Thursday, 9 February 2017

The 5 Things Wrong With Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Let me begin by saying I was quite the fan of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and have been an avid follower of the entire franchise, only missing the OG RE back in the day because it wasn't in any convenient cinemas for my fragile wee brain. The latest release is a massive step up and fun cinematic experience, hitting the right note with fans of the films, to be sure.

With that said, this purported 'final' chapter in the franchise certainly left a lot to be desired (not as much as the previous Revelations chapter, but that's for another day). So, strap on in, and let's have a look at the 5 Things Wrong With Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

Spoilers from here on.

5. Recap Editing

This may be the editor side of me talking here, but man, the editing of this film was abysmal. I mean, it told the story and things were understandable, but it was like someone looked at the two hour version of the film and decided 'Hey, we need this to go faster. Gimme back 15 minutes of screen time by taking any beats, pauses or moments out of the film'. It's like someone in charge was worried an audience wouldn't follow the film if it wasn't cut like an over-caffinated YouTube blogger. 

Pretty much the entire film lacks beats for the audience to soak in the characters or the moments, which is a problem other films like The Dark Knight Rises and X-Men: Days of Future Past suffer from (so at least it is in good company). The information to make the film is there, so technically it should all be fine, but it is most comparable to the recap you see at the beginning of a TV show. You know, the 'previously on...' bit. Case in point; Alice being tended to by Claire. The words and looks were there, but you can feel the filmmakers trying to move as quickly as they can back to the action scenes. Emotional depth? Pfwah! Gimme explosions and severed limbs, you wuss!

4. WTF Logic

Ok, a Resident Evil film has exactly been the poster child for logical actions, but this film takes the cake. Why the heck don't we get even a glimpse of what happened in Washington? The Red Queen implores Alice to get to Raccoon City quick to aid her, but doesn't provide her with a helicopter, or even disable a motorbikes security functions so her journey is a little less perilous. The shocking return of Dr. Isaacs is considerably less shocking when Alice blows off the who reveal with 'Well, I guess it was a clone I killed'. When Alice arrives at Raccoon City, why does the gang and her bother going on the offensive instead of simply heading straight for the Hive and using the time to their advantage? Why does Isaacs let Alice et all execute their defensive maneuvers, destroying a tank and nearly wrecking his plan when he could easily have fired upon them immediately? Why does the Hive have lighting in its airshafts? And random hatches that drop into caverns? And why does it so badly utilise it's space?! And why does Claire Redfield sit outside the laser room and not in any way help Alice when she is about to become shish kabab? How does Isaacs get up to the surface so quick? Why does old Alice's explosion seem to hit her last, even though she's right beside it? Ugh, there's so much more...

I mean, it's a fun dumb film, but come on. At least half of these questions could have been easily addressed!

3. No tomandandy?!

Paul Haslinger's score is absolutely fine, and will probably be some people's favourite, but come on, tomandandy!!! I mean, this:

2. But What About Everyone Else?!

Retribution had a lot of problems with it, but one thing it did do was introduce a lot of new characters who actually didn't suck; Ada, Leon, Jill Valentine and Becky. So what happened to them? Did they all die in some epic siege at the White House? Did Wesker double-cross them? Are they taking a well-earned holiday in the Bahamas? Or are they preparing to appear in sequels or side stories? That last one might sound a bit snarky, but we all left the theatre hit big by this last one...

1. The Lack of Closure

Following in the fine tradition of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, and Friday The 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (oh God, those words have no meaning anymore...) is as much the final chapter as my promises to run a marathon; completely hollow. It really doesn't shock me that though it would be a nice cap to the series to end here, the door is left wide open for another sequel that has real potential to happen since this installment seems to have reinvigorated the interest in Umbrella's undead. 

It is such a shame because the film was almost brave enough to end on an emotionally hard-hitting moment of sacrifice of our lead protagonist (though it must be said, a hit soften by the emotionally-devoid editing mention above), but pulls back at the last moment to have Alice 'saved'. I guess it was too much to expect some real finality or gravitas in the film. I know these aren't made to tug at people's emotions as I might like, but still, the film was this close to giving itself the weight and importance of being the closing installment of the series. 

Sure, I will probably watch future films should they come, but it would really have been something to have seen Alice go from confused and powerless amnesiac in a claustrophobic underground complex to superhuman sacrifice in the post-apocalypse while mass hordes of zombies as far as the eye can see strike. Her death would have meant something, not just another plot contrivance to get us to our next 'cool hero' cliché moment.

So there you have it. My nitpicking of a film I did genuinely enjoy, but by God, these things just irked me. What say you? Did these things draw your eye? What did you not like about the film? Or what about it made it the best installment in the franchise for you? Comment on!

In cinemas now.

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