Friday, January 27, 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter review

By Nico Beland
Movie Review: ** ½ out of 4
Milla Jovovich is back to take down Umbrella in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

            After fifteen years of zombie carnage, the financially successful Resident Evil film franchise, based on the popular Capcom video game series, finally comes to an end in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the sixth installment of the long-running franchise. Director, Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Alien VS Predator, Death Race) returns along with the badass babe herself, Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Zoolander) as Umbrella experiment turned hero, Alice.
            I’m not a purist on the original Resident Evil games, obviously, I’ve played them from time to time in my life. What I do know is the movies skipped over the horror tone of the games and went for a more action-oriented tone, kind of like what James Cameron did with Aliens, except…not.
            Not gonna lie, I was sort of a fan of these movies when I was younger in my middle and high school years. Despite the main character being completely made up for the movies and lacking the horror tone of its source material, they at least pay homage to the games by including iconic characters like Jill Valentine and the Redfields, and it has some creative zombie designs, impressive stunt work, and a pretty awesome female lead (Wouldn’t be surprised if Selene from Underworld was inspired by Alice).
            But then you grow up and realize that maybe these films weren’t that good, a lot of the time the movies rehash gimmicks from other installments, poorly developed side characters, and confusing plot elements. With that said, the last time I watched these movies (around the time of Resident Evil: Retribution’s release in 2012) I developed a new appreciation for the franchise as being so bad it’s funny.
            All the action sequences are ridiculous, the scares are cheap, and they all have actors not trying, these are the kinds of films you watch, smoke a little pot, and have a few drinks. I gained a new appreciation for the movies because of how enjoyably bad they are.
            Now we’re at the end of the franchise, of course since I made it this far with the franchise, I might as well finish what I started. And I came out very surprised, The Final Chapter was actually close to being decent, I still wouldn’t consider it a good movie but it explored more details about what caused the zombie apocalypse and the history of the Umbrella Corporation, nevertheless it’s a thrill ride of delightful crap.
            Set three weeks after the events of Retribution, humanity is on its last legs after Alice and her comrades were betrayed by the power hungry, Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts-Emily of New Moon, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Edge of Darkness) of the Umbrella Corporation, the corporation responsible for unleashing the T-Virus on the world several years ago, and turning almost everyone into flesh eating zombies. As the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s last stand, Alice returns to where the apocalypse begun, the now-destroyed, Raccoon City where Umbrella is gathering forces to make a final strike on the remaining humans.
            Alice reunites with old friends and makes an unexpected partnership with Umbrella’s artificial intelligence, The Red Queen, who informs her that Umbrella contains the An-T-Virus, which could end the apocalypse for good. It becomes a race against time and survival as Alice and her crew infiltrate Umbrella, obtain the An-T-Virus, and of course get her revenge on the one responsible for destroying humanity, Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen-Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Iron Lady, Kick-Ass 2).
            The film also stars Ali Larter (Varsity Blues, Final Destination 1 and 2, Heroes) as Claire Redfield, Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black, XXX: Return of Xander Cage, John Wick: Chapter 2) as Abigail, Eoin Macken (Fair City, Merlin, The Night Shift) as Doc, William Levy (The Single Mom’s Club, Single Ladies, La Tempestad) as Christian, Lee Joon-gi (The Hotel Venus, Virgin Snow, Never Said Goodbye) as Lee, fashion model, Rola as Cobalt, Ever Gabo Anderson as The Red Queen, and Fraser James and Razor.
            Overall, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter doesn’t offer that much new in terms of its setup, if you’ve seen one Resident Evil movie, you’ve pretty much seen them all. Zombies, Milla Jovovich jumping, flipping around, and beating the crap out of the undead, actors not trying as well as laughably bad acting, the list goes on.
            However, this one I felt was the closest since the first movie to have an engaging plot, I still don’t think it works as a whole, but we dive deeper into the Umbrella Corporation and learn more details about what happened when the virus was unleashed, I was a lot more intrigued by this film than the others. Most of the others were just stupid popcorn entertainment with at times, moments to laugh unintentionally at.
            Milla Jovovich still kicks plenty of ass in this movie and I’m certainly going to miss watching her as Alice, the action ranges from traditional zombie violence to things you would probably see in a Mad Max movie. Not to mention this movie delivers something I like to call, Roasting the Undead, and once you see the movie you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
            Resident Evil: The Final Chapter still probably won’t win over fans of the games, but if you enjoy the films on their own or just looking for an entertainingly stupid movie, I actually recommend The Final Chapter. It’s a Final Chapter to a bad franchise that came close to being intentionally decent.

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