Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Sequel to: Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken, Fraser James, Ruby Rose, William Levy
Seen on: 3.10.2022
Alice (Milla Jovovich) is on her own once more. But the Red Queen – the Umbrella Corporation AI – finds her. Instead of killing her, though, the Red Queen gives Alice crucial information: there is an airborne cure for the T-virus, and if Alice is fast enough to get it out of the Hive in what’s left of Raccoon City, she will keep humanity from becoming completely extinct. Even though Alice doesn’t know whether to trust the Red Queen, she has to risk it. But not everybody wants the cure to get out.
I will admit that Resident Evil: The Final Chapter didn’t stand much of a chance, as I’d already checked out of the series (that I wasn’t invested in very deeply to begin with) and only watched it for completionism’s sake. In any case, it did nothing to get me excited about anything.
Look, I know that time limits are a tried and tested way to increase urgency of any given plot, and with it it tension. But to have a countdown to the second of “if you don’t release the anti-virus until this time, humanity is doomed” is ridiculous already, but might still be acceptable. Building your entire plot on it, and then ending the film with “it will probably take years until the anti-virus actually spreads around the globe and we don’t really know how long it takes” renders that particular plot device completely absurd, though. And it is pretty much the perfect summary for the entire series where all parts by themselves are okay, albeit not great, but together they are just not thought through.
Honestly, though, even though that time thing annoyed the hell out of me, I wasn’t nearly as weirded out by it as by the way the series consistently treats clones as non-human. That is just not a view I can go along with. You might as well say that IVF-conceived people are non-human. Or that one identical twin is not as much of a human as the other. It is a deeply insulting way of thinking about humanity, and I am glad I won’t be seeing anymore of it because I won’t be watching any more Resident Evil stuff ever.
“Okay,” you might say, “I am not watching these films for their plots or their philosophical implications. I watch them for the action.” Well, I have got bad news on that front, too. There are a couple of interesting moments – most notably one where Alice fights while hanging from her feet – but other than that, the action is pretty boring, too. Definitely nothing we haven’t seen before. It all feels pretty stale – when you can make out what is actually going on at all, amid shaky cam and darkness.
It’s an uninspired ending to a series that never really worked for me. I probably should have quit it much sooner. But if you thought that the films that came before it are pretty good, then you’ll probably like this one, too. They are consistent, if nothing else.
Summarizing: it’s good it’s over (probably).