The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum


The Resident Evil saga has varied wildly in terms of quality on a film-by-film basis. Heck, The Final (excuse me while I laugh uncontrollably at the notion that this will be the “final” installment) Chapter fluctuates in quality on a scene-to-scene basis. For every awesome sequence of zombie carnage, there is at least one humdrum shootout foiled by shaky-cam camerawork and ADHD editing. Still, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter more often than not delivers the goods.

I maintain that whatever its faults, any movie that begins with Milla Jovovich in a Humvee playing a game of chicken with a mutant dragon is a good movie.

This also has to be the LOUDEST movie on record. I can only imagine what it will sound like at home. If you have a quality sound system, chances are you’re going to blow out your speakers, or your windows, whatever comes first.

It sets a Hollywood record for the most number of jump scares in a horror flick too. There’s at least four in the first scene alone. Because of the heightened sound quality, each scare is punctuated with a piercing noise that sounds like a cross between nails on a chalkboard, two rusted battleships scraping against each other, and Godzilla taking a shit. (That is to say that, yes, I did jump a time or two; mostly because of the deafening sound.)

The film sets another record for the amount of vehicles the heroine loses, crashes, or falls off of. I counted three in the first act alone. Thank goodness cars and motorcycles are so easy to find after the Apocalypse.

The plot is the same as all the other ones. This time though, Milla is finally going to go to Raccoon City/enter the Hive/take down the Umbrella Corporation for good this time. Fingers crossed. Probably not.

In fact, the movie plays like a Resident Evil greatest hits mix tape. You like zombie dogs? Well this time there are hundreds of them. Remember the laser beam room? Well, you get another badass fight in it. You enjoy long detailed briefings by a little proper British girl who acts as the Hive’s security system? You’re gonna have a field day with this one.

As a fan of zombie movies in general, I have always been a bit perplexed by this series as the zombies are often dropped in favor of mutant squid-faces and/or biomechanical monsters. If you love zombies as much as I do, then you’ll probably flip over The Final Chapter. It contains without a doubt some of the finest mass zombie hordes ever projected on the silver screen.

Director Paul W.S. (Resident Evil 1, 4, and 5) Anderson delivers on the gore. Heads are lopped off, hands are hacked off, and hips get hand-grenaded off. Unfortunately, his action scenes aren’t as crisp as his previous Resident Evil outings. He favors shaky-cam Bourne-style action rather than the Matrix-y brand he brought to Afterlife and Retribution. The handing of the action isn’t enough to derail the movie, but it does hold it back from achieving its full badass potential.

Still, he does give us some inventive moments along the way. My favorite bit was when Milla went to kill the villain using an icepick, broken whiskey decanter, and a fountain pen. Then the film rewinds itself and we see it was just a part of the bad guy’s “Threat Detector” where he views each possible scenario and predicts her likelihood for success. It’s a neat scene that plays with the audience’s expectations and I wish Anderson had a few more moments like this up his sleeve. (Although there is a shot in which the camera goes through a zombie dog’s ribcage that is quite beautiful.)

I don’t want to get political. However, I thought I’d point this out. This is the second big action sequel (after XXX 3) that has come out after Trump was elected President. It portrays Washington D.C. as a wasteland that’s been totally decimated by a zombie plague. Make of that what you will.

The 3-D isn’t the best of the series. Most of the effects occur in the second half, so if you’re patient you will be rewarded with a fair amount of 3-D moments. My favorite effect might be the scene in which Milla jumps on a zip line, hurtles toward the screen, and almost hops right into your lap. Folks, this is the kind of shit the technology was made for.

Full 3-D stats:

• 3-D gun barrels (multiple)
• 3-D hand
• 3-D zip-lining Milla
• 3-D ejected gun clip
• 3-D threat calculator

Tags: action, horror, in 3-d, r, resident evil series, sequel, zombie
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