When has a movie series ever ACTUALLY ended with an installment that had “Final Chapter” or something like it as the subtitle? Yeah, I think the Elm Street movies, Friday the 13th movies, and others are going to have a couple words with the Resident Evil movies on this subject. Paul W.S. Anderson may not be Uwe Boll, but he certainly doesn’t help in making movies based on video games something that’s worth appealing. There was a time that he did do this with the first Mortal Kombat movie, which I still think is the best video game movie ever made so far (by comparison anyway), but somewhere along the way he just ended up making movies that got worse and worse. And he plans to tackle Monster World next into making those games into movies? No thanks, keep him AWAY from that. It’s also ironic that this movie, probably the worst of the RE movies, comes out the same year as Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and while I haven’t played that one yet, I’ve heard it’s brought the series back to its survival horror roots and did well as a result. Shame that this movie couldn’t rise up higher than the crap that came before it, only being lower.
I just gotta ask this one question (well, one out of several, so I’ll try to keep it to a minimum): how the FUCK did the Resident Evil movies continue for so long? Wait, that’s a rhetorical question, because the answer is simple, that they’ve managed to make back their budget and then some, so that Paul W.S. Anderson can keep making movies that worship his wife so much, because Heaven forbid he does something else or actually focus on the very thing he’s supposed to be adapting. I think he is to Resident Evil what Michael Bay is to the Transformers, that even if the movie is shit, it’ll somehow make money, and each subsequent entry will get worse than the one before it, and that’s no more true than with this movie. I’ll admit, my experience with the Resident Evil franchise may be somewhat limited, I’ve played a couple of the games and read a bunch of the novels, but I do know that they’re far more entertaining and fulfilling than whatever shit Anderson, Constantin Film, and Sony spurt out from their collective assholes with these movies.
Thankfully I didn’t have to see this in theaters when it came out nor did I buy it on home video, instead watching it on TV through a rerun. My DVR must’ve been in pain though after I set it to record the movie because it was bursting into tears and crying “why would you put this inside me? Is this because I lost episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return you recorded?” (then again, it’s recorded worse, like Will and Grace and whatever Fox News crap my mom sets to record when she comes over). It’s hard to fathom how the Hell this movie got made the way it was, because not only is this movie incomprehensible on a story level, it’s also incomprehensible on a technical level. I’ve complained about movies with shitty editing and effects before, but after seeing this flick, I have truly seen shit. It tries to have this rapid-fire style of editing, in which multiple shots from multiple angles are utilized for every single goddamn action scene, and even just normal talking moments, and can’t hold onto just one for a single second, I have no idea what the fuck is going on, and if someone dies, I don’t know who it was, and the shaky cam and strobe light effects certainly don’t help either. Of course Anderson is trying to copy off other directors who’ve utilized this style to better effect and just does a shitty job at it. It takes a movie like this to make me take back whatever complaints I had with Thor: Ragnarok‘s effects. I feel bad for anyone who had to sit through this in theaters and even worse for anyone who saw it in 3D, probably a lot of eyes bleeding for that.
I really want to know who thought it was okay to make the Resident Evil movies set in a post-apocalyptic world. Sure, the first two movies tried to remain somewhat faithful to the games, despite taking obvious liberties (such as focusing so much on Alice, played by the director’s wife, a character that NEVER originated from the games, yet Anderson claims he was “inspired” by female characters of the franchise in making her), but since the third movie, they’ve been on a downward spiral of awful by having them set in a post-apocalyptic world with a half-assed explanation of how, in context of the movies, it got that way, and sometimes not even remaining consistent in how these movies depict it. The games, even some of the action-driven games, were all about being in somewhat closed-in environments and having a sense of claustrophobia, which is made more scary with all the zombies and monsters lurking about, and trying to survive all of it and possibly prevent it from spreading. And I’ll just say what everyone else has said in regards to all this, in that it’s fairly obvious that Anderson is just trying to rip off the Mad Max movies, in particular Fury Road, because why else would this movie be made like this the way it was? The fast pace, the hellish landscape, the insane villains, and everything else, all so Anderson can just make his movie somewhat “relevant” and “popular”.
It’s clear that these movies never had a clear continuity, but it’s also astonishing that this movie can’t even have a clear continuity within itself. None of the stuff in this movie adds up to whatever the previous movies established, and it’s funny because this movie tries to have some sense of finality that it never really earns. It can’t even acknowledge other characters from the games that have come and gone, because all the focus has to be on Alice, of course. If you’re looking for an example of a Mary Sue, look no further than Alice in the Resident Evil movies. She did start out somewhat relatable in the first movie, but after being given superpowers and doing impossible feats, surviving with barely a scratch almost every time, how is she supposed to be taken seriously? The movie, or really just Anderson, tries to portray her as such a badass, yet makes stupid decisions at almost every turn, even almost destroying an object that she really needs to help save the day or whatever. And with the way this movie ultimately treats her, revealing things that pretty much ruin everything this series tries to establish with her, there is no way to regard her as much of a “character” anymore, more like some kind of thing to just look at in awe and stupidity and for Anderson to say “hey everyone, isn’t my wife awesome?” Paul, we’ve known this for a while, you’ve been doing it for more than a decade, WE GET THE FUCKING POINT!
With this movie having a running time barely longer than 90 minutes, the effects are shit, the acting is non-existent, it’s very clear that no one gave a shit while making this. Despite being made FIVE YEARS after the last one, it feels like it was made within the span of a week, maybe an afternoon. The actors in this are being like they got better shit to do and just want it to be over and done with. The movie’s deus ex machina, an anti-virus that’ll somehow cure the ENTIRE WORLD with ONE VIAL, is ripped off from Blade: Trinity (the worst of the Blade movies, btw, so good to know Anderson’s standards in what he rips off) and the DayStar virus depicted in that film, how it’ll somehow kill vampires all over the world (though it didn’t, really, as Blade: The Series established). And again, this movie tries to have some kind of closure, despite obvious plot threads and stories still hanging, and yet it can’t even have a solid ending for itself and this series it’s a part of.
Despite all of this movie’s faults, which are many, and it’s pretty much a poorly written and badly directed piece of shit, made by the same person who did all the other movies in this series no less (technically he didn’t direct the 2nd and 3rd, but still wrote them), it is utterly hilarious. I’m serious. I may have given this movie a good bashing, no different than others who’ve given this movie scathing reviews, but I can’t help but laugh at it at almost every single moment. The fact that this movie got made, that someone put money into this, that it was written and directed into existence, and was shot and edited poorly, it’s just a laugh riot. It’s an unintentional comedy at best, and both a shitty movie on its own and a terrible adaptation at worst. If you plan on having a blast laughing at a shitty movie and maybe play a drinking game for it, look no further than Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. But if you’re looking for a movie with any legit scares and entertainment value, avoid it like the T-virus infested plague that it is.
I’m amazed these movies have lasted this long the way they have and with the announcement of a reboot happening, I hope that there can be an actual, scary movie that not only can be great as its own movie, but also be a good adaptation in its own right. So far, the Castlevania show has proven that video games can be adapted into another medium if done right and depending on who’s making them, so hopefully that can happen for Resident Evil and other video game adaptations to come. As long as they learn their lessons from this shitty series, I think they’ll be okay.