The glorious cinematic saga that is Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil is a definite guilty pleasure, but I currently lack the energy to properly review its latest chapter. So, instead, here are some random, semi-organized observations:
The film opens with yet another 20-minute long exposition dump. This time, however, about 96% of the “recap” is brand new info, which exists solely to justify the ridiculous (and predictable) plot twists. If you notice anything that contradicts previously established series lore, don’t sweat it; Anderson certainly didn’t.
Once again, the previous installment’s cliffhanger is utterly squandered. 2012’s Retribution ended with Alice and her ragtag team convening in Washington, D.C. to make a last stand against the undead horde. The Final Chapter picks up an indeterminate amount of time later, with Alice alone in the desolate capital. Where are beloved video game characters Leon and Jill? I guess they died offscreen, fans be damned. To be fair, Claire Redfield makes her triumphant return following her notable absence from Retribution… which comes with its own set of problems (“Hey, wasn’t your brother with you when you disappeared?”)
Clones. There’s an overabundance of Clones in this one. They are, in fact, an integral plot device. At this point, I can’t even be confident that I’m the original O'Grady.
Iain Glen last played the villainous Doctor Isaacs way back in 2007’s Resident Evil: Extinction. Well, in the decade since, Game of Thrones happened, so Glen is back with a greatly expanded role (thanks to the aforementioned CLONES). And I’m not complaining, considering Glen enriches any project in which he participates.
As a consequence of Isaacs taking center stage as the Big Bad, longtime series antagonist Albert Wesker is treated with exactly as much respect as he deserves. Which is to say none at all. As delightfully hammy as he can be, I’ve never been terribly fond of Wesker's rather generic brand of villainy, in either the movies or the games that inspired them, so seeing him reduced to a punchline was a nice treat.
[Originally written January 29 2017.]