I may be in the minority, but I don’t really think much about the gender of a protagonist in an action film. Honestly I do not care as long as they are written well and performed convincingly. John McClane or Alice, I honestly don’t give a damn as long as they are kicking some ass.
Where gender things become an issue for me is when they are being obviously played forward for the sake of doing it, not as a matter of furthering the story telling. If you set out to do a ‘girl power’ movie you can expect it to fall very easily into a cartoonish parody of itself. This is just the beginning of the problems with “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.”
If I say, “Hey, wanna guess what the asian in the movie was best at?” What would your answer be? Come on, we all know the stereotypes associated with different people. I won’t call you a racist, just observant. Ok, how about if I restrict it to movie roles that the asian guy usually fills in an action movie. Right, super-duper martial arts guy is the answer. (Or the computer guy, but apparently that wasn’t a role needed in this movie.)
Here’s one for you. Guess the sex of the bad guys, yes every single bad guy. Want a hint? Look at the title of this post. Right! Some big mean stupid males!
When you decide to limit your plot points to a common theme (let’s say ‘girl power’) predictability is sure to follow.
Filmmaking Used to Be An Art, Not Merely Graphic Arts
It wasn’t all plot or the serious lack of it. The cinematography needs to be called to the carpet and I will lump it in with an industry pet peeve, 3D
I get it, people are into the whole 3D experience. I am not strictly against it by any means. However, I think it decreases the actual cinematographic experience in too many cases. This is particularly so when you see a movie that was clearly meant only to make a visual impact for 3D viewers.
(style rant two incoming)
Did I also mention that I am about sick of movies overly saturated with CG? I get it, you can’t have a million extras dressed as zombies. But there are certain elements that can be accomplished much more organically by using talented makeup artists, set designers, fabricators, monster makers and costumers.
Think of it this way… picture in your mind Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and then think of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Feel that sinking, sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach. That’s what happens when a director believes CG can replace filmmaking.
The Final Chapter highlighted both of these miserable developments. Granted there was a great deal of money spent and some shots would have been basically impossible without the CG. So I won’t give it too much of a knock for the graphics. But the 3D gimmick is just not as spectacular and vibrant as a traditional film look. It seems diminished for gadget tricks to get people to jump back in their seats as a reaction to a visual trick, when I would rather jump from being immersed and having a genuine fear response.
End It Already
It is nice to see things work through to fruition and that is why I made it a point to see this one in a theater. I figured I should finish it the way I started it, with pop corn and Raisinettes. The theater wasn’t as full as I remember it for the first one, but that is par for the course these days.
Sometimes you just want something to end. Dentist appointments, high school, sunburn and a string of played out sequels come to mind. I wanted this movie to end too. It seemed long to me. It wasn’t particularly long with a running time of one hour and forty five minutes, but it seemed like it. It seemed long but there wasn’t much information conveyed in that time.
Final Thought… (obvious spoiler)
So after a fairly tedious and prodding pace/plot you get some good action for the last 20 minutes. Yes, nothing else of substance happens. Then, speaking of ending it already… guess what, she doesn’t die!
Yep. They give you this ‘Alice must die” thing through the entire fucking movie with what feels like a subtle wink. Then they don’t have the human decency to kill her off. She could have fallen on her sword having saved all humans left on the planet. Thus the entire franchise would be firmly sewn up.
Nope. Because #girlpower.
Final rating for The Final Chapter? 4/10 – disappointed but not surprised