Originally Published on Salty Popcorn - You Can Find Several Other Reviews By Jack Dignan Here As Well
The world has fallen into a wasteland. All previous shreds of humanity are gone, replaced with mass destruction, constant silence, and a never-ending feeling that you’re not alone. This should’ve lead to great things. It doesn’t. Our hero, Alice (Milla Jovovich), makes her way through the rubble, only to find herself met with danger once more. Narrowly escaping with her life, she drives away, continuing her search for survivors. It’s an escape that’s cut short, running into members of the Umbrella Corporation who take her as a hostage, led by returning villain, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glenn).
Expectations are always low when it comes to the RESIDENT EVIL films, but when the first trailer for RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER was released it had me confused. This is a franchise with deep horror roots; the video game series still a major success, even more so than the films are. Yet the first trailer for this movie, and the only one I saw, didn’t seem to advertise that. There were zombies and weird flying creatures, sure, but it had more of a fun action movie vibe to it than anything else, even using “Paradise City” as a backtrack. It appeared to be an outlier in the franchise, something that rung true when watching the film. Gone are its horror days, now replaced with mindless, fast cutting action.
Throughout all 106 agonizing minutes, I found my mind wandering. I was reimaging this film as a good film, an objective that’s a lot more difficult than it should be. If the premise was muddled with a little bit, making the plot more zombie-based, it could’ve been exciting. If the cinematography and editing didn’t rely on having four different cuts every second (LITERALLY), maybe my eyes wouldn’t have started bleeding halfway through. The premise of RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER is a replica of a thousand other zombie movie premises, only done to a much poorer degree. It’s worked before, but it doesn’t work here.
In order to relay information to the audience, one character is shown security footage from an event that takes place prior to the deadly virus being spread throughout the world. There’s so many things wrong with this scene, whether it’s the fact that they’re not even subtle about accidentally giving away the film’s biggest plot twist or that my two-year-old cousin could’ve written better dialogue for it. What actually made me let out a sigh of relief when this scene started was that it opened with a shot that lasted more than three seconds. It was glorious. My eyes were able to take a break from the hammering they’d just received, but sadly, this joy was unable to last long. Even during a business meeting, the film insists on making infuriating cuts every second, sometimes even less than that.
I guess this could be considered a minor spoiler, but do you really care? I’d hope not. So basically, after rescuing a group of survivors from the Umbrella Corporation, two of them insist on tagging along with Alice and her one-dimensional side characters. Despite knowing absolutely nothing about them, where they’re from, or if they’re even capable of assisting them in a highly skilled invasion of a billion dollar, booby-trapped underground bunker (I think they literally walked in the front door though, so whoever was in charge of security doesn’t deserve their job), they’re allowed to tag along. We don’t even learn their names, making it fairly obvious what their fate is going to be like. And wouldn’t you know, those two are the first to fall victim to an army of zombie dogs. Yeah, just in case you thought the film couldn’t get any worse, they do that.
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