Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: before this even began I knew that, in a few years, I’d be back in almost the same seat to watch No.7 in the series.
Oddly, this one didn’t start straight after the last one left off (which I expected, since 2012’s Resident Evil: Retribution did exactly that), but it does begin with a quick recap of Alice’s origins, so if you’re new to the franchise, you won’t feel left out. We learn about a girl called Alicia (Ever Anderson) who was given an injection by her father, the contents of which made her body age rapidly, so by the time she was 25, she looked 90… or so that would’ve happened if he hadn’t countered it with the T-virus, which not only made her better, but solved all other kinds of worldwide diseases…
…or so they thought. Hence, the zombie outbreak.
In short, Alice (Milla Jovovich) has to find the anti-virus to the T-virus, which is not-at-all-conveniently-placed under Raccoon City, and she has 48 hours to get to it. So, it’s like the TV show ’24’, but… er… 48. She teams up with a rag-tag bunch, as always, and not all of them will make it as they go from A to B, but it’s one hell of a ride, and it never lets up in the action! Of course, Alice has the T-virus in her, so as she explains in the opening, this is the conclusion to her story because once she releases the anti-virus… that’s it for her too! (if you really believe that!)
At first I was wondering when it might get going, since early on, we saw Alice fighting a winged beast while out and about, but see if you can spot the moment where an explosive device has the words “Front towards enemy”, as they come and go quite quickly. There’s also an inscription on a huge hand-wielded blade, which you can make out as it’s unsheathed, although I had to turn my head to read it, and when seen in 3D that’s not easy, since rotating your noggin can soon take the 3D out of whack.
Iain Glen hams it up brilliantly as the nasty Dr Isaacs, who was also in the second and third films, but those are the two in the canon which I have STILL failed to catch up with. However, I didn’t feel like I was missing out. At one point, I did think I saw part of the set of Resident Evil: Afterlife, as the first four films each made an appearance in Resident Evil: Retribution, so I thought it was going to revisit that path, but it didn’t.
Beyond that, it’s… Zombies. Kick. Punch. Explosion. Shouting. Man gets a spike through the head… Beautiful!
Wesker (Shawn Roberts) also makes a return, albeit in a far smaller role than the last film. And he also drops in a Doctor Who-ism with the line: “Reverse the polarity of the turbine!”
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has some definite edge-of-the-seat action moments – heightened by the emphatic score, even though you know Alice will come through them, at least until the film’s running time is complete.
I’ve now seen this in both 2D on Blu-ray, and 3D in the cinema, and I really do urge you to check it out in the third dimension. Despite the fact this wasn’t shot natively in 3D (I wish I knew why), Paul WS Anderson does a stirling job, here. He really knows what he’s doing with the format, and to make it work despite all the quick-cutting, shows quite a skill.If you see it in 3D, the conversion is superb, and I would still insist on checking this out, either way.
Oh, and since I said that I just knew that The Final Chapter would not be the last ever Resident Evil movie made? Well, according to Mark Kermode’s latest vlog (see it further down this review), there are plans to not only reboot the series, but to do a SIX-MOVIE REBOOT! Bring it on!!!
There’s also a very brief post-credits moment, so keep those credits rolling when they begin. If you missed it in the cinema, and want to know what it is before you see it again on Blu-ray or DVD, then it’s under this spoiler heading:
(and yes, Ever Anderson is the offspring of Mr & Mrs Jovovich)
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and you’d be surprised if it was not a top-notch transfer for a brand new film, showing off the action and special effects to great effect.
As fans would expect, there’s some incredible split-surround effects in many action scenes. If you have a 7.1 speaker setup, then you’re fully catered for. For me, I have 5.1, but it’s a much smaller room than a typical cinema 🙂
The extras are as follows and there’s a decent selection over two discs:
- Retaliation Mode (approx 30 minutes extra): This is a series of additional chapters slotted into the movie in which Milla and Anderson chat about shooting this and the previous movies, and how they went with Alice as an original character because they didn’t want to mirror the games in terms of letting the audience know the plot outcomes as a result. There’s also their daughter, Ever, as the Red Queen, fight scenes, but also they hint at there NOT being any more…. Really?? PLEASE MAKE MORE!!!
- Stunts and weaponry (9:03): Lots of kicking and shooting of the bad guys and zombies. Like all the others that follow, this covers a few bits we’ve seen in the main extra, too, albeit not too much.
- Explore the Hive (4:18): A potted history of the underground cavern in Raccoon City.
- The Bad Ass Trinity and the Women of Resident Evil (6:32): This is the longest female-led action movie franchise, apparently.
- Sneak Peek: Resident Evil: Vendetta (4:22): A look at the new Resident Evil CGI movie, released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 17th. Hiroyuki Kobayashi, executive supervisor at Capcom, talks you through it, alongside director Takanori Tsujimoto and executive producer Takashi Shimizu.
- Directing The Final Chapter (4:58): The first of four extras that are placed on the second disc, all the cast talk about how much fun it was to work with Paul WS Anderson.
- Rola as Cobalt (3:34): The gorgeous popstar from Japan – with a heritage that’s a mix of Bengali, Japanese and Russian – makes her movie debut, here.
- From Saints to Sinners (8:45): How good guys sometimes do bad things… plus those who were bad from the start.
- From Script to Screen: The Making of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (9:55): A general overview of the movie.
- Audio description: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
The menu features a mostly static shot of Alice set against a piece of the score, there are subtitles in 8 langauges listed further down, and there are 16 chapters – better than most releases from other distributors, but since I go by the rule of thumb of one every five minutes, it could’ve used a few more.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is released on Monday June 12th, and is available to pre-order on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray Steelbook, Amazon Prime and DVD, and click on the poster for the full-size version. Also, you can buy the Soundtrack CD, Paperback and Kindle book.
Running time: 106 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
Released: June 12th 2017
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD-MA 7.1 (English only), DTS HD-MA 5.1
Languages: English, Italian,
Subtitles: English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish
Format: 2.35:1 (Redcode RAW (5K))
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Paul WS Anderson
Producers: Paul WS Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Samuel Hadida and Robert Kulzer
Screenplay: Paul WS Anderson
Music: Paul Haslinger
Alice: Milla Jovovich
Dr. Isaacs: Iain Glen
Claire Redfield: Ali Larter
Wesker: Shawn Roberts
Doc: Eoin Macken
Razor: Fraser James
Abigail: Ruby Rose
Christian: William Levy
Young Alicia/Red Queen: Ever Anderson
James Marcus: Mark Simpson
Thin Man: Milton Schorr
Emaciated Woman: Siobhan Hodgson
Commander Chu: Lee Joon Gi
Scars: Aubrey Shelton
One Ear: Caroline Midgley
Commander Crunch: Dylan Skews
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.