An Average Movie-Goer’s Review
Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post
I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.
Today we’re looking at the 6th and final installment of Paul W. S. Anderson’s Resident Evil series: 2016’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
An old enemy works with Alice (Milla Jovovich) in an attempt to stop Umbrella’s plans for good.
Is Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Scary?
The only scary thing is how much Resident Evil: The Final Chapter doesn’t care about its own continuity.
All of our Paul W.S. Anderson Resident Evil Explanations/Reviews:
Related Article: Resident Evil (2002) Explained
Related Article: Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) Explained
Related Article: Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) Explained
Related Article: Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Explained
Related Article: Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) Explained
Related Article: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) Explained
Last we left Alice (played by Milla Jovovich) in Resident Evil: Retribution she broke out of an Umbrella facility with Leon Kennedy and her clone’s daughter. She then fought and freed Jill Valentine from a mind-control device and along with Ada Wong, the five met with Albert Wesker (played by Shawn Roberts) at the white house.
Wesker gave Alice back her superpowers by injecting her with the T-virus and the group prepared to go to war with the Red Queen, the Artificial Intelligence created by Umbrella who is attempting to wipe out humanity. The film ended with Jill, Wesker, Alice, Ada, and Leon all standing on the roof of the White House looking upon the destruction caused by the zombie and bioweapon army surrounding them.
We start Resident Evil: The Final Chapter at war… oh wait it’s a flashback. Alice narrates the invention of the T-virus which is a complete retcon of what was already established. In Resident Evil: Apocalypse (the 2nd movie in the series) it’s established that Dr. Ashford created the T-virus to save his daughter who was suffering from a genetic disease. This wasn’t a throwaway line, this was a huge plot point of that movie.
Now, Alice is telling us that the one who created the T-virus was Umbrella co-founder James Marcus (played by Mark Simpson) as a way to cure his daughter Alicia Marcus (played by Ever Anderson) who is suffering from progeria, a disease that makes her age rapidly.
Marcus also records his daughter and scans her image as a way to keep her around in case he couldn’t find a cure. But, since he developed the T-Virus as a cure, Alicia got all better. We cut to a tram heading somewhere with several kids and adults when one of the kids collapses and immediately becomes a zombie. Alice says this was the first zombie, how did the kid get infected though, was he a patient?
The event is covered up by Umbrella and James Marcus tells his business partner Dr. Isaacs (played by Iain Glen) to shut down the T-virus program. Isaacs refuses and has Albert Wesker kill Marcus. With James Marcus now dead, Dr. Isaacs becomes the legal guardian of Alicia (what?) and takes control of her half of the company.
This is weird because in Resident Evil: Extinction (the third movie of the series) Dr. Isaacs is working for Albert Wesker and Wesker is the head of the company but now Isaacs is the head of the company. The worst part about all these continuity errors is that all the movies were written by the same person, Paul W.S. Anderson, so there’s no excuse for any of this and he’s not retconning small things, he’s retconning major events and major character relationships.
Back to the movie, apparently, all these events happened before the first movie and Alice gives us a one-sentence summary of the previous movies, presumably because she didn’t want people picking up on the plot holes. She then says that when the group of survivors met in Washington D.C. it was a trap… We open on a completely destroyed Washington D.C. so we don’t even get to see the battle or how it was a trap or literally anything interesting.
Alice crawls out from under some rubble and stumbles her way to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. She drinks some water and is attacked by a zombie that is chained to something in the water. Alice is able to somehow get away, I don’t know how since there were so many jump cuts I’m not sure what happened. I went back and counted, 22 jump cuts in 9 seconds. I thought we were passed Anderson’s constant use of jump cuts…
While looking for supplies in a warehouse, Alice is attacked by a large winged bio-weapon that she manages to avoid by jump-cutting into a jeep. After a short chase, Alice pins it to a wall with the jeep and blows it up with a mine she found.
Air horns start to blare as Alice sees something fly past her far up in the sky. We then see an Umbrella Satellite has tracked Alice calling her Project Alice. Hearing some mechanical whirring coming from a building, Alice searches it with a random working flashlight she just so happens to find.
After finding a fax machine continuously printing “Hello Alice” the Red Queen appears on the surrounding TVs. Alice assumes she’s there to gloat but the Red Queen says she’s there to do the opposite. The Red Queen says there are 4,472 humans remaining on the surface and they will all die in 48 hours.
The Red Queen is pretty vague on how the humans will die but reveals there’s an airborne anti-virus in the Hive under Raccoon city that will kill anything infected with the T-Virus. Apparently, the Red Queen has turned against Umbrella but her programming prevents her from harming Umbrella employees which is weird because she killed a lot of Umbrella employees in the opening scene of the first movie.
We then learn from the Red Queen that Wesker’s injection of the T-Virus to give Alice back her powers was fake despite us seeing the T-Virus infecting Alice’s cells but whatever. The Red Queen then resets Alice’s watch to display a countdown of 48 hours… the Red Queen can remotely access Alice’s watch? Why did she need a satellite to track her down?
12 Hours later Alice is 418 miles away from Raccoon City when her car hits a spike trap and she crashes. Seeing a motorcycle parked under an overpass she rushes to it but stops when she realizes it’s owned by Umbrella. She’s then ambushed by an Umbrella team who strings her up.
Alice is able to grab one of their weapons and kills them all despite them all having guns. Again the jump cuts make it very hard to determine who is doing what, also Anderson has picked up a new disorienting trick– shaky cam.
Alice hops on the motorcycle and applies her thumbprint to start it up but since she’s an unauthorized user, it electrifies her and knocks her out. 15 hours later Alice wakes up tied up in a large Umbrella tank with several other prisoners.
Dr. Isaacs enters and reveals that the Isaacs Alice killed in Resident Evil: Extinction was a clone. Also, Isaacs has become some kind of religious zealot with multiple crosses hanging from the ceiling of the cell and calls the operation to wipe out humanity a “cleansing”.
Isaacs realizes someone has told Alice about the anti-virus but Alice refuses to reveal who told her. To get her to talk, Isaacs throws Alice out of the truck while still chained to it forcing her to run behind the tank. We pan out to see a horde of zombies chasing after the tank and another tank following in an adjacent street.
Isaacs heads back inside the tank and alerts Wesker that he failed in killing Alice. He then instructs him to raise the security level in the Hive. Meanwhile, Alice somehow gets back onto the top of the tank and kills several Umbrella security which alerts Isaacs. Isaacs surprises Alice with a punch to the face despite holding a large knife in his hand.
The two fight and Alice notices an Umbrella motorcycle hanging off the side of the tank. Since she’s not an authorized user, she chops off Isaacs’s hand and uses it to activate the motorcycle. Alice hops on the motorcycle and speeds ahead of the tank which starts firing missiles and a minigun at her. Somehow they are unable to hit her even with a targeting system and she escapes.
With 18 hours left till everyone still alive on the surface of the planet somehow dies, Alice reaches Raccoon city. On her way to where the Hive is located, she spots someone watching her from a tower and is then knocked off her bike by a spring-loaded pole trap.
Alice wakes up in a pit inside the tower surrounded by other survivors. Claire Redfield (played by Ali Larter) enters shocked to see Alice still alive. Turns out the tower is one of the last survivor camps left and Claire joined them after they save her. After the attack on Arcadia, Claire was captured and put on a helicopter by Umbrella. The helicopter crashed and she was saved by this group of survivors while everyone else on the helicopter died.
So Chris Redfield and K-Mart are dead, add them to the list of other dead characters who were set up for something and then killed in-between movies like Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong, and two different children that Alice rescued; Angie Ashford and Becky.
Claire takes Alice to the roof where she meets our new group of survivors and Alice tells them Isaacs is on his way with tanks and hordes of the undead. Our new group of survivors who most likely won’t make it include, Christian (played by William Levy) who distrusts Alice and pulls a gun on her, Doc (played by Eoin Macken) who is dating Claire, Razor (played by Fraser James), Cobalt (played by Rola).
Separately Alice tells Claire about the Red Queen, the cure, and her plan to get into the Hive. Claire points out that the airborne cure would also kill Alice and Alice is willing to die to save humanity although didn’t Wesker take her powers away by removing the T-Virus from her cells? With 12 hours left, Claire agrees to help as long as they help defend the tower first.
As Claire, Alice, Christian, Razor, and Doc prepare for the incoming zombie horde, Alice tells Claire that someone was watching from the tower who didn’t warn her about the trap and implies someone in the group is a traitor. We get confirmation when Wesker calls Isaacs and tells him their informant has confirmed Alice is at the tower.
Alice meets another survivor, Abigail (played by Ruby Rose) who helps in setting up a gasoline trap. At nightfall, the survivors finish setting up the traps, and Isaacs’s convoy with the zombie horde arrives.
The survivors launch several drums filled with gasoline that explode on contact destroying one of the tanks instantly. Isaacs fires a missile at the front gate allowing the zombies to run in but this appears to have been part of the plan as the zombies get trapped in the pit where Alice woke up earlier.
Isaacs fires at the roof where Alice is directing the rest of the survivors and although she looks like she’s caught in an explosion we see a second later she’s perfectly fine. Are we sure she doesn’t have her superpowers anymore? In the pit, Christian, Doc, Cobalt, Claire, and a bunch of other survivors fight off multiple zombies as they hold the gates closed to prevent zombies from entering further into the tower.
A lot of fighting happens that I couldn’t make out including I think Christian killing a zombie with a sword he randomly has. Cobalt is then bitten and killed as the pit fills completely with zombies. Alice and Abigail then open up the gasoline containers on the roof and spill them into the pit. Alice lights the streams of gasoline with a torch causing fire to rain down on the zombies.
Alice zips lines down into the zombies and runs towards the remaining tank where she is now able to avoid the minigun on foot. Using a hidden gas tank Alice pours gasoline into the tank’s vent and lights it on fire. Isaacs is able to close the vents in time but most of his security force is killed in the fire.
The tank commander, Commander Chu (played by Lee Joon-Gi) is still alive and climbs out to fight Alice easily overpowering her with his speed. After about two dozen jump cuts, Alice is able to get her shotgun and shoot Chu in the chest, though he survives due to his vest.
Alice looks for Isaacs in the tank but a few of the prisoners tell her he escaped. Razor and several other survivors arrive and kill off some more zombies before Abigail calls them all back to the roof which is inexplicably no longer on fire. Using thermal binoculars Abigal shows them that two more hordes of the undead are heading their way.
Alice looks at her watch and with 3 hours left says their best bet is to get the anti-virus. Hold on, three hours left? When Wesker told Isaacs about their informant, Isaacs said he would be in Raccoon City within the hour, that was when Alice had 11 hours and 30 minutes left. 8 hours have passed? How is that possi- I SAID BRAIN OFF NOW
Abigail, Claire, Doc, Razor, Christian; who admits he was wrong about Alice; and two survivors from the tank all agree to help Alice enter the Hive. Forty-five minutes later they’re near the entrance and Wesker instructs the Red Queen to give him full control of the Hive defenses. The Red Queen reluctantly does and Wesker releases the Cerberus zombie dogs on the survivors.
The group run, jumps into a lake, and eventually reach the entrance but not before the zombie dogs kill a tank survivor and Christain. Entering the Hive, the Red Queen appears and shows the survivors a recording of a meeting that happened 17 months before the T-Virus was released.
The meeting is led by Dr. Isaacs who tells Umbrella’s board, including Alicia Marcus who is now elderly because of her disease, that the world is ending because of humans. He proposes they use the T-Virus to start an apocalypse, just like God did in the Noah’s Arc story, while they hide underground in cryostasis. Once all of humanity above ground is dead, they’ll awaken and repopulate the world.
I cannot emphasize how much I want to detail how this further breaks the continuity established in previous films about Isaacs’s goals. But, a bigger issue is how the Red Queen states that she is turning against Umbrella because that video was uploaded to her system “soon after” the T-Virus was released. If that’s the reason she’s turning against Umbrella why did it take her 10 years to do anything about it?
The Red Queen tells Alice the last of the human settlements will fall in 37 minutes which is still a dumb forced vague plot device. She then has Alice put on an earpiece and secretly tells her that Isaacs has an informant in the group.
Meanwhile, Isaacs is picked up by another Umbrella tank and forces them to head toward the Hive to capture Alice. In the Hive, the survivors come upon a large fan that is off and they carefully maneuver around the blades. I just want to point out that Abigail is terrified that the fan will turn back on but then moves extremely slowly through the fan blades.
Unsurprisingly the power turns on but the survivors make it through in time. Wesker, who is watching them, instructs the Red Queen to reverse the fan and the group starts to run when they realize what’s going on. They each quickly grab onto something as the fan lifts them in the air and attempts to pull them into the blades.
The music gets awfully dramatic and Abigail is sucked into the fan and killed. Sucks she died but she had like maybe 5 minutes of screen time and we barely know anything about her yet the movie is treating it like a series-long character was killed.
The power immediately goes out as Abigail is shredded and the survivors continue forward through the Hive. Crawling through some tunnels, the walls and floor give way and the remaining tank survivor falls several hundred feet and is killed. Claire falls through a wall but we don’t see where she goes, and Razor and Alice fall into an experimentation-looking room.
Razor and Alice are attacked by some kind of skull bio-weapon-looking thing and once again I have no idea what happened because of the jump cuts. At one point Alice shoots at the monster using her semi-automatic gun and every bullet is a jump cut. I know Alice did a flip at some point, used a chain to somehow tie up the monster, and stabbed him in the face.
The only reason I know Razor was killed by the monster is because Doc shows up a few moments later and Alice tells him Razor didn’t make it. I have no idea how he died, I could go back and play it in slow-motion but I just don’t care.
Back with Wesker, he instructs the Red Queen to wake “them” but she argues that they should only be woken up in the greatest of emergencies. Wesker then reiterates to wake them up. Meanwhile, Alice and Doc arrive at the laser hall from the first movie and Alice finds the bags of weapons and bombs the Umbrella security team left there back in that first movie.
By the way, that Umbrella security team was mainly killed by the Red Queen despite her saying, in this movie, that she can’t kill Umbrella employees… just saying. With 20 minutes left, Alice gives Doc a gun and they ride the elevator down to the deepest part of the Hive.
On their way there they pass by thousands of cryo-pods presumably filled with all the Umbrella employees waiting to be woken up in the post-apocalypse world. Before they reach the bottom, Alice stops the elevator and sets the bombs around the pods with Doc’s help.
Back with Wesker, we see one of the two pods in the room open to reveal the original Dr. Isaacs meaning every Dr. Isaacs we’ve seen in all previous movies, including this one, has been a clone. Somehow Dr. Isaacs already knows what’s going on which is not how cryostasis works and even knows that the Red Queen has betrayed them.
Meanwhile, Claire wakes up trapped in a glass box somewhere in the Hive. She then uses a bullet to create a small bomb and breaks out of the case but doesn’t notice Wesker nearby. Doc and Alice enter the Umbrella high command and Isaacs reveals he is holding the anti-virus.
Isaacs orders Alice to drop her weapon and Doc reveals himself to be the traitor as Wesker enters the room with a gun to Claire’s head.
Alice looks around at weapons she can use but Isaacs reveals that he upgraded himself with biotech and wouldn’t be that easy to kill. Since this Isaacs has two hands, Alice wonders if he’s the real one and Isaacs says he is but all clones are programmed to think they’re the original as it makes them want to live and fight more.
In a shocking twist, Isaacs then reveals Alice is a clone of Alicia Marcus and we see the real elderly Alicia Marcus (played by Milla Jovovich in makeup) come out of another cryostasis pod. The actual twist isn’t that shocking because in the video the Red Queen showed the group of survivors earlier, we hear Alicia Marcus and even though Milla is putting on an old lady voice, you could tell it was her.
The actual reason this twist is shocking is that Ada Wong hints that Alice is a clone in Resident Evil: Retribution and it’s shocking that Paul W.S. Anderson was able to pay off something that he set up in a previous movie.
Alicia tells Alice to kill Isaacs and Isaacs just laughs stating that he’s waiting for Alicia to die since the effects of the T-Virus cure didn’t last. Alice doesn’t believe she is a clone but the Red Queen confirms she is. Alicia then states that Alice is the best of them since Alicia was too weak to stop all of this but Alice isn’t.
Isaacs taunts Alicia claiming she can’t do anything about his plans but Alicia reminds him she is still 50% owner and Wesker is an employee. She then fires Wesker allowing the Red Queen to injure him by slamming the heavy metal door onto his ankle which shatters it and pins him to the ground.
Doc attempts to shoot Alice but we see in a flashback that Alice suspected he was the traitor and emptied the gun before giving it to him. Alice breaks Doc’s arm and throws him to the floor, allowing Claire to kill him. Alice grabs the detonator, activates the dead man’s switch, and gives it to Wesker to hold.
As Alice and Claire chase after Isaacs, Alicia puts on a contact that creates a neural link to the computer. Wesker begs Alicia for help but she tells him he’s dying and to just do it. Sure, it’s a badass line but how is Wesker dying? He has superpowers, including super speed, strength, and durability and the door is just pinning his ankle. He should be fine even if he has to amputate his ankle.
Claire and Alice catch up to Isaacs who easily beats the shit out of them but doesn’t notice when Alice grabs a grenade. Isaacs throws Alice into the laser room and activates the defenses but Alice easily avoids the lasers. Isaacs and Alice continue their fight as the lasers turn back on and Isaacs holds Alice’s hand in place causing the laser to chop off three of her fingers.
Alice reveals that she placed a grenade in Isaacs’s pocket while he was busy chopping off her fingers. The grenade goes off blowing off pieces of Isaacs as he collapses on the ground. Alice grabs the anti-virus, checks on a still-alive Claire, and makes her way to the surface. Conveniently there’s now an elevator that goes all the way up to the top.
With just one minute left, Alice reaches the surface and takes way too long contemplating releasing the anti-virus. Isaacs is able to reach her and stops her from dropping the anti-virus. Meanwhile, Clone-Isaacs, the one missing a hand, shows up on foot with a horde of zombies close behind and is shocked to learn he’s a clone.
Clone-Isaacs stabs and kills Isaacs calling him an abomination. The zombies then reach and kill Clone-Isaacs as Alice grabs the anti-virus and slams it on the ground. In the Hive, Wesker dies (what the fuck, he lost an ankle, he’s superhuman!) anyway this releases the dead man’s switch causing the bombs to go off and kill everyone in the Hive including Alicia.
On the surface, the anti-virus becomes airborne and kills all the zombies instantly in front of Alice as she too collapses.
A short time later, it’s now morning, and Claire wakes Alice up. The Red Queen reveals they lied about the anti-virus killing Alice as a way to test if she was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice which is dumb. The Red Queen then gives Alice a contact lens that Alicia used before her death to upload all of her memories so that Alice could have a childhood.
We next see Alice on the motorcycle driving toward NYC and stating that the anti-virus is carried by the winds and will take years to circle the globe. The film ends as we pan out and see several winged bio-weapons chasing after Alice as she smiles.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is bad even in the context of all the Resident Evil films not being good movies, this one is one of the worst. The story retcons major events causing major continuity errors and changes things that ruin the logic of the series even in the context of its own universe.
Besides the ones I mention in the plot synopsis like Wesker now all of sudden working for Isaacs, and James Marcus being the creator of the virus all of sudden; since Resident Evil: Apocalypse Umbrella has stated they wanted Alice because her cells bonded with the T-Virus on a cellular level but then in this movie, we find out their true goal is to cleanse the planet, they also already have Alicia Marcus who is the original Alice… there’s no reason for them to have ever needed Alice.
Then you have the arbitrary doomsday clock of 48 hours before Umbrella kills everyone… why is it going to take 48 hours? Isaacs says they’re already a year late on the whole cleansing plan so first, besides Alice and her group of survivors, why wouldn’t have Umbrella killed everyone already? Second, why are they waiting 48 hours to kill the other humans?
Trust me there are a lot more continuity errors in this movie that affects the whole series but besides that, this movie itself is horribly shot and edited. Paul W.S. Anderson not only adds a ridiculous amount of jump cuts to action scenes but also adds a shaky cam effect when no action occurs. In one 7-second scene, there are 22 jump cuts where you barely know what’s going on. Watching this movie, I legitimately got a headache at several points.
Taking this movie for what it is, a group of survivors infiltrating the Umbrella facility to get a dues ex machina before an arbitrary vague countdown happens- it’s an okay movie but, add the horrible directing and editing and that makes it a bad movie with very few good scenes. Take the movie as a finale for the Resident Evil series with its changes to past major plot events that show the writer doesn’t care at all and you have one of, if not the worst movie in this series.
On a positive note, the acting fine for the most part.
Overall I can’t recommend Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to anyone. Usually, I would say I would recommend these movies to those that are fans of these movies but with this one, it’s so bad as a finale, I don’t think some fans would even like it.