TL; DR: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the least enjoyable of the six movies in the franchise.
Let me start by saying I have mad love for the Resident Evil movies and for Milla Jovovich. The importance of a female lead carrying such an enormous movie franchise, especially a science fiction one, cannot be understated. That being said, we can’t shy away from the fact that the movies have had some issues with storytelling. I won’t even touch their relation to the video games. For all intents and purposes, these are a different entity entirely and are much better enjoyed if you try not to compare them to the Resident Evil game experience.
Before I delve into some of the storytelling issues with The Final Chapter, I want to address something that detracted from the movie-viewing experience. I have seen all of the movies, save the first or second one, in the theater and on the home screen. Many of the more recent ones were also in 3-D. This is the first time the cinematography was so bad that I had a difficult time telling who was dying onscreen. The movie is quite dark and focuses the shots from the shoulders up for much of the movie. Sometimes the flashes during fight scenes were so spastic, I had to close my eyes because it was so unpleasant. I’m usually quite easy to please, but this was an incredibly distracting aspect of this film that I hadn’t found to be the case in the previous five movies.
Spoilers, both minor and major, to follow. You have been warned.
Ending of Resident Evil: Retribution (Movie #5)
At the end of Retribution
, we are left with Alice and her crew at the White House. The group with her included a young deaf clone child name Becky that Alice saved from Umbrella, Jill Valentine, Ada Wong, and Leon S. Kennedy. Alice meets with Wesker in the Oval Office. He injects her with the T-virus, telling her he’s reinstated her powers with the intent of having her help defeat the coming undead onslaught.
When we begin The Final Chapter, there’s an entire retcon of Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Movie #2), which I’ll delve into later. And then they completely cop out of Retribution‘s ending. The fight is over and Alice is alone. Are we meant to believe Jill, Ada, Leon, and Becky died? The worst of it all is that we’re told Wesker infected Alice, but didn’t really give her powers back. For no reason whatsoever that I can devise, except it’s a weird necessary plot device for later in this movie to make Alice seem more heroic. Again, for no logical reason. Then we entirely back out of Wesker being any kind of intimidating villain and replace him with…
Yes, with Dr. Isaacs. Not an entirely terrible villain from Resident Evil: Extinction (Movie #3), but one who definitely should’ve stayed dead after seeing this film. I don’t even know what they thought they were doing here. They took a mad scientist archetype and tried to make him into the religious fanatic. Because why? I feel myself asking this way too many times during this movie. Plus they do this weird thing with clones of him, so at the end you’re left with confusion and just plain not caring about this guy. That leads us to…
Finally, right? After five movies, I’m dying to find out why it would make any kind of business sense for Umbrella to kill off any possible customer for their organization. Don’t just tell me because they’re evil. That’s lame. There has to be a reason, and there is one. Dr. Isaacs predicts an impending apocalypse in one form or another. He suggests an intentional and Umbrella-controlled apocalypse. Okay, so kind of intriguing? Then they immediately undercut it with a comparison to Noah’s ark and a magical cure-all anti-virus we’ve never heard about until just now. In time to wrap up the series. Pretty convenient.
Remember the retcon I mentioned? They rewrote that so that Alice is actually the Red Queen. But she’s also Alicia Marcus, co-owner of Umbrella with Dr. Isaacs. Cue shock and awe. This idea, while mildly interesting, is not seeded enough or properly motivated enough throughout the series and this film. I will say, Alice being a clone herself would’ve been compelling, had they not blown all their “oh my, that person is a clone!” repeatedly, prior to this moment. Milla and her daughter do just fine in the acting, but they were not given good enough content to portray.
Well that about wraps it up. I kinda slammed this movie, huh? Again, I really and truly do love the intentions behind the movies. It would be so much better, however, if these storytelling kinks were worked out and the characters were properly motivated. So there you have it. And just for fun…
In order from most enjoyable to least:
What do you think? Would you rank the movies differently?
Thanks for reading! These opinions are my own and are not reflective of my employer. If you’d like to learn more about me, stop on by funfictionfandom.com