It’s time to look at the final chapter in the Resident Evil saga. Unfortunately it is not all that good and throws away the entire premise that the last film set up. It’s a shame because the films always tend to have pretty amazing cliffhangers and more often than not the sequels manage to capitalize on them. Unfortunately this one turned out to be an exception to that. It feels a lot like the desert film previously and not a whole lot happens. The whole first half is basically filler so once the main plot occurs we have to go at turbo speed. I feel like they just wanted to end everything so there wasn’t a whole lot of effort behind this one.
Last time Alice regained her powers and prepared to fight off the invasion of the Red Queen along with Wesker, Jill, and the U.S. Military. The final shot there was great with an epic background and guaranteed action for the next film. Unfortunately this film borderline retcons that similar to how Blade 2 retconned 1 a bit. It’s not an official retcon here of course as there are small references to how that was all a trick but it still makes no sense. So according to this film, Wesker basically brought Alice and the others over to murder them so he gave Alice a fake serum. We can assume Wesker murdered all of her friends but how did he not destroy her? Wesker has super speed and super strength enough to effortlessly dodge bullets and crush people with a single blow. The film never bothers to address this in any kind of way. I like a good mystery myself but it just made no sense and this film may as well be a reboot to be honest.
Back to the plot though, Alice is now travelling aimlessly through the desert as she fights off giant monsters. The Red Queen shows up and says that she has actually betrayed the Umbrella corporation. The villains have invented a cure to take down the zombies and it is airborne so it can cure the entire planet. It’s a lethal cure though so it’ll murder anyone who is infected and only the humans who are not tainted will survive. They mention at the beginning of the film that only 4000 or 40000 (Can’t remember which) humans are still alive so it’s not a great amount. Still, they can eventually start to regroup but Alice needs to find the cure within 48 hours or everyone will be dead. Remember this because it will be important later on. Alice will have to head back to Raccoon City to find the cure which certainly won’t be easy. Fortunately she runs into yet another resistance group who is here to help.
There sure are a ton of resistance groups since Alice finds one in every film and promptly gets just about all of them murdered. The plot is very thin here and riddled with holes. I’ll get into that in a minute so lets get the standard stuff out of the way first. First off, the film is definitely super violent as always which holds it back quite a bit. Zombie films really aren’t my thing since they’re just an excuse for the film to get as gruesome as possible since they are no longer human. There’s a lot of nonstop violence here that’s for sure. The film skips its obligatory fanservice moment this time though which I was glad about. That’s something that the films definitely did not need in the slightest.
Unfortunately with the story being the way it is it’s hard to get invested in the film as well. It’s easily the least interesting film in the series aside from the desert one. Most of the film is just Alice wandering around another desert until she makes it to the facility. Then we get some solid fights but that’s about it. The film ends and you’re wondering what the point was. It even starts to drag a bit and that’s unfortunate since the film isn’t even very long. The worst part is that it got rid of a lot of the amazing music themes that played during the previous films. Why would they get rid of the umbrella elevator theme when they actually brought the elevator back into play here? That was a huge missed opportunity.
Alice is still a great main character though. She’s very no nonsense and takes down quite a lot of zombies. Alice may have lost her powers but not her fighting abilities. The scene of her taking down a whole group while tied up upside down was really something else. It’s really not an exaggeration to say that she may be the best film heroine out there. I may even do an editorial for that at some point on top 10 female leads or something. What really helps here is her consistency. She hasn’t had a bad film and is always right up there in the thick of the action without backing down.
The rest of the cast is quite weak and to be honest they don’t get much of a role. I doubt anyone will remember the members of her squad aside from Claire who gets to return here. Claire looks decent at least but seems to vanish for almost all of the fight scenes. As for the villains, it’s hard to take Isaacs seriously. Good for him that he got super powers though but it makes his fights look even worse. You’re telling me that with bullet timing speed and super strength he seriously couldn’t beat Alice? I’m glad for the Alice hype of course but when you stop to think about it for more than a second then it really makes no sense at all. Don’t even get me started on Wesker. That guy was portrayed as being absolutely unstoppable. A pure beast of combat through and through, yet he wasn’t able to do anything in this film. The movie had absolutely no idea what to do with him considering that he only appeared for a few minutes in the entire film. Wesker also isn’t as confident as usual and is portrayed as a lackey for some reason.
Okay, so let’s talk about the plot now. At the beginning Alice mentions that there aren’t many humans left and the Red Queen confirms that within 48 hours they will all be dead. So that’s why Alice needs to grab the serum right away. Well, she does and in typical cinematic timing she does it with a few seconds left. There should only be a small handful of humans left then right? The 48 hours were basically up before the Red Queen was able to stop the zombie attack. I guess we could say that she underestimated the humans which is reasonable so there could be more left, but Alice says the cure will take years to travel the globe. Even if the Red Queen can somehow stop the zombies from attacking…which is a bit sketchy in itself, years is a long time. Realistically the human race is pretty much wiped out and that’s how the film should have ended. The Red Queen telling Alice that she is now the last survivor of the human race aside from the people present (Really just Claire) would have been a pretty powerful moment.
Then we have the fact that the villains seem desperate to destroy Alice. Again, they could have finished her at any time so why continue to let her live? Why even let her get near the facility instead of blowing it up? Since there were only minutes left and they had cameras on the heroes the whole time they could have escaped through the back as well. Having Wesker at the ready would have been good too. There are just too many reasons why Alice’s desperate assault on the base should not have worked. The writers stacked things a little too heavily against the heroes which made for a completely unbelievable scenario all the way through. I really couldn’t buy into it personally.
It’s hard to nail down exactly why the film failed on all fronts aside from what I’ve listed, but I think the final part is that it no longer felt like a Sci-Fi. The film scrubbed all sci-fi elements away from the series for some reason. We lost all of the cool themes, the great designs, and the whole atmosphere that made the series resonate as a Resident Evil title. You could have taken the name away and this had almost nothing to do with anything. Just take a look at the first scene of the last film with the excellent fight aboard the helicarrier or the climax against the cybernetically enhanced metahuman. This film had none of that and wound up being quite underwhelming.
Overall, It may feel like this was just more of the same based on the score. Admittedly it’s not like the series would drop a whole lot more because it’s already pretty low. That being said, the other films were at least very interesting and compelling. A lot of times the silver lining for me is even if a film ends up being pretty terrible I can at least be engaged the whole time. Particularly with the more intense zombie or vampire type films. This one just didn’t do it for me. The plot is about as strong as a couple of straws and the fact that the film retconned so much just felt like a really bad move for me. I just couldn’t see the film recovering from that and unsurprisingly it did not. Still, in the end if I look at the franchise as a whole I think it did a good job of adapting Resident Evil to the films. It took a lot of liberties but did construct a solid narrative. I doubt there are very many films that could come close to matching the epic cliffhangers that this series had film after film. I’m hoping the reboot will be able to match this one but as lightning only strikes once I have a hard time seeing it match this series. It’d be cool if they brought Alice back though.