Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the sixth and final installment in the worldwide franchise phenomenon. Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil franchise) is back as the iconic zombie slayer Alice, who is forced to return to The Hive, where her story began. The Umbrella Corporation is gathering its undead forces for a final strike against the survivors of the apocalypse and Alice must prevent complete human extinction before it’s too late. Returning with Jovovich are franchise regulars Ali Larter (Final Destination), Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: Retribution) and Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”), alongside all-new cast members Ruby Rose (“Orange is the New Black”), Eoin Macken (“The Night Shift”) and William Levy (The Single Moms Club).
Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
After a detailed and well explained re-cap, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter begins right where the previous film left off. Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes in the middle of the remnants of Washington D.C. The world has been ravaged by the T-Virus. The T-Virus was engineered by the Umbrella Corporation to regenerate cells in the human body, but the side effects quickly led to a zombie outbreak. In the 10 years since the first outbreak in Raccoon City, zombies have destroyed most life on earth and mutated creatures now threaten the few humans left on earth. 

A computer program/hologram called the Red Queen tried to stop the outbreak in the first film by killing all those who had been exposed. The Red Queen makes contact with Alice and asks her to return to Raccoon City. According to the Red Queen, the human race will be extinct in 48 hours unless Alice located the anti-virus back at The Hive. The Umbrella Corporation will throw everything it has at Alice to prevent her from reaching The Hive.

Near her destination, Alice locates a group of survivors which includes Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), a previous ally and friend. Claire is hesitant to release the anti-virus because it will kill the zombies and Alice as well. When most people some in contact with the T-Virus they become undead brain eaters, but Alice’s body bonded with the virus, making her stronger. Alice has the virus in her system and is willing to give up her life to end the zombie apocalypse for good.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is not significantly different than the previous films. Although I always recommend starting at the beginning of a franchise you wouldn’t be lost if you started at the final chapter. Both the zombies and humans do a lot of damage and you have to have a strong stomach for that type of violence. I admit that the plot lines are often extremely convenient. It is very unlikely that Alice would run into her friend Claire once let alone twice in a lifetime after being separated and going head to head with Umbrella. 

Even with her enhancements thanks to the t-virus, the Umbrella Corporation soldiers would have figured out to use a sniper and shoot her in the head by now, rather than engaging in the losing battle of hand to hand combat. Still, I like these films. The fact that I’m enjoying a zombie outbreak makes me feel like I don’t really need to think that hard. I’ve enjoyed watching Alice kick butt for five movies and am happy to see the resolution of the sixth, and final film. For those who remember the early films, the Hive brings back many details iconic to the beginning of the action. This film explains a lot of what was going on in previous films and gives Alice a chance to end things with her two main foes at the Umbrella Corporation.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
4K UHD (4 out of 5 stars)                                                            Blu-ray (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Resident Evil franchise takes place in post-apocalyptic zombie wastelands and doesn’t offer many bright colors and dazzling sets. The film is dark and dirty overall. Browns, blacks and grays dominate. The Ultra High Definition presentation offers slightly more color depth and range. There are issues with black levels and visual noise. For this reason, I preferred watching the Blu-ray. The decreased sharpness of the Blu-ray seemed to make the other problems less bothersome.
Audio (5 out of 5 stars)
While the visual was less than impressive at times, the audio presentations are stunning. The Blu-ray includes a near perfect DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track and the UHD’s Atmos track is even better. Gunfire reigns throughout the film, but even the dot matrix printer sounds accurate and lively. You’ve never heard the Red Queen tell people “they are all going to die” in a more spine tingling tone. The environmental noise and overall ambience is excellent and you can hear the difference between characters talking inside the large metal tubes or open spaces. Sony has presented reference quality sound on both formats.
Extras (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The 4K UHD disc contains Cast and Crew Photos and Moments, and these other supplemental features can be located on the Blu-ray:
  • Retaliation Mode with Paul and Milla – instead of the standard audio commentary, the film offers optional scene specific behind the scenes video and audio commentary.
  • Stunts & Weaponry (9:03) – Paul W.S. Anderson, cast and crew discuss the actor input and participation in stunt work. Weaponry like the Hydra (3 barrel shotgun) are explored.
  • Explore The Hive (4:19) – Cast interviews are included in this look at the return to Raccoon City. The production designer discusses building an older dirtier version of the original set and takes a look at the new Hive Control Room.
  • The Bad Ass Trinity & The Women of Resident Evil (6:33) – This girl power centered feature explores the character Alice and the difference between her type of strength and that of the humans Claire Redfield and Abigail.
  • Sneak Peak: Resident Evil: Vendetta (4:22) – Background and making of information for the CGI film with English subtitles.
  • Previews
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter plays a very important role in the franchise. It may be a little convenient to return to where it all started, but it wraps up a lot of loose ends. The film bring some new fighting scenarios for Alice to manage and offers the opportunity for her to exact some much needed revenge on the Umbrella Corporation. The film looks very good, although I did prefer the Blu-ray presentation. The audio was above par and fans will not be disappointed in this purchase. Now that the series is wrapped, I will soon find time to binge watch from start to finish.

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