Just when I get back to my normal schedule, I have a pre-order come in. Oh well, it is what it is. So at beginning of the year, the latest, and supposedly final, movie in the Resident Evil series came out. And just like all of the previous movies in the series….I did not see it in theaters. A part of me does kind of feel bad about that because I really did enjoy these movies, for the most part. Well, let’s see if this series went out with a bang, or a whimper as I watch today’s movie, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
The plot: Years ago, Dr. James Marcus, the founder of the Umbrella Corporation, was trying to find a cure for his daughter Alicia, who was suffering from a rare aging disease. He finally creates the T-Virus, which repairs damaged cells, and it succeeds in saving Alicia’s life and he thought this might be a cure for other diseases as well but there were unforeseen side effects. When an incident on a cable car at Raccoon City occurred, the Umbrella Company quickly covered it up and Marcus wanted to close down the project but his partner, Dr. Alexander Isaacs refused and has Albert Wesker kill Marcus. Isaacs becomes Alicia’s guardian in order to control her 50% of the company, then creates the artificial intelligence called The Red Queen to help him control the company. At the end of the previous 5 movies, Alice and the last of humanity was making their stand in Washington DC against a horde of undead monsters. Now, DC lays in ruins as Alice emerges from the rubble of the White House and stumbles towards the reflecting pool. As she gets a few drinks of water from the pool, she is attacked by a zombie but it’s leg is caught in a chain so she is able to get away. As she continues to explore, she is attacked by a flying monster but eventually manages to kill it by crashing a jeep into it, pinning it to a building, then setting off a claymore mine. As Alice lays there catching her breath, the air raid sirens go off, then suddenly stop and Alice can hear an old printer running somewhere. Following the sound, Alice discovers an old computer system and finds herself confronted by the Red Queen. The Red Queen tells Alice that there are less than 5000 people on the planet and they will all be wiped out in 48 hours. She then tells Alice that Umbrella had developed an airborne anti-virus that would destroy the T-virus around the world, destroying the zombie horde, but she has to go back to the Hive in Raccoon City to retrieve it. Alice says she doesn’t trust her and the Red Queen says she understands and tells Alice that Wesker, who had betrayed Alice in DC, is at the Hive and she will explain everything when Alice gets there. Alice starts to make her way to Raccoon City but her car is disabled by a spike strip. Seeing a motorcycle abandoned nearby, Alice heads for it but notices it is an Umbrella Corp. motorcycle and starts to back away, suspecting a trap. When a soldier appears, Alice finds herself caught in a snare as more soldiers appear to capture her but she is able to kill them all, but then is shocked into unconsciousness by the motorcycles’ anti-theft device. When Alice comes too, she finds herself inside a large armored vehicle and confronted by Isaacs, whom Alice thought she had killed but realizes that she only killed his clone. When Isaacs realizes that Alice knows about the anti-virus, he has her tossed out of the vehicle and forces her to run behind it, with a large zombie horde chasing after her. Isaacs then contacts Wesker and tells him he caught Alice heading for Raccoon City and has Wesker increase the Hive’s defenses. Alice manages to get onto the vehicle and kills two soldiers before Isaacs confronts her. As they fight, Alice spies another motorcycle and quickly cuts off Isaacs’ hand so that she can activate and rides ahead of the two armored vehicles that are heading to Raccoon City. Wesker and the Red Queen see Alice approaching the city and Wesker says to ready their defenses and activate their agent inside Raccoon City. As Alice makes her way through the city, she finds herself captured by a group of human survivors, who are prepared to kill her but Alice is saved by Claire Redfield, who vouches for Alice. After Claire explains what happened to her after the battle on the Arcadia, Alice tells them that an army of zombies is being led to the city by Isaacs and says that his vehicles will destroy the tower they are in, leaving them easy prey for the zombies. One of the group, Christian, doesn’t trust Alice but the group’s leader, Doc, says that he does. After Doc treats Alice’s injuries, Alice tells Claire about the cure but Claire doesn’t believe the Red Queen and asks Alice to help defend the tower. Alice agrees and they manage to use the resources they have to fend off the zombies, while also taking out one of the armored vehicles. As Alice incapacitates the second vehicle, she goes looking for Isaacs but finds that he has escaped, then uses the vehicle to lure the zombies away, but they discover two more armies of undead approaching. Realizing they only have one choice now, Alice leads Doc, Claire, Christian, Razor, Abigail, and two more survivors to the Hive. As they get close, they are attacked by the Hive’s first line of defense, a pack of mutated dogs, which manage to kill Christian and one of the survivors but Alice and the others make it inside the Hive. Once there, the Red Queen appears at a console and informs Alice that after the T-Virus was created, Isaacs held a secret meeting where he planned to release the virus to wipe out humanity, while a select few would survive to rebuild a perfect society. When the video was uploaded to the Red Queen’s memory banks, this created a conflict of interest as she is unable to harm an Umbrella employee but was programmed to value human life. The Red Queen makes Alice aware of the time, then has her don an ear piece, where she tells Alice that one of the group is an Umbrella spy. As the group make their way through the hive, Abigail is killed when she gets sucked into a giant turbine, while the other survivor falls through a floor trap as they make their way through the air ducts. Alice and Claire end up falling through separate traps, with Alice landing in a room filled with dead bodies. As she looks around, Razor suddenly drops into the room but as they start to move, Razor is killed by a new monster, which then attacks Alice but she manages to kill it. As Alice catches her breath, Doc shows up and they continue towards the cure. When they reach a corridor, Alice recognizes it as the laser corridor and heads into the control room where the weapons and explosives that Shade and Rain’s team had left there. Handing Doc a gun, Alice uses the computer console to take them down into the lower levels of the Hive, where they see the cryogenic storage chambers that contain the Umbrella Corp’s high command, as well as the super rich and powerful, who were placed there to wait out the apocalypse. Meanwhile, Isaacs has commandeered one of the approaching armored vehicles and drives it over the edge of the pit, then starts leading the zombies towards the Hive. Back in the Hive, Claire manages to escape the cell she is in but is captured by Wesker. Meanwhile, Alice and Doc place explosives in the cryogenic room and then head for the board room, where they are confronted by the real Isaacs. Isaacs explains that the person Alice met was another clone, then has her drop her weapon or he will destroy the anti-virus, which he is holding in his hand. Alice drops her weapon, then turns to see Doc pointing his gun at her, revealing him to be the spy. As Wesker shows up with Claire, Isaacs then introduces Alice to Alicia Marcus, telling Alice that Alice is merely a clone of Alicia, which is why she has no memory of anything before the events at the mansion 10 years ago. Alicia informs Isaacs that she still owns 50% of the company and though she can’t do anything to him, Wesker is an employee so she promptly fires him, allowing the Red Queen to sever his legs by closing the security door on them. Doc tries to shoot Alice but his gun is empty, as Alice had figured out he was the spy, and she knocks him down, where Claire proceeds to shoot him. Alicia says they are running out of time and the Red Queen gives Alice and Claire a route to catch up to Isaacs and the two leave, with Alice stopping to place a dead man’s switch for the explosives in Wesker’s hand. Alice and Claire catch up to Isaacs and start fighting with him but Isaacs is able to overpower them, knocking Claire out. As Alice continues to fight with Isaacs, they end up in the laser corridor and Isaac’s grabs Alice and hols her hand out, and the lasers sever her fingers. However, Alice had managed to grab the anti-virus and place a grenade in Isaacs pocket instead, which explodes and kills him. Checking on Claire, Alice heads up to the surface to release the anti-virus but Isaacs, clinging on to life, shows up to stop her. Suddenly, the clone Isaacs shows up and when he sees the real Isaacs there, has a mental breakdown and stabs him, before falling victim to the zombie horde. As the zombies approach her, Alice smashes open the vial, and the zombies proceed to collapse to the ground, along with Alice, while inside the Hive, Wesker finally dies and releases the switch, causing the explosives to go off and kill Alicia and the frozen Umbrella heads. Alice wakes up to find Claire standing over her and wonders how she managed to survive. They find a control node for the Red Queen and she explains that the virus killed the T-virus in Alice’s body, but left the healthy cells alive. She also tells her that Alicia downloaded her memories as a gift for Alice, giving her the childhood she never knew. With the anti-virus in the air, the cure will take time to reach across the world, so Alice continues to head out and fight the undead, as she heads towards Manhattan with a group of flying monsters on her tail.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter met with negative results from the critics, holding a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter may prove mind-numbingly chaotic for the unconverted, but for fans of the venerable franchise, it offers a fittingly kinetic conclusion to its violent post-apocalyptic saga.” During filming, Mila Jovovich’s stunt double was severely injured when a camera crane malfunctioned and didn’t rise out of the way, causing the motorcycle she was riding to crash into it and causing her to be in a medically induced coma due to the extent of her injuries and necessitating her left arm to be amputated at the elbow. The movie was the most successful of the franchise, earning $312.2 million off of a $40 million budget.
This was a great way to end a series of movies. The acting was good, with Mila Jovovich (Alice), Ali Larter (Claire) and Ian Glenn (Isaacs) doing great jobs in their roles. The story was good, with the reveal that Alice was merely a clone all this time being a nice twist. I also liked how they had Alice show more humanity than Isaacs, who wanted to lead his own perfect world of humans. The special effects with the zombies and creatures were pretty good, though some of the fight scenes were a little over the top. A long running series definitely went out with a bang and did a good job bringing the series to a close.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5