RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER
Another Missed Opportunity
Release Date: January 27, 2017
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter,
Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, Eoin
Macken, Rola, Lee Joon-Gi,
William Levy, Iain Glen
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 106 minutes
Distributor: Screen Gems/Sony Pictures
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Executive Producer: Martin Moszkowicz, Victor
Producer: Jeremy Bolt, Paul W.S.
Anderson, Robert Kulzer,
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia Pictures/TriStar/FilmDistrict/Screen Gems/Affirm Films/Provident Films)
Clint Culpepper, President, Screen Gems
Andrew Z. Davis, President, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000; Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
The movie opens with a prologue showing how a scientist created a cure for his young daughter Alicia’s debilitating disease. However, the scientist’s evil business partner, Dr. Isaacs, had the doctor murdered, formed accompany called the Umbrella Corporation and used the scientist’s work to create the deadly T-virus, which somehow got released and started turning nearly everyone in the world into vicious zombies. Isaacs has also created some deadly bio-weapons, including vicious zombie/human hybrids and other monsters. To help him run the medical treatments on his daughter, the scientist created a computer with Artificial Intelligence using a hologram of his daughter’s likeness. Isaacs, however, now controls the computer program, which Alice calls “The Red Queen.”
Cut to Alice exiting the subway system underneath a ravaged Washington, D.C. As past RESIDENT EVIL viewers know, Alice is really a clone created by the Umbrella Corporation using a benign version of the T-virus to be a human superweapon, but Alice doesn’t know this and just thinks she’s somehow lost all her memories before the virus outbreak.
After battling a flying monster created by the Umbrella Corporation, Alice is visited by a hologram of the Red Queen computer, in the image of the little girl who became sick. The Red Queen tells Alice that, though she must serve the Umbrella Corporation, she can still reveal to Alice that the corporation has an antidote to the deadly virus that will kill all the zombiefied humans and monsters ravaging Earth. Alice must return to the corporation’s main lab and headquarters in Raccoon City in the Midwest (called The Hive), where the T-virus was unleashed, retrieve the antidote and release it. However, the Red Queen can’t give Alice any overt help because of its programming to obey the Umbrella Corporation’s orders. Also, Alice only has 48 hours to retrieve the antidote and release it before the zombies destroy all the surviving humans. Finally, when Alice releases the antidote, it will also kill Alice because of the modified T-virus in her body.
Alice begins her journey to get the antidote, but she must face zombiefied humans, zombiefied creatures, Umbrella paramilitary soldiers, and Isaacs’ henchman, Wesker, who’s waiting at the headquarters to kill Alice if she does manage to show up. During the journey, some mysteries about Alice and the Red Queen are revealed, as well as the mystery of how exactly the T-virus got released. Eventually, Alice must decide whether to sacrifice her life to save mankind.
RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER has some exciting adventure moments and a nice redemptive ending. However, the fight scenes are so chopped up, and sometimes shot so darkly, that it’s hard to take an interest in what’s happening, even though Milla Jovovich, who plays the movie’s heroine, Alice, always seems to make a strong presence on the big screen. The action in action-oriented movies is better when the camerawork lets viewers see more of what’s happening. So, if you’re going to combine action with horror movie elements or shoot action scenes in dark underground rooms and tunnels, be careful with how you light the scenes and edit them. Sadly, in several fight scenes between Alice, the villain and his henchmen, this is not the case. Also, THE FINAL CHAPTER could use some humor and a little more character development (especially of the people who come to Alice’s aid in Raccoon City) to lighten the tension and help the viewers identify with the heroes better (watch Howard Hawks’ original 1950s movie THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD or his adventure movies and westerns like RIO BRAVO and TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT for good examples of delightful humor and excellent character development of all the characters, including the minor characters, not to mention good lighting, even in scenes set at night or in dark areas).
Although there’s some strong foul language and extreme violence, RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER is actually a Christian, moral, heroic allegory. There’s even a symbolic death and resurrection. The movie also has an interesting, rather unique perspective on artificial intelligence and computers. For example, the Red Queen is restrained by her programming to serve the evil Umbrella Corporation, but it’s also been programmed to protect human beings. As a result, it finds a provocative solution to the question, How can an artificial “intelligence” do “good” (such as protect human life) even though it’s also been programmed to serve an evil oligarchy and its head megalomaniac?
Despite these positives, the movie’s second half has a flashback recorded on video where the villain tells the Umbrella Corporation’s board of directors that the Earth is going to be destroyed in 80 years by “global warming” and “overpopulation,” so they should destroy the world themselves so they can ensure their own survival. Some or many viewers who might see this movie might accept this politically correct, environmentalist, left-wing nonsense, even though it comes from the movie’s villain. Furthermore, after Alice sees this hidden video, there’s a line of dialogue where she rails against the selfish capitalists running the Umbrella Corporation who killed seven billion people with a virus so they could rule the future. Of course, this kind of authoritarian, selfish oligarchy, though it comes from a corporate entity, is not at all what free market capitalism really supports. This may be a fine point, but it’s an important point that too many people in our society neglect or are unaware. The filmmakers should have made this more clear.
Also, despite the ending’s Christian allegory, the main villain, Dr. Isaacs, has his own villainous clone, who spouts Christian-sounding rhetoric, wears a crucifix and comes off as a religious fanatic. He also seems to appeal to Jesus at one point. This is confusing. In fact, because of it, viewers might miss the movie’s uplifting Christian allegory at the end. They also might miss the fact that the main villain is a madman who’s adopted false leftist rhetoric about “global warming” and “overpopulation.”
All in all, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution concerning RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER. Despite its positive ending, this sequel just isn’t entertaining enough or wholesome enough to consider watching, even though it’s not as bad or offensive as it perhaps could have been.
RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER has its exciting moments, and the ending turns out to be a Christian, moral allegory. However, the dark horror tone to many of the action scenes contains some bad cinematography and bad editing undercutting the movie’s entertainment value. THE FINAL CHAPTER also has some foul language and very scary, extreme violence, as well as some confusing politics and other confusing messages. For instance, despite the Christian allegory, one villain talks like a Christian religious fanatic and wears a crucifix. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for this second-rate RESIDENT EVIL sequel.