Watching Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is like reading a terrible final book in a long running series where the author just has no idea how to end things. Paul WS Anderson’s long running film dedication to his wife Milla Jovovich is the worst thing to hit the Resident Evil franchise since Resident Evil Gaiden on the GameBoy Color… Actually, I take that back. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is so far removed from the Resident Evil franchise that it makes Resident Evil 7 look like a proper mainline title by comparison. This film strips just about everything related to the game series and replaces it with muzzle flash lighting, the worst shaky-cam action scenes and a script that screams “I have no idea how to end this!”.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter opens with a bit of backstory about Dr James Marcus, one of the original founders of Umbrella and how he created the T-Virus to cure his daughter’s premature aging disease. Seeing the virus as a more practical weapon, Marcus is betrayed by Dr Isaacs and he adopts Alicia Marcus as she still has ruling control over Umbrella following her father’s death.
From here we cut to 3 weeks after the ending of Resident Evil: Retribution with Alice emerging from a bunker in the now destroyed White House and makes her way out of Washington. As she heads out, Alice stumbles into a shelter where she is contacted by The Red Queen, the Umbrella’s main AI interface and controlling computer of the company. The Red Queen tasks Alice to head to Raccoon City and retrieve the antidote for the T-Virus from The Hive or else the last remaining uninfected humans on the planet will die out in 48 hours. So Alice plays along and makes her way back toward Raccoon City.
Along the way, Alice is caught by chance by Dr Isaacs, who reveals that the previous version of himself that had fought Alice and mutated into a Tyrant in Resident Evil: Extinction was actually a clone. This version of Dr Isaacs is more of a Religious cult leader who thinks that the T-Virus was a great way for Umbrella to stop the ongoing destruction of the planet and rebuild things under Umbrella’s ideals. Fight scenes follow and Alice ends up escaping.
Upon arriving at Raccoon City, Alice finds a tower that has a small settlement of uninfected humans on it. Once she is able to get into the settlement, she is reunited with Claire Redfield and tell her of the anti-virus and her plan to get into The Hive. Claire is reluctant to help since she knows that unleashing the anti-virus would possibly kill Alice who is still genetically bonded with the virus. Dr Isaacs arrives with a hoard of zombies following his custom tanks and begins a siege on the tower to take Alice out before she can get to The Hive. Big battle with a lot of zombies happen, Alice does things, the group survives and heads out to get to the entrance to The Hive while being chased by Cerberus Dogs.
Once inside The Hive, Ruby Rose dies (LOL!) and the group ends up separated. Alice fights a huge monster in a lab before meeting up with Claire’s boyfriend who ends up being an Umbrella inside man. Wesker, who has been ordering The Red Queen to up security levels even though she has been helping the group in secret, decides it’s time to open the cryogenic coffin of Dr Isaacs in order to get Alice to submit once and for all. The enhanced Dr Isaacs monologues about clones, planning to wipe out the world with the T-Virus, and reveals that Alice is the clone of Alicia Marcus, who also was unfrozen with Dr Isaacs. Alicia Marcus explains how the Alice clone is the woman she could not be and The Red Queen was the child she was. More BS about idealism and fixing the world from Dr Isaacs before he and Alice fight their way back through some of the places in The Hive, including the laser barrier hallway in a nice callback to the first movie.
Alice and Isaacs make their way outside to avoid the explosion that was caused by bombs Alice planted in the cryogenic farm of Umbrella chosen which kills Alicia Marcus in the process. Isaacs is killed off by his Religious fanatic clone, who in turn is killed by zombies. Alice lets the air born anti-virus loose to save herself before the clock strikes zero and collapses. Claire is able to wake Alice up and presents her with a small hologram disc from The Red Queen who explains that the anti-virus only removed the T-Virus from Alice, leaving her human and then uploads the memories of Alicia Marcus to complete Alice’s life.
The movie ends with Alice making her way out of Raccoon City stating that it will take the anti-virus several years to spread across the whole world, leaving her job unfinished as several flying monsters chase her.
- Milla Jovovich as Alice – I think everyone knows about the biggest Mary Sue character in existence: Alice. While this is the 6th time that Milla has played this character and nothing has changed. Alice is the omipresent god of the Resident Evil movie franchise; she can do no wrong, has all the action scenes and is the central focus and attention of every other character in the film. When she is not on screen, all the other characters actually stand around asking where she is and what she is doing. It’s sickening!
- Ali Larter as Claire Redfield – The leader of one of the last uninfected human settlements and Alice’s sidekick. Just as useless as she was in the last time we saw her. Slight sexual tension between her and Alice for the Tumblr crowd. Pretty much only here to allow them to use the Resident Evil name in the title. She does however spend a lot of time trying to convince Alice not to release the antidote since it could possibly kill Alice in the process. Oh, and Ali needs to find a top that fits. I know it’s the Apocalypse but we don’t need no boob gap with every shirt she wears.
- Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker – The once scary and threatening Wesker gets reduced to a sub-villain in the movie. He spends most of this time arguing with the Red Queen and then get’s punked out by Dr. Isaacs near the end of the film. Practically pointless.
- Ruby Rose as Abigail – Ok, I’ll be honest. I’m no fan of Ruby Rose. She’s a ultra political feminist lesbian with a god complex. The only reason I’m mentioning her on here is because she has a great death in the movie via a 5 bladed fan that makes me laugh my ass off when I think about it. Other then that, she’s meant to be the mechanical builder of the last uninfected human settlement. She doesn’t last once the group enters The Hive.
- Iain Glen as Dr. Alexander Isaacs – You need to realize that when talking about this character we have 2 different versions… Why? Because CLONES!! One of them a religious nutjob that is hunting down Alice to help end the world and make it renewed in Umbrella’s image; and the original version who was actually frozen deep in The Hive and is revived with some Dead or Alive fight prediction technology in his head. The Religious version is amusing and threatening to the survival of the last human settlement, the other is just a cartoony movie villain. Both are played really well but just don’t feel like the grand showdown we should have had to end this franchise.
- Ever Gabo Anderson as Alicia Marks/Red Queen – It was kinda nice seeing the child of Paul & Milla playing the latest rendition of the Red Queen. She was able to keep the stone cold look down throughout the whole movie, no doubt taking lessons from her non-expressive mother. However I can’t fault the kid for hitting every mark in the film. Her character was probably the best of playing both sides in the story and easy to write for. Hopefully the kid gets a nice low end Hollywood future.
Now there were more characters in this movie, but most of them were either bland and generic or some sort of stereotype that it’s not worth even talking about them as individuals since they all blend into this mass of “who gives a shit”. That’s a big problem with the movie as a whole. Outside of Alice, Claire, Doctor Isaacs and Red Queen; the characters here are pointless. Even Wesker, a major Resident Evil badass, is reduced to a very minimal sub-villain role.
To be honest with you, there’s not much here that worked. If you view this film as the final step for the Alice character and her fight against the Umbrella Corporation, then yeah there’s a small film to be watched here. With Alice being the all powerful, can do no wrong character that she is made out to be, her fight against Dr Isaacs is extremely well documented. Some of the visuals of a ruined Washington and roads leading back to Raccoon City are extremely well done. Seeing a hoard of a million plus zombies chasing down a couple of wicked looking tanks makes for one of the best visuals involving zombies that I’ve ever seen put to film and really gives the scope of how much of humanity has been wiped out by this point in the series.
There are also a couple of hand to hand fight scenes that, while relying too much on Wire-fu, are creative and fun to watch. Not to mention that the nighttime invasion defense scene with the last human settlement taking on that hoard of zombies has some creative uses of fire that really light up scenes well and gave me a small giggle. Outside of these few small moments of things that worked, it’s maybe 10% of the overall movie. Oh! And as I already mentioned, I loved the way Ruby Rose died in this one.
What Didn’t Work?
Oh god, where to begin? Can I say “Start at the opening scene and finish with the closing credits” and move on? Nope? Damn it…
I’ll get this bit out of the way as it’s something that everyone pretty much knows by now. This is not a Resident Evil film, just like 4 out of the 5 the preceded it. The first movie was as close as we got to something that was faithful to the games. So that’s that. As I stated in the beginning, you could tell that this movie was something that was put together without any real thought. When we left the group in the last movie, there looked to be this grand scale battle with both Redfields, Ada Wong, Wesker, Claire and Alice on one side, and the whole zombie/monster group on the other… But do we get that epic battle? NO! We get the aftermath of the battle.
Speaking of battle, man this movie had some of the worst shaky-cam in movie history. The camera moved so much that it almost made me and my friend sick multiple times. Add this in with sound effects that were boosted way too loud at all times it just made for a very annoying experience to sit through. Another thing that annoyed me with some of the later battles in The Hive was that things are so dark that we can’t see anything that is going on; couple this with muzzle flashes from the guns almost blinding us while watching and it seems to me that this was done on purpose to hide either terrible costume design or really bad CGI. I’m not too sure which it is, but to go to that extent to hide either option is just bad directing.
To see proper Resident Evil characters Claire and Wesker relegated to sidekick status once again really pissed me off, especially Wesker. You see, there was this building rivalry between Alice and Wesker that was very much like the one we see between Chris Redfield and Wesker in the games, and the movies built on this feud with each new installment. Yet what do we get in the end? Alice facing off with a tech boosted Dr Isaacs which reminds me of that horrible fight between Donovan & Hayate in D.O.A. right down to the semi weird motion blur predictions then counterfight afterwards. It’s like watching someone build a feud between John Cena and Roman Reigns only to replace it with Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn at the climax in WWE. It makes no sense.
Then we have the ultimate insult… CLONES! FUCKING CLONES!! Dr Isaacs is a clone, Alice is a clone, the Red Queen is an AI clone, it’s clones everywhere! Did these people learn nothing from the last Resident Evil movie? Just having everyone be clones does not excuse anything! It just makes things confusing and makes death seem almost pointless… Or as pointless as it can be in a world where the dead become flesh eating zombies or giant mutants. I have yet to see anything done in any medium where clones are involved that did not end up looking like complete shit!
To be honest, I was happy that I got free tickets for me and my friend to go see this. We’re both big horror gamers and love the Resident Evil series and give the movies a chance to shine as their own storytelling medium. However when the movie was over, we just looked at each other and said “that was shit” and instantly began pointing out all the plot holes, character issues, filmography problems and ill fitting shirts for the next 10 minutes as the credits roll. Hell, for a movie that has “The Final Chapter” as it’s subtitle, they left the fucking thing wide open to keep going for at least one more movie! If Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is anything to go by, then I hope we don’t get Resident Evil: The Next Generation or whatever. The world doesn’t need it, just like we fans did not need this terrible excuse for a final movie. Leaving the film series on an unanswered cliffhanger was a better idea than trying to close things off once and for all.
If you haven’t seen this in the cinemas already, then I advise not wasting your money. When it comes out on DVD/Bluray, don’t waste your money buying it. If you can get it for a $2 rental online or with your Netflix or whatever subscription membership you have, then give it a watch. It’s not worth wasting money on no matter how you do it. I know that this combined with my Resident Evil 7 review makes it look like I’m just some whiny fanboy, but this is about as honest opinion as you’re going to get on both subjects. Both of them, to me, were wastes of time and would be a waste of money if I didn’t get access to both for free. I got lucky, now I’m trying to save you from disappointment. I might not “get it” according to most, but eventually once the hype has died down, I’m proven right in the end.
Avoid like a T-Virus plague
This is not a film for fans of Resident Evil, hell it’s hard to say that it’s a movie for the fans of the Resident Evil movies. This movie is just nothing more than Paul Anderson’s excuse to give his wife and daughter some screen time while putting a cap on one of the worst adaptations of a video game franchise in recent history. It’s a shame too since Resident Evil the game series is practically designed for the big screen, but changing all the popular characters for a Mary Sue character just left people with a bad taste in their mouths.