Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ★★★★

80

"History is written by the victors...."

Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a desperate, saddening enterprise; a concluding installment of smoke, blood, and elegiac, mournful brushstrokes. Unlike the sleek fetishistic one-two-punch ballet of Afterlife/Retribution, The Final Chapter is yet another inversion of the rabid video-game series, collapsing into itself not by memory but by origin and physical space, each location a descent into the franchise's filmic past and the mind of our Alice. The cliffhanger of Retribution is casually disregarded in favor of a nearly wordless beginning; a warrior and the world against her, controlled and programmed to decimate her influence so that the earth may finally be silent. Its beauty and grime is found in its tossed-aside intent, switching gears just when a traditional narrative climax seems to have been reached. Instead W.S. Anderson commits to the avant-garde, hiring Doobie White to scramble and redefine his own symmetrical compositions through the idea of cinema as motion; jittery and scattered and furious to the point of sublimity. The edit is every vein in this fucker's body, and it’s pumped up with anguish, yearning for a certain degree of empathy and truth to rise out of the artifice.

The Final Chapter does not stop moving, even going so far as to have a mysterious monster appear within a darkened laboratory *during* an exposition dump, as if things were seemingly grinding to a halt. Such an approach creates frazzled, sparked-up energy, evoked via cuts so quick and tight, so jangled and full of impact that it morphs into a subliminal experience. Each image is seen out of sensation and felt out of exposure rather than recognizing its inherent qualities as a composition, chopping sequences into moments of fierce, desolate vigor, and the effect culminates in a motion picture shredded, strung-up, and left for dead.

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