In preparation for this final instalment, I rewatched back-to-back all the Resident Evil movies, and while they are not objectively good movies, I had a lot of fun watching them all, especially Retribution and Afterlife. As a fan of both the films and games, I was ready to watch what Paul W.S. Anderson and his wife had prepared for us.
I think I have never been more disappointed in a movie before.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the (allegedly) final entry in the action-horror franchise that started way back in 2002, is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and stars Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter and Shawn Roberts.
It is really hard for me to put into words how I feel. Being a fan of this franchise feels similar to being Catholic: most people just ask you “Why?”, and answering “I simply enjoy it. What’s wrong with that?” always feels more like an excuse. But yeah, even though I really like the Resident Evil movies, The Final Chapter is easily the worst entry in the franchise.
– Is it the fault of the story?
Partly. These movies have always had stories with uninteresting side characters, with the only standout being Iain Glen as the villain. However, they always find ways to change and retcon what they set up previously. This time around they go overboard with the amount of clones, religious subtext (which was absent in the previous movies), and circle-jerk of the Anderson-Jovovich family, with their daughter playing the Red Queen. The characters here are beyond uninteresting, and not even Shawn Robert’s Albert Wesker was fun. Only saving grace are Milla Jovovich as Alice, who keeps putting effort into this role, and Iain Glen as Doctor Isaacs, easily the most fun character in the franchise. The rest of the cast is just bland, with Ali Larter returning as Claire Redfield and newer ones like Ruby Rose and Fraser James that have so little screentime that you barely notice it when they die.
– Okay then, fine. The story is very bad this time around. But what about the action? Is it good?
Oh boy. The action. What I really appreciated about the last two entries (Afterlife and Retribution) was that they knew that nobody came for the story, so they put all their efforts in over-the-top, slowmo-filled action scenes that were a blast to watch. However, with a smaller budget (40$ mils compared to 65$ mils of Retribution) and heavy reliance on handheld cameras, the actually well choreographed action is shot shakily and with too many closeups.
– But shaky action happens all the time in movies nowadays! Was it really THAT shaky?
Honestly, the real problem isn’t the camera work. The problem has a name: Doobie White. He is the editor of this picture, and he completely ruined the film. Each action scene was probably filmed with at least 4 cameras, and he decided to put in each second footage from each camera. This makes the entirety of the film a painful experience that might even cause epilepsy attacks for how fast it is edited. This completely broke my enjoyment of the film, especially because the previous entries had fun action that was comprehensible and, most importantly, entertaining.
There really is not much to say about this movie. One of the worst-edited action movies I have ever seen, the worst entry in a franchise that I genuinely love, and a disappointing finale. I really, REALLY wanted to enjoy this, but Mr. White truly made it impossible to watch. Worst movie of the year so far.
Now I’ll go cry in a corner, with my heart full of sadness and hopelessness.
Or maybe I’ll just go rewatch John Wick: Chapter 2 at the cinema. Yeah, sounds much better.
Visual Effects: 4.5
Violence & Gore: 8.5
Sex & Nudity: 2
Drugs & Profanity: 5
Intensity & Horror: 5