Reviewed by: Toni Jay
|Featuring:||Milla Jovovich … Alice
Ruby Rose … Abigail
Ali Larter … Claire Redfield
Iain Glen … Dr. Alexander Isaacs
William Levy … Christian
Shawn Roberts … Albert Wesker
Rola … Cobalt
Eoin Macken … Doc
Joon-Gi Lee (Jun-ki Lee) … Lee
Ever Anderson (Ever Gabo Anderson) … Alicia Marks / The Red Queen
|Director:||Paul W.S. Anderson|
|Distributor:||Screen Gems, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment|
“Back to the hive”
“History is written by the victors”
Alice (Milla Jovovich) returns as heroine of the Hexalogy, given 48 hours to save what is left of humanity. As a previous employee of antagonist the Umbrella Corporation, she now battles the organization’s Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen) once more, in this fast paced action-horror. Her mission is to reach The Hive in Raccoon City and retrieve the antidote to the apocalyptic T-virus. It is now 10 years since the outbreak, and, unbeknownst to herself and the rest of the world, there is an antivirus.
While Alice battles the “undead” and rekindles old friendships in the likes of Ali Carter (Claire Redfield), the Umbrella Corp. Plots and schemes to destroy what is left of mankind. The aim? Resurrecting the world in their “own image.”
Will the opening line prove fact or fiction as Alice is the narrator of the tale?
British director, writer and adopter of the series Paul Anderson (“Alien vs. Predator”) teams up with wife Milla and daughter Ever Anderson to bring us the final chapter of the highest grossing film series to be based on a video game. In Hollywood tradition, the end leaves the door open for more zombies to follow.
There are several moral issues to contend with in “Resident Evil.” The violence is at unacceptable levels throughout the film, with fast editorial cuts that leaves the viewer without a second to recover. As the film moves at a gasping pace from one scene of extreme horror and mutilation to the next, the viewer is bombarded with body parts, heads in glass containers and cruelty. There is no time to come to terms with it or debrief oneself. Life has no value. People are expendable. This is strong contrast with John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.”
More disturbing is the fact that Christianity is portrayed in such a negative light. The antagonist wears a cross and has a knife on which is written “Vengeance is mine says the Lord.” He tortures and enslaves people in a room where several crosses are seen dangling from the top, some with the body of Jesus. Atrocities are committed in the name of religion. The Bible is shown, and references made to the Biblical flood.
The film was shot in Cape Town and Pretoria, South Africa. On set, a crew member was killed by a SUV and a female stunt woman lost her arm in a motorcycle accident. Tragedy not only plagued the characters in the movie, it spilled over into reality, as well. “Resident Evil” is strongly reminiscent of “Mad Max: Fury Road.” The viewer is left with a sense of unease long after the lights are switched on.
Commendable is the theme of one person dying to save humanity. This brings to mind the awesome price that Jesus paid to save all that might call upon His Name. The Red Queen (Ever Anderson) wants to do the right thing, and people are reminded that there is hope in some of the most dire circumstances. A very interesting conflict is highlighted as Alice’s identity is questioned. Our spiritual enemy’s tactic is to steal the identity of the believer in Christ. If he can be successful in that, he can steal, kill and destroy unhindered. In the same way, Alice has to confront some aspects of her identity and rise above it, if she is to fulfill her destiny and earn her right as the author of history. It is significant that two very important Christian truths are portrayed: firstly, we are fighting a war, and secondly our identities in Christ will be questioned. The protagonist sums it up nicely in the end: “I am Alice.” Who are we?
In summary, “Resident Evil” is unfortunately not suitable for children and is not considered entertainment that would edify believers. The disrespectful references to Christ make it deplorable. The viewer has to wade through far too many dead (and “undead” bodies), as well as assaults to morality, to reach the one or two positive themes. On a filmmaking scale, there are laudable performances by Ever Anderson (The Red Queen) and Ruby Rose (Abigail) and well choreographed fighting, but zombie detail is lacking (they are far too animated), and I longed for some more character development. For a movie that was made by a family (Paul, Milla and Ever), it makes for poor family viewing. If “Resident Evil” is resurrected a seventh time, I want to see more positive themes.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Moderate to Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor—implied intimacy, cleavage, vulgar sexual term (“Bl*w me”).
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…The climax makes for a satisfying conclusion to the franchise—an ending which this writer expects, and even hopes, all concerned will studiously ignore when they get around to making the next one. … [B-]
—Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly
…delivers fans more of the same… t’s as mediocre as all the ones preceding it. …
—Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
…With its shadowy, desaturated look, this farewell performance has an undeniable downbeat quality especially compared with its immediate precedessor… [3½]
—Jakie Wilson, The Age [Australia]
…compared to the delightfully delirious excesses of “Retribution”…“The Final Chapter” is a little too staid at times for its own good. …The film also lacks a certain ambition in regards to the action sequences and visual style… 
—Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com
…This is, I think, the weakest picture in the franchise. …it’s to Mr. Anderson’s credit that even in a pop culture glutted with postmodern zombies, he can make his creatures startle viewers. …it’s kind of endearing, not least because Mr. Anderson and company make it work. …
—Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
…Don't get your hopes up: For fans, this installment adds little. …the repetitiveness and occasional incoherence of the nonstop action leave the audience exhausted for all the wrong reasons. …
—Joe Leydon, Variety
…a last gasp for Milla Jovovich horror franchise… At least director Paul W.S. Anderson—who’s also Jovovich's husband—keeps it moving. … [2/5]
—Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News