While still out to destroy the evil Umbrella Corporation, Alice joins a group of survivors living in a prison surrounded by the infected who also want to relocate to the mysterious but supposedly unharmed safe haven known only as Arcadia.
Paul W.S. Anderson
Alice awakes in Raccoon City, only to find it has become infested with zombies and monsters. With the help of Jill Valentine and Carlos Olivera, Alice must find a way out of the city before it is destroyed by a nuclear missile.
Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity's final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began - The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.Written by
Screen Gems / Constantin
(at around 8 mins) Washington D.C. is a former swamp that rises to low hills on its northern, western and eastern approaches. When Alice is fleeing the T-virus flying the flat area in which she is driving clearly is not Washington and its environs, ruined or not. See more »
They say that history is written by the victors. This, then, is the history of the Umbrella Corporation, formed by crusading scientist Professor James Marcus. Marcus had a young daughter, Alicia, afflicted with progeria, a progressive, fatal, wasting disease. Progeria caused premature aging. By the time she was 25, Alicia would have the body of a 90-year-old. Marcus was driven to save her, but the odds seemed impossible. And even as he worked desperately to create a cure...
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After the film credits finish rolling, there will be a black screen and the Red Queen's voice saying: "You're all going to die down here". See more »
"Doobie-us" Editing Pushes Incomprehensibility to New Heights
"My name is Alice, and this is my story. The end of my story."
Except it likely isn't. Because writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson doesn't know how to tell how a story. Because Anderson refuses to give Milla Jovovich's Alice the ending she deserves. And because this film made way too much money at the box office for the corporate heads at Screen Gems to call it a day. Going back to the ending, however, the film's final five minutes completely betray everything that comes before, Anderson seeking the easy way out and preventing the film from even providing a modicum of closure. I haven't seen the rest of the installments in this series, and I likely never will, but the ending of this latest entry frustrates, leaving the door wide open for a continuation despite the affirmation of the film's subtitle that this is indeed, the final chapter. Anderson finds himself unable to provide an ending with something substantial and weighty, choosing instead to succumb to triviality.
Perhaps my experience of watching Resident Evil: The Final Chapter can best be described as nauseating. Editor Doobie White should be permanently banned from ever entering a Hollywood editing room for the remainder of his career. There are trace elements of impactful action, most notably in a scene early on that features Alice fighting Umbrella Corporation soldiers while hanging upside down, but White's editing completely obfuscates Anderson's footage, wringing the material free of any excitement. Indeed, the action suffers throughout, especially in the second half. Combined with dimly-lit rooms, White's editing allows for the action to attain a level of incomprehensibility so rarely seen in major Hollywood productions that I hope it remains that way. We don't need to see the action of punching someone in the face from four different angles in the span of a second, and yet White indulges in creating a film free of visual panache, refusing to allow the audience the mere pleasure of being able to watch what's on screen.
The film plays as a poor imitation of Mad Max: Fury Road, with White attempting to emulate Margaret Sixel's kinetic editing style. But whereas Sixel retained precise control and restraint over her work, complimenting George Miller's visual storytelling in such a masterful way that she was awarded an Oscar, White instead edits in such a way that the film ends up feeling the product of late-night Red Bull cram sessions, White desperately trying to piece together disparate video fragments in an attempt to meet a deadline that has already passed.
Additionally, Anderson himself happens to be part of the problem. While he may be passionate about Resident Evil and these characters, none of that shines through in his writing. Instead, we are merely moved from action sequence to action sequence, with nothing but clumsy dialogue and wooden acting to serve as the intermediary between said sequences. Anderson finds himself unable to determine what exactly he wants to emphasize, whether it be action or horror, and so the film falls flat on both fronts. The jump scares of the first act feel cheap and ineffective, while some of the action in the second and third acts relies entirely too much on CGI. Peppered throughout the film itself are baffling inconsistencies that break whatever suspension of disbelief is already necessary to sit through one of these films. Characters appear and disappear seemingly out of their own volition to the degree that when the first of the survivors bit the dust, I had no idea who she was.
The characters that Anderson writes to populate his world are so thinly-written that the performers portraying them could be swapped around to little noticeable change. Indeed, when each of these characters eventually meets their end, there is no sense of gravity, no sense of impact. These characters merely serve as plot devices that demonstrate the myriad of ways that someone can be killed, as conjured by Anderson. Even Jovovich falls flat, unconvincing in the role of the heroine. It's a shame too, because the world these characters inhabit is ripe for potential, for the post-apocalyptic landscape of America can be and has been used to explore a variety of rich themes to comment on society. And while some might point that the portrayal of the Umbrella Corporation can be seen as Anderson exhibiting an anti- capitalist stance, he adds nothing to the argument, seemingly content to regurgitate an idea that has grown stale over the course of six films.
Now, I'm not saying that action films such as Resident Evil: The Final Chapter cannot and should not be enjoyed. If you enjoy Anderson's latest, more power to you. But an underrated piece of art misunderstood by audiences and critics worldwide this isn't. Any promise that the film might have is snuffed out because of Anderson's listless writing and directing, White's headache-inducing editing, and the plethora of other flaws present. Indeed, The Final Chapter should make good on its promise and truly be the final one.
Rating: 2/10 (Painful)
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