Enough jump cuts to make me wanna jump to another movie.
Resident Evil (2002) is probably one of the most decent video game adaptations of all time. While it was not perfect, it still had its moments including at a whole new setting, The Hive. It later spawned five more sequels that received mixed reviews. Resident Evil (2002) was in fact one of the first games I ever played, its intricate puzzles and well developed and deep lore made it one of the best games made at the time. Years later it was remastered for Xbox One and Playstation 4, and still after 14 years, is a joy to play through. Later on I skipped towards Resident Evil 4 and still to this day it is by far one of the best survival horror games released. Unfortunately, the films have taken a major turn since Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and have not truly followed the Resident Evil story and theme like the games.
The main theme of Resident Evil is horror, true horror that allows the viewer or player to experience fear in order to create tension in a memorable set piece or sequence. Resident Evil has accomplished this many times, but things took a turn after Paul W.S Anderson decided to make the Resident Evil films revolve more around action, rather than horror. After viewing all of the films in the franchise I noticed many key flaws within each film.
For one, Paul W.S. Anderson is a huge fan of jump cuts, that is very noticeable. Resident Evil (2002) is, by far, the film with the least amount of jump cuts in the whole series. A jump cut is a cut in a film in which two sequential shots of the same subject are taken from different camera positions, a jump cuts basically jumps to another shot of a certain action very quickly. Now, there is a limit to how many cuts should take place for one action. The Resident Evil film franchise as a whole has taken jump cuts to a whole nother level, in the worst way possible. This film had so many, I started counting, and the highest I got to was 24 for only one small part of a scene.
It seemed as if though Paul W.S. Anderson would purposefully write each iteration to follow the current cinema trend, or he just watched a film and saw a certain element he liked and used it. For Resident Evil (2002) he used the idea of a hospital patient waking up to a world gone wrong, from Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002). It is obvious, and with Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) he decided to completely change the zombies altogether by having them run, instead of the traditional walk. This was most likely changed because of the well received Dawn of the Dead (2004) that distanced itself from the traditional slow zombies. There is little to no explanation as to how the victims of the virus could do this. Eventually it got ridiculous enough to have them wield guns and other sorts of weapons, apparently the undead can operate cars, I did not know this.
Paul W.S. Anderson made the same mistake Capcom would later make with the long awaited to Resident Evil 4 (2004), Resident Evil 5 (2009). The franchise as whole was slowly turning into the action genre, not the survival, and that applies to the films as well. Resident Evil (2002) was the only film iteration that came remotely close to the horror that games were able to bring. The film franchise has been considered the most successful game adaption franchise ever, and with the
supposed “final chapter”, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) is by far the worst film in the franchise, and is by far the worst film released in 2017 so far.
When you say that this film is the title of “the final chapter”, this means that it is the conclusion to a story that was first introduced in 2002. The funniest part is, this film is not the “grand finale” of the franchise. This film sequel baits the next iteration so hard that it’s almost laughable, but in reality it’s agitating. This film lacks four key qualities that make a great action film, a soundtrack, proper action, a original story, and intriguing characters. It seems Paul W.S. Anderson has again stuck with the trends because this film has enough shaky cam that it made me sick. In the previous films you could actually see what was happening, now I barely made out who and what happened. It is an absolute disappointment considering that a stuntwoman was seriously injured in performing a motorcycle stunt, and tragically one of the crew members were killed after a prop crushed him to death. All their hard work is wasted considering you can barely see anything happening before another jump cut comes along and throws you all over the place.
The soundtrack in Resident Evil (2002) was in fact excellent and memorable, its sequels did also have excellent scenes with a fantastic musical score behind them. None of those famous tracks are here, in fact the trailer basically plays the most interesting song involved with the film, Paradise City by Guns & Roses. Then that’s it, there is no track that gets your blood pumping for the upcoming sequence, it is completely forgettable and barely noticeable.
The story is cliche and almost unnecessary considering how the cliffhanger from Resident Evil: Retribution (2013) set the stage for the “last stand” of the human race, you expect that they will at least talk about it. But no, they do not mention anything regarding the previous film, in fact it attempts to rewrite the storyline of the previous entries to the point idiocy. The film tries so hard almost too hard to tell a decent story, but fails miserably considering it seems like just another cash in for Paul W.S. Anderson to star his wife who plays the lead character Alice (Milla Jovovich). The film ends, or quote on quote “ends”, with the cure being released in the air, curing all the infected, and apparently the cure can also bring back rivers and trees, and that is no joke. As the main protagonist drives off into the sunset, away from where it all started, she states it could take seven months for the cure to reach the other ends of the globe, and then the film ends with her stating “my job’s not over yet”, as several of the infected chase her. “The Final Chapter” isn’t in fact the final chapter.
There is little to no reason for these characters to appear, Alice (Milla Jovovich) isn’t in fact in the games nor is she mentioned in the lore. The entire film franchise’s story is canon, in which that was easily deductible as by the third movie the world ended. That was the excuse they used to make over the top set pieces that made little to no sense, and it gave someone a big paycheck for writing it. It seems that Paul W.S. Anderson keeps finding himself in a corner with no ideas to spare, in which he then comes up with some bizarre set of events that gives him the excuse to make a heavily exaggerated and prolonged story. While I respect his earlier film iterations like Mortal Kombat (1995) and Event Horizon (1997), his prolonging and misguidance of the Resident Evil franchise is long overdue. Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) makes a return and sure enough her cliched character remains the same has little to no development, while Alice seems to have one scene that somewhat brings out her character.
It is revealed that she is in fact the red queen and the clone of the real Alice, the only thing that ran through my mind was “so how does that make any sense?” Because it doesn’t, it is a poor attempt at a plot twist that made me laugh rather than feel any form of shock. Her signature narration always tells us who she is and what happened in the previous entries. I burst out laughing because in the film she states “I know who I am”. All I could think was, “Yes, we know, you’ve told us well over ten times, I’m glad you found out.”
There are so many moments where you cannot see one thing happening, in fact it is so bad that apparently a character named Christian got killed, I honestly can’t remember because I didn’t know what was happening because I couldn’t see due to extreme amount of jump cuts and shaky cam. This film in fact made me nauseated, to the point I had to walk out for a minute to only go back into more less than subpar B movie acting and cringe worthy dialogue. If I can sum that up, “Oh no we lost Christian”, while you will think, “Yeah you lost Christian, whose Christian?” The characters are so forgettable that I only remember two in the whole film, and that was only because they both have appeared in almost all of the films.
The villain, hold up this part cracks me up, the villain is a returning antagonist from Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), his name is Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen) somehow survived his last confrontation with Alice (Milla Jovovich). A famous scene in the first Resident Evil (2002) is the laser scene in which a vast majority of squad members dodge lasers that will go straight through them, each laser had a different movement pattern. The final squad member attempts to dodge it but it quickly transforms into a net that he cannot dodge, in which he is split into a large amount a pieces, grotesque I know. Well, somehow he survived that ordeal and now he is back, and he is by far the most cliche antagonist I have ever seen, there is little to no reason as to why he should return considering his death in the third film. But apparently, the Isacs that died in Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) was a “clone”, this is a poor excuse to bring bad the only decent villain in the series.
The film is so frustrating and nauseating that it seems as if though it was thought of last minute. It seems rushed, cliche, and anti-climactic, and the sad part is that it’s just that. A poor attempt at a cash in title rather than a grand finale. The action is downright hilarious, an example of this is when Alice (Milla Jovovich) fights Isaacs (Iain Glen), she seriously injures him by blowing up a grenade in his pocket, with her, right next to him. But nope, all you gotta do is walk that off. No pain, no gain, right?
The story follows Alice (Milla Jovovich) in the aftermath of the “last stand” in the previous film, and Wesker (Shawn Roberts) has once again betrayed her, she then is visited by the Red Queen (Ever Gabo Anderson) and told she must return to the Hive in less than 48 hours to return to where it all started to stop the Umbrella Corporation “one last time”.
While the film attempts to down memory lane, everything just feels unnecessary and unoriginal. While it could’ve made an interesting story, the amount of excuses this film comes up with in order to create a set piece or return a “dead” character is laughable.
The story just sets up a whole bunch of random set pieces that make little to no sense. The worst part about the film, is its attempt at a “major” plot twist. So, the film attempts to rewrite the previous films by changing the way we looked at Alice (Milla Jovovich) before. Before she was a guard at the Spencer Mansion that fell for a man willing to sell something so despicable and sickening he would kill for it, her memories were suppressed because of a nerve gas that was released after her lover released the T-Virus within the hive. The “twist” here, is that Alice (Milla Jovovich) is a clone of the real Alice who is the co-leader of Umbrella, and that she was cloned right before the events of the hive. The continuity errors are all over the place, and most are just sad excuses to create a set piece or bring back a character.
I am being completely honest here, there are none.
- Enough shaky cam and jump cuts that make the film nauseating to watch.
- An extreme lack of proper character development and decent dialogue.
- Many anti-climactic moments that ruins the whole idea of a “grand finale”.
- Ridiculous set pieces that are set up the large amount of continuity errors.
- Cliche antagonist that has no purpose of returning, considering he was “killed off” in the third film.
- Lackluster CGI, and a forgettable soundtrack.
- Cliche and unoriginal story.
- Too many attempts to rewrite the past entries.
- A poor attempt at a plot twist that leaves you asking more questions rather than receiving more answers.
- The ending, is a con on its own. “The Final Chapter” isn’t in fact, a final chapter.
Total Score: 1/10
It is a shame considering the tragic production that took the life of a cast member, and has seriously injured a stuntwoman. Their work seems overshadowed by the rigorous amounts of shaky cam and large amount of continuity errors.
Paul W.S. Anderson
Paul W.S. Anderson
Paul W.S. Anderson
Resident Evil by Capcom
Capcom Co. Ltd.
Don Carmody Productions
January 27th, 2017
106 minutes (1 hour and 46 minutes)