RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER / INSURGENCE

Directed and Written by Paul W.S. Anderson

Based on the Capcom video game Resident Evil

Music by Paul Haslinger

Cinematography by Glen MacPherson

Film Editing by Doobie White

Filmed on location in  New York City and Washington, D.C., USA
Moscow, Russia
Cape Town, South Africa
Queensland, Australia
Brandenburg and Berlin, Germany
Cinespace Film Studios, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
No fangs before the opening credits.
Only stinger after the closing credits is a single audio line with no video.

In a movie based on a video game, that is limping in on its– Oh, no. I have wasted twelve hours of my life watching the Resident Evil movies? Twelve hours that I will never get back. I’ve never seen Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Chupacabra vs. The Alamo, to start with the Cs — and I’ve watched all six Resident Evil massacres. Shame on me. Actually, the previous two I caught on cable and they weren’t bad and I kind of had to see this one in order to review it, so I take that back.

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Paul. W.S. Anderson, shame on you. You could have taken a popular franchise out with a stupendous ending and you went for stupid. Okay, stupider. (Remember, I’ve seen them all and enjoyed the others, so do not jump my shit.) You stripped out what made the previous movies good in favour of just using pieces of what you had already used rather than build on anything or creating anything new. Oh, but speaking of new, you also cannot backtrack and add in references to horrible things that happened since the last film to make it appear you were so prescient that you knew they were headed our way and put them in the original backstory. As Lionel Twain said, “You’ve introduced characters in the last five pages that were never in the book before.” They don’t put up with that shit in mysteries anymore and you can’t use anything like here to make yourself look brilliant; you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.

What you don’t have is the intellectual honesty to choose a disease for the doctor’s daughter Alicia Marcus to suffer and be dying from that remotely matches the physical symptoms portrayed in the movie. You want to use Progeria? It’s not a “wasting disease.” It’s not a disease; it’s a genetic disorder, meaning it’s congenital. Your Alicia was a perfect, round-cheeked little angel with circles under her eyes. Real victims are wizened, bald, frail, with sharp noses and chins and truly appear to be ancient while still children. They seldom live beyond their teens, but some make it to their early twenties. I wish you were reading this, jackass. Here, look at what it actually is.

Excuse me, but he pissed me off.

One of the best things about the five previous installments was the way Alice was forced to keep moving, always from one death trap to a moment of safety before another insane battle. What made it truly interesting was what happened during the moments of safe– relative safety. She met people. People who made fascinating characters: good, bad, hard-to-pin-down, turncoats from both sides. These installments brought us performances from actors such as James Purefoy, Michelle Rodriguez, Kevin Durand, Oded Fehr, Colin Salmon, Mike Epps, Ashanti, Christopher Egan, Kim Coates, Wentworth Miller, Sienna Guilllory, Sandrine Holt, and, of course, Ali Larter. Many, like the great Oded Fehr and Michelle Rodriguez returned to add increased depth to the characters and build their relationships with Alice and with each other. Seeing familiar faces still alive after the climactic battle that looked unsurvivable made the next film that much better and added backstory without horrifying voice-over or wooden recitation to just bring us up to date. If you have seen any of the press events or previews or posters or trailers… Ah, what the hell. Ali Larter is our only returning good guy.

Some continuity things troubled me. The T-Cell virus has been out decimating the population — the human population (I think it is doing great things for the zombie population; they keep eating the census takers.) — for five films already and Alice has been all over trying to find survivors and take them to safety. She’s been back into Raccoon *snicker* City enough times to get her powers, lose her powers, get cloned, and get crowned Miss Hive.

Here are some questions I have: Why are things like downed airplanes and gutted buildings still smoking? What are humans eating? No one ever eats, except a cellophane bag of peanuts. Where are they storing food? Where are they getting potable water? Rotting bodies or body parts poison water. Fast. If people are still having sex, why isn’t every possible woman pregnant? Why can’t Trump get the T-Cell virus?  Scratch that. Loompas are immune. Why do vehicles still start when we dramatically need them to? And why have creatures evolved to challenges and habitats that none of them have been exposed to? That is how evolution works, doesn’t it? T-Rex didn’t come around the corner one day with prosthetic arm’s twenty feet long. I don’t think. I went to school in Florida.

Forget the continuity. Forget the questions. Without returning characters, Anderson could have delved deeper into the relationship between Alice and Claire (Larter) or Alice and any of the new characters. Instead, there was no attempt to give any character a personality beyond a facial expression or bad guy/good guy. Obviously, you have Alice, Claire, Dr. Isaacs, and Wesker. Good. Good. Bad. Bad. That’s all we need to know. The rest is just gore. Gore and fight scenes. Gore and fight scenes and zombies. There. I stretched it out to 106 minutes. Not bad for a movie where no one eats, drinks, or talks about themselves.

There was no excuse to end this franchise on such a whimper when they had access to such a pool of money and, more importantly, the kind of talent they’ve had in the past. Ali Larter should have given them the finger. A fake zombie finger, so she could just mail it in.