Finally, after 15 long years of serving the sole purpose of keeping Milla Jovovich relevant in Hollywood the Resident Evil franchise comes to a close with (the totally originally titled) ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’. The film follows Alice (Milla Jovovich) who must rally up a new team for the (anti)climactic battle against the Umbrella Corporation being run by Dr Isaacs (Iain Glen) and ‘Super Slick Serious Sunglasses Man’ (Albert Wesker).
Let me get this out of the way before i tell you why this is a bad movie…… If you have seen all of the other Resident Evil films and you enjoyed all or most of them then stop reading this review now because you are wasting your time. This movie is in line with the tone, themes, visual aesthetic, and chaotic style of action of the previous films in this franchise, so if you find enjoyment in the those then you will enjoy this finale, no doubt. Now that that’s out of the way, the Resident Evil franchise goes out with a whimper, featuring a boring, lazy ass story, shocking editing, predictable twists and really bad dialogue across the board. The only redeemable factor is the consistently fast pace thankfully getting you to the end quickly.
The movie from the get-go kicks in with some boring as shit exposition and backstory. I’m not saying the backstory was not needed, because in trying to make sense of what is going on it is kind of necessary, just, the way it is presented especially as the films opening was a dreadful creative choice. To open the film with 4 minutes of hazy flashbacks and some snippets of the previous instalments under the narration of Milla Jovovich explaining it all as you watch it was to put it simply dumb. There are many other ways it could have been handled better, such as having a non narrated, concise version of the scene that has a more seamless transition into the beginning of the film. Or even just by spreading the scene out into 2 or so flashbacks in the opening act might have turned out better. But the story as a whole is really lazily written, i mean, it’s like there are two crappy stories going on at once here. One very simple one with Alice attacking Umbrella Corporation with death bait side characters to “save the world”, and another that really only plays out in the opening exposition scene and then goes bonkers in the last 20 minutes with twists, reveals, and trying to go out with a bang but ultimately failing.
One thing i can be sure of after watching this film is that someone went to the ‘Taken’ school of shitty editing and fucking passed. The action sequences here are shot so poorly and integrate so many cuts that for most of the film you actually cannot tell what the fuck is going on. And i’m not exaggerating that fact, in multiple scenes i did not know what i was looking at. I mean, the average shot length in these scenes is around half a second, so before you can even discern what is going on in the scene, the shot has switched so may times that the action sequence is now over and you are completely lost. There was even one point in the movie that was so fucken shaky and jumpy that someone died and i had no idea who it was until around 10 minutes later where i was able to see who is still alive and then find out. But hey, luckily this fast pacing keeps up right until the last 15 minutes where it slows down for ‘story’ because it just made the film easy to get through despite being bad. Spending a final 100 minutes in this shitty world was a lot more bearable than over 2 hours at a Logan-like pace would have been. It kept it short, it kept it concise (mostly) and when the credits rolled i was so glad it was over.
I will also note one thing, and that is that from what i gather, the majority of this film you can understand from seeing this movie alone. I have only seen i believe 2 of the other films in the franchise (that i can’t remember for shit) and i was still able to easily grasp what was going on, to the point where i saw the twist coming from pretty much the beginning of the movie….. Which is… not good.
So in the end, yes this is a bad movie with terribly lazy dialogue, poorly shot and executed action, a boring story and a finale that closes out the franchise on a definitive low note. But, it does stay very much in line with what you should be expecting by now from a Resident Evil movie. It sticks with everything the previous films have established so that fans of the franchise will see it and probably love it but it won’t successfully convert any new fans this late into the franchise. But that doesn’t excuse it being shit.