Here we go again. The sixth film in the surprisingly still alive Resident Evil franchise, RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER follows the same basic plot outline as every film before it. Alice (Jovovich) is stranded, gets a mission, meets up with some friends and has a big showdown with the Umbrella Corporation. The formula hasn’t proven to be successful, but let’s just say it’s successful enough. But things were supposed to be different with The Final Chapter because as the poster, the trailers and the TV spots told us, this was the end. It was for sure all going to end with this movie and there was no way it was not going to end. Right? Nope.
You can copy and paste reviews for all the previous Resident Evil films and everything basically holds true here. The one exception, or improvement, to The Final Chapter is that it feels…shinier. Probably due to technology advancements, everything seems a little brighter and prettier than before. But the biggest problem with the franchise is the direction of Paul W.S. Anderson. I get that he probably doesn’t have a huge budget to work with and he overcompensates for that by using fast editing and avoids focusing on any CGI effect, but that’s not an excuse for his obsession with cheap scares. There’s a scene early on where Alice is walking through an abandoned basement and Anderson scares the audience twice by using loud music to introduce a fax machine or a lamp falling off a table. It’s a cheap tactic and in a world full of mutant zombies, it’s not really necessary.
But maybe my biggest issue with RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER is that it’s clearly not the “final chapter”. At the risk of being spoilery, the movie doesn’t end with any grand, closing event. In fact, it clearly “ends” with a cliffhanger for the next film. But I don’t know how many more of these films they can or want to make. Milla Jovovich is over 40 years-old now and The Final Chapter made almost $20 million less than the previous film. The franchise is clearly dead and ending this iteration of Resident Evil made perfect sense, so it’s even more frustrating that no one involved had the courage to actually end it, despite telling the audience repeatedly they were going to.
But let’s be honest; if you’ve watched the previous 5 films, you’ll probably stick around for 6. But just know that the sixth film offers nothing new to the franchise and it follows the same basic plot and stumbles at all the same beats as the previous films. It’s just the fate of the franchise to flirt with an intriguing world and then not do anything with it. If you were hoping you’d finally get a great Resident Evil film, it’s clearly not going to happen.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER is a very shiny, over processed (not a negative) film that looks exquisite on Blu-ray and slightly better on 4K. This is a pristine transfer and one that seems tailor made for the new format. The noticeable upgrades are going to occur whenever there’s “action” in the dark. For example, as Dr. Isaacs is attacking the stronghold near the Hive, the 4K presentation makes the horde of zombies clearer and more noticeable where they kind of blend together on the Blu-ray. Day scenes are a step up as well, such as when Alice gets trapped by the Umbrella Corporation henchmen in the beginning. The backgrounds and the sweat and blood on her face stand out and are more noticeable thanks to the uptick in clarity and the nice HDR.
Audio: The included Dolby Atmos track is pretty incredible and is used to its fullest extent throughout. Whatever other shortcomings the film has, it at least sounds incredible.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Featurettes (19:53): Three featurettes are included here and all of them are too short to get into too much detail on their subject. One focuses on the setting, another on the stunts and the last on the female heroes featureted throughout the series.
Sneak Peek: Resident Evil: Vendetta (4:20): We get a preview of the upcoming animated Resident Evil film (also coming to 4K).
Retaliation Mode: You can watch the film broken up with interviews from Jovovich and Anderson, where they talk about whatever is going on in the film a the time. We’ve seen this feature done much better before, but it’s still nice to hear from the two people that have kept the franchise alive.