Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter - Movie Novelization

Evil Comes Home.

While some people have criticized the Resident Evil films for various reasons, I have absolutely loved each and every one of them.  Milla Jovovich breathed life into the character of Alice, the protagonist through all of the films, and so it was with a bit of sadness that I went to see "The Final Chapter," which is toted as the conclusion to the series of films:  Resident Evil, Apocalypse, Extinction, Afterlife, Retribution and now, The Final Chapter.

I have not read any of the novelizations until after I saw the film, and this novelization of the last film is an example of why. The books, which are based on what I assume to be the original screenplays, tend to have not only more story to them (including backgrounds, characterization, and such), but they also tend to have additional storylines that don't appear in the movie.  For this book, it was the story of Becky, the girl who Alice believed to be her daughter during the alternate reality sequences of the last film/book.

The Final Chapter stays somewhat consistent with the film, although its opening offers a lot more backstory to connect the ending of the last film with the beginning of this one. Readers learn more about the fight that Alice, along with Ada, Jill, and Leon, endured as the hordes of undead and vile creatures created by the Umbrella Corporation converged on the White House.  We find out more about Albert Wesker's betrayal (like we didn't see that coming" during the battle, and we learn the ultimate fates of Ada, Jill, and Leon.  Readers also discovery why Alice was underneath all that rubble at the beginning of The Final Chapter.

I'll admit, I had fun reading the novelization, as there were moments where I felt like I was sitting in the theater once again, watching the movie.  Alice's battle with the nightmarish creatures unleashed by Umbrella.  Alice reuniting with Claire Redfield.  The revelation of the traitor in their midst.  The big reveal of Alice's true identity and her connection with the Red Queen.  The ultimate battle between Alice and Wesker & Isaacs.  The sad deaths of some of Alice's companions.

The underlying thread of Alice's search for and concern for Becky, her "daughter," is the biggest difference between the film and the book.  The film has no mention of Becky whatsoever, while the book continues the subplot throughout the whole story.  In fact, the very end is drastically different - without providing any spoilers here, let's just say that the end of the book focuses on Becky, while the end of the movie provides an entirely different direction for the story.

And the epilogue ... I have to wonder if that was a post-credits scene in the movie, as I did not stay for the end of the credits.  Once I buy the DVD, I'll have to watch and see.  Not that it really makes a difference, since there talks of re-booting the whole Resident Evil franchise, which would make the epilogue pretty much irrelevant. (Personally, I hate the idea of a reboot.  There is a whole world of stories that they could tell set within this world already created - plenty of other characters they could follow).

So, the saga of Alice has come to an end.  It was a satisfying series of stories, and although she will be missed, I can say that they provided the story a very satisfying conclusion.

RATING:  9 decanters, sculptures, and fountain pens out of 10 for concluding the Resident Evil saga of Alice with some unexpected twists and turns, but with no dangling plot threads.

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