Sunday, July 23, 2017

Review: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

Oh dear. As life-long fans of the original Resident Evil films, this is one franchise which seems to have gotten worse and worse as the films progressed ... To be fair, it's often the way this sort of thing goes, and the number of film series where the second film tops the first can probably be counted on one hand ...

Resident Evil started life as a computer game in the era when graphics and sound started to hold sway, and the computer could present a realistic mileau for the player to kill as many zombies as they could while creeping through a deserted house ... it was an early success for the genre, and of course spawned a film starring Milla Jovovich as the heroine, Alice, joining forces with a bunch of soldier to descend into The Hive, a secret underground base beneath Racoon City, which has experienced the release of the T-Virus, which in turn has turned everyone down there into bloodthirsty zombies - including the dogs!  It's a simple premise, and one which has spun off through several films, making variations on the T-Virus infected humans, creating clones of Alice, bigger and more violent enemies, and ultimately brought the world to its knees in a zombie-infested, flying-monster-inhabited America ...

And now there's apparently the final entry in the series ... and it's awful.  For a start the film is so dark that it makes Batman look like it was shot on a sunny day ... we had to adjust the settings on the television to even begin to hope to make out what was happening. And then there's the editing. I'm actually surprised at director Paul WS Anderson (who also happens to be Jovovich's husband) as he has a good pedigree and has made some great films that we love (Event Horizon, AVP, the original Resident Evil). Here, however, in the action sequences there seems to be a cut every quarter of a second or so.  Sure it's fast and furious, but as a viewer you have no idea at all what is going on, who is where, where anyone or anything is in relation to each other ... it's just a seemingly random succession of fast moving CGI images which leave you feeling sick with motion sickness rather than caught up in the action. Really poorly done. There's also the return of Ali Larter's character, Claire Redfield, who still can't close her mouth ... and a host of bloodthirsty monsters ...
When you see this poster, you start to realise what
they are selling this film on ... and it's not the plot!

There's a good film waiting to be made here - Alice's return to the Hive to try and destroy the monsters once and for all, with a final stand-off with the computer, the Red Queen and all that she represents, but this isn't it.

The film even relies on the best and most imaginative sequence from the first film, the corridor of lasers, for part of the climactic battle ... there is a paucity of ideas here which makes this feel like a sort of 'best of' the rest of the films, but done so badly, that you really just want to go and watch the original films again ...

I feel that even if you are a fan of the games, then this might just leave you cold.




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