Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) Review

I think ‘Resident Evil’ is a fair assessment of the situation at this point. The sixth live-action film in this franchise since 2002 which hasn’t actually been able to achieve a modicum of quality since that first installment – and that’s being generous – ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter promises to sever all ties with a franchise that feels as though it has just sort of always lingered in the background. Or at least I thought it did.

Apparently these films are actually fairly popular, and made on a pretty small budget that lowers the margins for success drastically. Some may sneer and suggest that the only audience these movies manage to attract are those that play the video games. As someone familiar with games, I can tell you that for one, people that play the ‘Resident Evil’ games feel very little connection to the movies in general as they actually have very little to do with each other besides the general theme of the undead. Secondly, I know plenty of people that genuinely enjoy these movies and have no idea that it was even based on a game series because they exist in such separate spheres and feature such minimal crossover. Although I dare say once one learns the origins of the films, they wouldn’t be too surprised.

Milla Jovovich is back as Alice (but we’ll just call her player one) and the film opens with her wandering around the brownest Washington D.C. I have ever lain eyes on, more on that later. In a sequence of events too mundane to recall she finds herself face to face with the Red Queen (Ever Anderson), whom people may remember as the artificial intelligence from the first movie way back when, perhaps Paul W.S. Anderson wants to tap into some nostalgia from the only film in the franchise with somewhat mediocre reviews, who knows.

Alice is told that Umbrella, the evil corporation that released the T-virus, has an airborne cure to the disease that must be released within 48 hours or the last bastions of humanity will be destroyed. The last bastions being 4,000 people, down from the initial 7 billion. This all seems to be too little too late and with the Red Queen being the A.I. Of Umbrella why did she just decide to tell Alice this now? Why exactly is 48 hours the deadline, will all 4,000 die at once or is it sort of a slow burn thing, because then surely if she succeeds and say, 40 hours pass won’t that leave under 1,000 people left? If you aren’t prepared to leave your money in your wallet then you have to at least leave your brain at the door, you don’t get to have your cake and eat it too.

Alice leaves and is pursued by Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glenn) and Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) in what is essentially a lengthy chase scene spattered with action sequences that would love to be ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ or even ‘The Road Warrior’ but just don’t have the patience or the care to do so. These scenes are cut together so fast that actually interpreting what is going on becomes its own challenge, which was already made difficult by the fact that everything for the first half of the movie or so that is set outside is the same damn shade of brown, making for one of the most visually uninteresting films of recent memory.

Later on Alice meets with other survivors and unfortunately I can’t remember for the life of me who they were other than one of them was played by Ali Larter. I only know that cause a portion of the back of my brain whispered ‘ooh that’s the annoying girl from ‘Final Destination’ which is hardly a ringing endorsement. When the film finally moves into some interior settings in it’s latter half it does certainly start to look better despite the contrived action sequences and the ever-nauseating editing still being a huge problem.

With all of this said, I did find ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ to be one of those movies that just happens to you, and is never ferociously boring. As much as I hated aspects of its production, I can’t say I truly hated the final product and perhaps that’s because it at least moves at a relatively impressive pace, as shown by how quickly 48 hours is supposedly condensed into a film that’s under two hours. There is plenty of action and in fairness it does have sufficient variety in its action in theory, though this is cheapened by the fact that this variety is chopped up into indistinguishable chunks due to the editing. It’s like a stir fry. Put as many ingredients in it as you please by all means but after 2 hours on a high heat it’s still going to be a black cess-pool that you could have sworn looked better when Nigella did it.

Faint Praise for what is ultimately the second-best in 15 year series of disposable computer-generated shooting galleries. Let this be the true end, I’m tired of this evil taking up residence on our screens and in our heads.

4/10

The Mummy (1999) Review

I don’t think anyone is actually trying to convince me that Stephen Sommer’s The Mummy, a soft reboot of the 1932 flick with Boris Karloff as the titular Mummy, is a tightly crafted high-quality production. In fact I doubt many people even went into this expecting that, the trailer’s from back in the day evoke the tone of the film well, minus the constant banter between the cast. Growing up I was never a fan because I took a childish dislike to Brendan Fraser that meant I denounced these movies before I even took a peak. I don’t know why — I think it was his hair — God I hated him.

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Wonder Woman (2017) Review

Wonder Woman is the movie fans of DC comics have been waiting for since Christopher Nolan departed from the Batman Franchise in 2012. It also feels different enough from other superhero films to feel enjoyable without being truly refreshing. Logan has been and gone, and if you wan’t a superhero movie that actually has something new to offer, then see that. Wonder Woman works as a welcome refinement of tropes we know and sometimes love, and the addition of a female lead for the first time on the big screen from DC or Marvel is very much welcome, though rather than feeling revolutionary feels like a natural progression. That said, it is hard to not revel in sheer joy that someone finally had the balls to take the helm and show that Women can be just as heroic as men (and in this case, significantly more so).

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

There’s only so long you can stare at a screen before something has to appear on it, so I’ll open with what comes to mind then build from there. Scale, widespread. Sets, tangible. length, overt. effects… effective. characters, mixed bag. Overall what we get from director Gore Verbinski’s first “Pirates” film is an effective adventure that struggles to justify it’s length but undeniably tries admirably to do so, in the end being a truly satisfying experience.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) Review

If “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Paper Towns” have taught me anything, it is not to sneer at young adult fiction. There is some genuinely sappy and seemingly toe-curling stuff written every day and it is indeed eaten up by teenage girls. Though if John Greene’s novel adaptations are anything to go by, maybe that is a fault on the boys.

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2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) Review

I left “The Fast and the Furious” eager for more, which surprised me enough. I now leave “2 Fast 2 Furious”, the sequel to that brainless gem, with remorse and indignation. My wrongdoing was apparently to allow myself to be filled with optimism again which I haven’t done since I saw “Godzilla” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” over a year ago. The indignation spawns from how unfair it is that John Singleton, the director of “Boyz n the Hood” which bought him an Oscar nod for best director and best screenplay, fails so spectacularly at a formula that seems so simple. It is mind numbing to think that a movie so similar to its predecessor could be so much worse. Fast cars I can find anywhere, the job of the Director is to convince me that cars smaller than my hand travelling from one end of my screen to another are really going very, very fast. The cars are fake and so they feel fake and any sense of speed that would be derived from the use of an actual real life vehicle (shock! horror!) is left in the CGI dust.

 
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The Fast and the Furious (2001) Review

“The Fast and the Furious” is a whirlwind of simplistic virtues. With the release of the seventh movie of the franchise I decided to undertake the task of watching the previous six movies. I am a longtime sufferer of sequel syndrome and refuse to watch a movie without having seen the previous, it’s an incurable affliction. So here I am, starting at first base and just now realising that this analogy will only apply to a quadrilogy, but I digress. As simple as it is, “The Fast and the Furious” is sufficiently stylish and vibrant enough that it becomes easy to appreciate how Rob Cohen brings these elements together. There is nothing new here of course, but these cars go really, really fast.

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