Movie Review: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

The supposed final entry in the hit-and-miss film series very loosely based on the top selling video game franchise, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a 2016 action-“horror” film. Paul W. S. Anderson returns for his fourth outing as director, after being involved in the production of every film in the series, and Milla Jovovich (Alice), Ali Larter (Claire Redfield), Shawn Roberts (Albert Wesker) and Iain Glen (Dr. Isaacs) all return from previous entries, and they are joined by newcomers Ruby Rose and Eoin Macken as Abigail and Doc, respectively, two new survivors against the undead. The plot picks up immediately as the previous film left off… but it also entirely unrelated, with multiple characters not returning and the story not following any previously established rules. It’s a wild ride.

+ there are a few genuinely enjoyable sequences, including returns to some locations seen in previous movies. Because this is (currently?) pegged as the final entry, there are some flashbacks to previous films which I always enjoy. Some good action and some scares made for some good moments — that’s damning praise if I’ve ever written it
+ this may well be the comedy film event of a lifetime. Ridiculously convoluted ways for characters to die (spoiler: if their name is only mentioned once, don’t get attached) and plot turns that not only make no sense, they actively betray earlier films make for a movie you can’t help but laugh at

– the plot is all over the place. The opening scene is basically a huge ret-con of the whole series, and without even mentioning how the previous film ended, the plot here is simply generic and full of unbelievable twists and turns, each of which seem solely so you can call this a “plot” at all. Characters seem to gain abilities we have never seen them use before, or no longer use skills they have shown to be proficient in, solely to suit each individual moment
– I cannot fathom why they did not bring back the characters who were literally standing next to self-insert mary sue character Alice at the end of the previous film. It was all set to be this grand finale, one final stand against the monsters, and here we start with D.C. all but deserted

Should you see this film: Let’s play imagination for a second: imagine your favourite game series, with 7+ entries, and uncountable secondary material, including a wealth of characters, enemies, full storylines or plot points just asking to be expanded upon. Once you’ve done that, imagine that a movie adaption is announced, with a competent director and relatively interesting cast. Now imagine that none of the characters or plot points from the games are included. Now imagine it gets a sequel. Then another. Then three more. And now imagine you are sitting here, watching the sixth entry in a film series which are all entirely unrelated to each other outside of one character, an original character, played by the director’s wife, taking part in events which not only make no sense on their own, but also contradict other stories from the games they are adapted from AND the earlier installments of it’s own film franchise. If you think this description has gone on too long, the joke has worn thin and you really want to be doing something else, then there you go. That is sort of what this movie was like.

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