Around this site we love a bad movie, but the right bad movie hits some certain criteria. A good bad movie is usually funny, it’s usually confusing, but it’s always an honest effort. These honestly bad movies are entertaining in the same way as watching a street performer royally fuck up their routine is—It’s hilarious to see all that preparation go down the tubes, but you also are kind of wanting them to succeed. And when it all falls apart, you don’t feel that bad for laughing.
But, believe it or not, there are movies out there that are just bad, bad. Bad writing, bad editing, bad acting—all without the added pleasure of watching an honest-to-god train wreck. Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter sits firmly in the bad, bad camp and none of its visceral action, computer generated dragon-things and brooding Jovovich close-ups can save it.
Indeed, my marathoning of this trash heap of a film franchise could not prepare me (or the hapless friend that I dragged along) for what we experienced. The previous Resident Evils provided me with, at least, the slightest bit of satisfaction garnered from mind numbing special effects and shooting. But The Final Chapter is so mired in a confusing plot, senseless brutality and spatially confusing set-pieces, that it was all too distracting to provide entertainment.
Many of my earlier observations about the series were still ringing true, much to my chagrin. For instance, the series’ penchant for ignoring the previous entry and starting from near-scratch. At the end of the preceding film, Afterlife, antagonist Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) takes series protagonist, Alice (Jovovich), to “the last stand of the human race” at the White House. We’re lead to believe this will be the setting of the series’ end. But it was not so. In true Resident Evil film fashion, this plotline is quickly dropped within a minute of The Final Chapter favoring, instead, Jovovich running helter-skelter over the undead filled landscape in a poorly constructed premise to get her back into the laboratory setting of the first film.
“A trinity of bitches,” Iain Glenn’s Dr. Isaacs says referring to Jovovich’s Alice and her cohorts, garnering the only positive audience reaction of the night. With six (!!!!!!) Resident Evil films behind me, “a sextuplet of turds,” was all that came to my mind.
Here are five things that I learned watching Resident Evil: The Final Chapter:
- Everything Is Meaningless:
Sure, this sounds like a depressing, poignant statement about life in the post Final Chapter era but, I promise, I’m specifically talking about the things happening on the screen. There is truly no motivation for Jovovich’s main character, Alice, or the characters antagonizing her throughout the entirety of the movie. That’s a pretty shocking revelation when you’re watching a film where the stakes are, literally, the end of the world. Iain Glen’s Dr. Isaacs is this film’s poster boy for meaningless motivations. At one point he’s leading a group of surviving humans through the end of the world like a religious zealot (gotta get that trope in there), and at another point he has cybernetic powers simply for the reason that Jovovich needs to fight something. This climactic super-powered battle is brought to a close when he is stabbed by another character, ignoring the fact that he’s literally just been shot and exploded. I guess to survive the apocalypse you’re gonna want that bread knife instead of the machine gun.
- Good Make-Up Artists Are Worth the Money:
Part of The Final Chapter’s confusing plot has Jovovich aged and the make-up job was hilariously inadequate. Take a look:
It just looks bad, like a halloween costume or something. My mother-in-law does community theater and I’m confident she could do a better job.
- If You Cut It Fast Enough, No One Will Notice that Nothing is Happening
Hands down, these action sequences feature the fastest editing I’ve seen in a theatrical release. Whether Alice and her friends are shooting, driving, or fist fighting, the editing’s breakneck pace is nauseating and will make you wonder what you’re even looking at. It led me to come up with an interesting theory: Maybe all these half seconds cuts were actually just shots of Milla Jovovich sitting in a chair, blowing bubbles or something. I’m gonna stick with this theory, it sounds fine.
- Bad Rich People Bad
Perhaps this seems like a trivial observation for a trashy action movie, but I hate unmotivated bad guys and the often used “rich people are bad because they’re rich,” is getting played out. This movie compounds it by having Jovovich murder these people during the climax, which means, a large chunk of the scant-few survivors left are now gone. Isn’t her motivation preserving humanity?!? But this is Paul W.S. Anderson logic: movie must happen, so something must explode.
- I’m Going to Spend the Rest of My Life Trying to Unwrap This Enigma:
Not only what did I just watch, but why did I watch it???