Monday, April 24, 2017

Re/New-watch: Resident Evil: Retribution & The Final Chapter

As mentioned, by this point, I am fizzling out my interest in this franchise. I am wondering what the point was. But amusingly, enough not even re-reading my own words could remind me I was already done last time.

2012, Paul WS Anderson (Event Horizon, AVP, DOA) -- download

Holey Crap, I saw this one in the theatre? I think that is the only reason I tolerated it as much as I did. If it wasn't for Kevin Durand playing a kick-ass, cigar chomping tough guy, I could not have enjoyed this movie less. Sure, the resurrected characters from previous entries as clone bad guys was cute, but Oh Em Gee, the acting and directing is just so.. fucking.. bad. I was in full on I Am My Grandmother mode, yelling at the screen about my frustrations!

The movie is about a crew hired by Wesker (?!?) to invade yet another Umbrella facility to again try and End the Red Queen, that pesky AI that killed everyone in the first movie thus releasing the first zombies on the world. The Red Queen, built in the image of the daughter of the scientist who created the T Virus is doing that whole "save the world by killing the humans" thing. But folks, really, Wesker? P.S. Alice is already inside the facility, captured after getting every single survivor killed at the end of / beginning of the last / this movie. And so we can have a wake up scene. At least this time they offer her a commando suit instead of forcing her to go commando, under a slip of paper.

This time, the escape from the facility is not just the into sequence, but the entire movie. I am sure Anderson thought that was clever. A lot of this movie is clever, as each "level" of the facility is a new environment, including a Tokyo area, a Moscow area and a Toronto (*ahem* Racoon City) suburb area, so we can get that Dawn of the Dead ripoff out of system. And clones of previous characters. And lots of incredibly badly, and I mean BADLY, acted characters from the game.  All along with a well outfitted, well organized merc group, which is pretty good considering the world has already ended.

2016, Paul WS Anderson (The Three Musketeers) -- download

Aaaand the next movie is not much better. If we ended on the dumb dumb note of meeting up with Wesker at the ruins of the White House, as a horde is about to overrun it, then we have to begin there. Or wait, do we? Aren't there more facilities so she can do a wake-up scene? Nope, as this movie is called The Final Chapter we not only dispense with the wake-up-in-a-paper-shift scene but also don't bother with any facilities; in fact, we are on way back to the ORIGINAL facility, The Hive, in Racoon City!!

But wasn't that city destroyed at the end of movie 2? You are not mistaken; it was nuked, but that only ruined the city and left a big crater directly above the entrance to The Hive. And again, as if the Apocalypse hasn't been raging for years, there are survivors hanging out in the city as if things just happened yesterday.

Alice is on her way back, this time to do the dirty work for The Red Queen. As if being coerced and then (duhhhh) betrayed by Wesker wasn't enough, Alice thinks destroying what's left of Umbrella and get the cure (global cure, not personal cure, like she already had and lost) to the T-Virus from the original facility is a good idea. And there are only a few thousand humans left, who are about to be taken down by Umbrella, so Alice better hurry!

The crater sized holes in the plot are to be expected, but the most annoying thing about this movie is the retconning of series. In the second movie, we were introduced to the girl the Red Queen was based on, the daughter of the original scientist that Umbrella used to make the T-Virus. It had been created to assist his daughter to survive a debilitating disease, with the added side effect of creating zombies. When he discovered the side effect, he was ousted. He died at the end of the second movie and she..... well, she dropped of the plot cliff.

This time round, the doctor in question, was actually the head of Umbrella and was strangled by his business partner, Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen) who previously was just an obsessed scientist in the 3rd movie, trying to make Super Zombies. But he took his own drug and died at the hands of Alice, as a malformed Super Deformed Zombie. Or so we thought. No, that was just his clone. The real Dr. Isaacs is now inside the re-utilized Hive along with some other shady figures. They are ending the world before Alice can save it. And there is another clone Isaacs, inside a Battle Wagon on its way to the city.

**SPOILERS** (like you even care)

Boom boom, pew pew, lots of zombies, shooting and other things that usually make this series a lot of fun, but by now are just tiring. There is some PoAp set dressing and a new dragon monster and some too-cool-must-die supporting characters, but they are just window dressing to the return to The Hive. You see, the core to the re-working of the Red Queen's origin is to have Alice/Milla even MORE central to the plot. The little girl Red Queen, whose debilitating disease was some sort of mutated progeria has, since the original movies, grown into a 20sumthin old woman in a wheel chair. And Alice whom we all love and root for, is her clone!!! Insert dramatic music.

Battle battle, explode explode, reveal End Game. Why was Umbrella willing to kill off every last human on the planet, only to have a cure AFTER everyone is dead? Because the core board members, who seem to number in the thousands, are frozen awaiting a cleansing of the world so they can return and control it. Ignore the fact that the world is a ravaged wasteland, it will be there's !!!  Insert evil cackle.

Alice blows it all up good sacrificing her aged self and her T-Virus laden life for the good of the remaining few thousand average humans. Yeah, not so smart. I am sure that facility was full of resources these few human survivors could have used, even if you ignore the potential breeding stock frozen in ice. But no, revenge is good, kill all the bad guys, cuz you are gonna die anyway.

But are you? Alice survives the wipe-out-the-T-Virus cure and now is the really, only, truly Alice. Final Chapter?? Not likely.