up some. Most of revelations in the plot concerns Alice's past. Turns out her origins are far more convoluted, and interlinked with series' lore, than we ever expected. Not that Milla Jovovich ever feels the need to change her flat acting style for this. Once again utterly unstoppable, despite being de-powered, Milla's Alice is going through the murderous motion. Her delivery of lines are flat, she seems disinterested during the action scenes, and she has no viable screen presence. And she was getting better too!
bat monsters and the very mutated zombie dogs, none of the creatures have that distinct “Resident Evil” style. Especially not a pair of skull-faced muscle monsters that randomly show up at one point. And even though the film is the concluding chapter in the series, bringing Alice's non-existent character arc to something of a close, its final scene is still shockingly open-ended.
It would seem audiences finally had enough of this bullshit. Released in the dumping grounds of January, “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” flopped domestically. The international box office, however, was the highest its ever been, making this technically the most successful of the whole series. It's only this iteration of the “Resident Evil” film series that's over, as a reboot was announced last year. James Wan was once producing, with low-budget genre work-horse Johannes Roberts directing. This hopefully means the new “Resident Evil” will be an actual horror film that draws more from the games. (Paul and Milla, meanwhile, are headed off to ruin a different Capcom video game series.) As for “The Final Chapter,” it's almost impressive how badly “Resident Evil” swings back after it became relatively tolerable over the last three films. It sucks but at least I can say I've seen them all now. Does this mean I have to watch the “Underworld” movies next? [4/10]