These movies all update you on what happened last, which is sort of what I'm doing. It's been a long road since the T-virus escaped the Hive, an underground facility in Raccoon City and territory of the Umbrella Corporation. Ever since, Alice has had to, as she says in this movie, spend pretty much her whole life running and killing. Well, now, there's a minuscule chance this could come to an end. Alice gets a message from The Red Queen, the artificial intelligence that's caused the world and our hero so much misery. And apparently there's an Anti T-virus. In the Hive. And it will be able to spread until forty-eight hours have gone by. Alice is not sure whether to trust her or not but the possibility is so thrilling she has to. Who will be around to stop her? Why do they want to stop her? And who will help her? And if she is able to release this anti-virus...does that mean she'll die too since she's infected with the T-virus too?
The last Resident Evil movie was supposed to be this one, as in The Final Chapter, but Paul W.S. Anderson decided to split it into two and before filming for this one could begin, Anderson began work on another movie, Pompeii (I've met one of the people who worked on it. It was really cool.) And then his wife and the star Milla Jovovich became pregnant (in class, I wanted to report on how the movie was finally being released after these many cancellations; Fun fact: This movie's original release was September 2014. 2014!! My teacher thought it would be better to only include the fact it was coming out. She was wrong. That's bad news reporting.) But this movie takes place only a little while after the events of Retribution, so the creators decided to say it's been ten years rather than fifteen because it makes more sense. Nice touch.
So I've had plenty of time to imagine what this last instalment would give, and my expectations were quite high! One thing that kind of dissipates it immediately is that there are a lot of character absences that don't make sense to not acknowledge, like Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong, and Chris Redfield, or, gravely, Alice's daughter Becky, or a clone of Becky anyway. I actually really like this movie's story. I kind of love it! But there's one major flaw. This movie kind of rewrites the story we got from Retribution to a fault. There are some new and old characters, all of which aren't very well developed. But the attitude of Resident Evil is to have lots of jump scares and situations the undead have to fight the real undead from. And still, some of these characters we actually do want to make it out alive, and not just Alice. That was a good touch. Those are the main story problems I found, but the actual one that we get is a fitting replacement. We get one that traces back to the roots of this whole story that's spawned so many movies, along with some interesting ideas for torture, like how someone is forced to run behind a tank with the undead inches away and hungry for your pancreas until you talk.
Milla Jovovich is also one of the most underrated actresses around. As Alice, she shows a character who's scarred through years of misery in an environment that is as well shot as it is hopeless-looking. Alice and this world really fit terrifically.
I also wanted to mention the choreography. In Retribution, we had a spectacular white corridor scene that I think had 80 different shots and angles. It's clear Anderson likes to be able to show us every point of view, so warning: some people might find this nauseating. I found it impressively fast paced. I also loved the action sequence when our heroes try to do the right thing and save survivors even if it's evidently a trap and are trying to kill off a rampaging zombie army bigger than the amount of forced North Koreans to attend Kim Jong-il's funeral. Their strategies are not only resourceful but are originally fiery and wavey, and I don't mean that only as similes. And from the way I knew how these characters were so vulnerable, I was holding my breath as they go through a power-cut shaft. I was also holding my breath every time a fight scene that was head-on with as many martial arts as you can put in a horror movie took place.
In the rundown, it's hard for me to dislike a film where I had my hands clenched as fists from suspense the entire time. It's inevitably flawed in its transition, but if you can get past that, you have a movie that bows to the audience. There's a character who smiles near the end of the film. I imitated.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter may once again be filled with disposable characters, and a felt absence of major characters from the last film that I wanted to see back, but this final entry in the videogame series has something I feel people don't believe horror movies have: a heart and a desire for a life.