My nerves were set off even before the film began. After the cinema had played its adverts, trailers and promotions, one final trailer was played, it was the trailer to Resident Evil 7. A ploy like this stinks of desperation for audiences to get on board with the film, it is the equivalent of an annoying attention seeker who wants to show off how clever or amazing said person thinks he or she is.
You may have notice a slight change in tone in the writing, but that because I have just possibly witnessed the most ridiculous and over the top finale to a film series that should have halted from the first film. For context, the previous Resident Evil films have never been very popular with critics, yet they have developed a cult following in the same way The Room or Showgirls developed their cult followings. You could still watch these films and have a fun time about how bad these films are. This however is not one of these films, this is just so bad that it’s bad.
Starting with the films biggest problem, the editing is one of the worst I have seen in an action/horror movie. It feels that the longest shot during a fight scene isn’t even more than a second, this kind of editing gives the audience no clue as to what is happening on the screen and we must rely on the sound to even get an idea of what is occurring in the scene. It has no quality control whatsoever and it quite incredible that the editor found this acceptable.
Cinematography wise, the film lacks creativity and will often reuse the same angle with the same camera movement repeatedly. For instance, when Alice commands an attack against the main antagonist and his army of the undead, the same zoom in camera movement is made for every command she gives vocally, this shows that the people behind this film were either winging it, or making up the shot list as they went along. There is a big emphasis on a countdown clock, and the film isn’t afraid to show it by using the same close shot of said clock numerous times, it’s quite a fun game to play.
Milla Jovovich (Paul W.S Anderson’s wife) is back as Alice who has an illusion surrounding her that in the previous five films her character has gone through change and has a character arc, however the illusion is broken in this film as at her character’s core, it’s another excuse to have a badass character doing badass things that her character development is partially forgotten about. I was surprised to see Iain Glen (of Game of Thrones fame) as the main antagonist Dr. Isaacs who we know can act incredibly well, it’s down to Paul W.S Anderson’s direction that downgrades his ability.
Even the narrative of the film is borrowed from the last three Resident Evil films. If you look at the synopsis’ for Resident Evil: Extinction to this film, they are worded differently but if you really pay attention you’ll figure out that it is the same story repeatedly. These films are an excuse to show off action scenes and lots of gunfire with no attention to character progression or narrative strength.
The films only redeeming feature of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a sequence that involves an air turbine, because it is the only scene in the film where horror and tension is created without the use of jump scares, which this film uses a lot of to try and get a cheap scare form you. If only Paul W.S Anderson could have spent more on timing the scares then we might have gotten a different cinematic atmosphere with much more punch.
I will say this however, although the critics, like myself, have rated the Resident Evil films poorly, the franchise overall is nearing close to $1 billion at the box office. This is because of its cult following and whilst I’m not trying to lure even the most loyal fan away from this series, analysing the film as a film presents the film in a different light. If you are a fan of the Resident Evil series, you probably will see this film and take away the feeling that can only come from watching a guilty pleasure film as the click with us is a unique way.
However, I cannot say that the guilty pleasure feeling will be a strong as it should be because of how little attention the film received when making it. I often wonder if Paul W.S Anderson had a clever artistic vision for Resident Evil, but it is thrown out of the window for the other reason for making films, to make money. It is the business application to Resident Evil that reveals the lack of a well-crafted film.
Final Result: 1/10 – Dreadful
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has inspired me to launch a new sticker for my reviews. This ‘worthless’ sticker is not applied to put you off seeing this film, but is instead an advisement and caution that you may not have an entertaining time watching this film in the cinema, and ultimately, will have wasted your money which you’ll very unlikely get back.
Have you seen Resident Evil: The Final Chapter? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: Fences