Action Blu-ray Review

'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter' Blu-ray Review: The action-horror franchise ends on its own terms, but doesn't close the book

May 16, 2017Ben MK

Video game adaptations have a spotty track record at the box office, but when it comes to sheer staying power, the Resident Evil franchise remains unparalleled. Now, after six installments spanning over a decade, the time has come for writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich to bow The Final Chapter.

After recapping the history of the Umbrella Corporation and how the T-virus turned most of the Earth's population into the walking undead, the story reintroduces viewers to series protagonist Alice (Jovovich), who's emerged from the aftermath of 2012's Resident Evil: Retribution with a new mission. Armed with a key piece of intel provided by none other than the Red Queen herself, Alice embarks on a perilous journey from Washington, D.C. to Raccoon City, where she must infiltrate the Hive to recover an antivirus that could very well be humanity's salvation.

As always, however, there's a catch. For if Alice doesn't accomplish her mission within 48 hours, then the planet's last remaining human settlement will be no more. Luckily, she'll also have some help from allies both old and new, including Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and a fellow survivor named Abigail (Ruby Rose), as she takes the fight directly to an endless army of zombies, giant, winged monstrosities and grotesque, mutated fiends, not to mention her arch nemeses Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen) and his big bad henchman, Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts).

The result is hit-and-miss, as there are some genuinely inspired moments of action and narrative peppered throughout the movie, but there are also some fairly insipid stretches as well. Either way, hardcore fans of the series will likely get their money's worth out of what transpires. As for whether this indeed spells the end of the franchise, that remains to be seen. But judging by the film's closing tease, it may be unwise to count Alice out just yet.

The Resident Evil films have upheld a rather consistent visual aesthetic over the years, but The Final Chapter — like Resident Evil: Extinction before it — somewhat bucks this trend, as the majority of the movie takes place amid a post-apocalyptic, battle-ravaged wasteland that's more Mad Max than anything else. Otherwise, razor-sharp details and excellent contrast ensure that this 1080p transfer is never murky during the film's many darker scenes; and the provided DTS-HD 7.1 sound mix perfectly conveys the movie's bombastic sound design, as characterized by a virtually non-stop chorus of heavy weapons fire, explosions, crunching bones and feral shrieking.

Sony's single-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Retaliation Mode with Paul & Milla (2:16:42) - In this "scene specific behind the scenes video and commentary with Paul & Milla," Anderson and Jovovich pop up throughout the film to talk about adapting the video game for the screen, her portrayal of Alice, the film debut of their daughter, Ever, the execution of the fight sequences, the evolution of the zombies throughout the series, and more.
  • Stunts & Weaponry (9:03) - Anderson, Stunt Coordinator Grant Hulley and the cast discuss the stunt work, the physical training, the weapons, and the camaraderie among the cast and crew.
  • Explore the Hive (4:18) - A look at The Final Chapter's version of the Hive, from new areas like the air intake tunnel, killing room floor and Hive control room, to recreations of classic sets like the glass corridor.
  • The Bad Ass Trinity & The Women of Resident Evil (6:32) - Anderson and Jovovich talk about the franchise's history of strong female characters, as well as the roles played by her, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose and Japanese model/actress Rola.
  • Sneak Peek: Resident Evil: Vendetta (4:22) - Capcom Executive Supervisor Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Director Takanori Tsujimoto and Executive Producer Takashi Shimizu are interviewed for this piece about "The Evolution of Resident Evil: Vendetta," in which they touch on the upcoming CGI film's characters, its visuals and what to expect in terms of action.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of May 16th, 2017. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Spanish and Thai Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Indonesian, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 47 Mins.

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