Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Well, then, Resident Evil 6, which bills itself as “The Final Chapter,” but ends up leaving itself way open to a sequel. I unabashedly love these movies, and would happily watch a new one every few years into eternity, but that said, this one does an excellent job of delivering a sense of closure and developing ending stakes in a series known for having an open-ended story that could continue endlessly forever. If you like these movies, this one does a great job of saving the best for last and offering lots of new stuff while also offering a fitting and momentous-enough sendoff.

My boyfriend, sweet as he is, suggested he should see it because I love the series, and I sat there thinking I would be embarrassed for him to see it because it is truly obscene in its violence. That said, the awesome scenes in this movie are fucking awesome, and it’s still funny and clever in spades. I’ve always maintained that this series—and the wonderful Final Destination films—inadvertently edge into the postmodern zone, where they’re so single-mindedly simple they become existential statements. Final Destination does this by having no villain, transforming every object on Earth into a threat and thus becoming about movie fear and horror itself. This series is about a beautiful woman in tight leather shooting guns—full stop. It has a way of making the director’s wife, former model Milla Jovovich, into more of an icon than a character, and for whatever reason, she can really pull it off. She doesn’t condescend to the material at all [cough, Kate Beckensale] and has developed an affect and wit for the character that stays winning and consistent throughout, jumping into every absolutely inane twist without a trace of irony.

SPOILERS > > > Not really a spoiler, but you know how some people are. In this installment, we “find out” that the virus that wiped out humanity was actually purposely let out, as the wealthy have frozen themselves, and intend to wake up and repopulate the Earth, Noah’s ark-style. In years past I might not have thought anything of it, but here it comes off as clever and not all that far-fetched, given Trump and his installing of a bunch of billionaires with no job experience in his cabinet. One has the feeling that they might actually like to just exterminate all the “undesirables” and start again with a world entirely under corporate control. There are also some clever story permutations regarding the origins Jovovich’s Alice character, ones that do well to make her even more iconic and worthy of her struggle. They may rewrite the history of the series a bit but, gosh, I can barely remember what happened in the last movie, or any of the others. < < < SPOILERS END

What else? The awesome Ali Larter is back, and she gets one ultra-cool moment, although she deserves more. Alice gets some great one-liners, and Jovovich knows just how to deliver them. The movie continually gets better as it goes, with the climax successfully being the best part of the film, an admirable achievement. And it contains several resonant apocalyptic visions that make it better than your average zombie apocalypse movie. I can’t really point to what makes this trash-art while something like Underworld is just trash, but the pairing of writer/director Paul WS Anderson and his wife Jovovich have really hit on something here that just doesn’t work in his other films, even his other films with her as a badass. And while I don’t see why they had to end it at all, they ended it on a high note and sorry, this is just top-notch, state-of-the-art senseless violence as entertainment.

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5 thoughts on “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

  1. Oh, Scott. Honestly, I feel like we’re lucky to have you. I might not agree with all of your reviews, but one can always count on you to offer spot-on insight on culture and society, on how even the dumbest film can in some ways be cleverer and more relevant than whatever indie or Oscar-bait film is currently applauded as the best thing ever. With a film like this one, it’s so easy to just trash it and not even remotely consider it worthy of a review in any “serious” site, and that kind of snobbish mindset can get so boring and limiting. But here you are, being able to appreciate the deepest, most complex art film, and also the last Resident Evil film. I wish there were more people like you out there!

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    • Thank you so much, Hugo! I have long had to face that I am completely susceptible to flattery. I have seen a few reviews acknowleding that there’s something special about this series–now that it’s ending–but it is disheartening how many professional critics dismiss something like this based on the concept alone. Thanks again for your kind words, I very much appreciate them.

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      • We all enjoy being flattered 😉 Funnily enough, I have also noticed reviews for this installment (and the franchise as a whole) being more positive than before, and even read one where the critic felt there were political overtones in the climax of the film… I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t say, though that sounds like maybe reading too much into it. I look forward to seeing it asap ayway.
        Ps the trailer for your film does look beautiful. What did you use to record it? I do agree with the other commenter that maybe for a teaser it needs to be shorter, and end with one of those evocative texts sprinkled throughout, to leave one wanting to see more.

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  2. I think critics are being kinder as they know the series is ending….

    Yeah, the teaser is long, but I really thought THAT piece of music was perfect, and couldn’t see how to edit it without an ugly fade. Besides, it’s more to give people the idea of the movie, and they don’t have to watch the whole thing. Thanks for your kind words. I filmed it all on a Canon 70D.

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  3. Pingback: Final Destination 2 – CdM II: Night of the suckerfish

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