Tuesday, 14 February 2017

REVIEW - RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER (PAUL W. S. ANDERSON)


Whether it's just a trend or a legitimate line of critical thinking, the concept of vulgar auteurism is one which has yet to properly win me over. I appreciate the integrity of Paul W. S. Anderson's vision, and I often admire the beauty and clarity of his skill - the auteurist element of this concept is not what irks me. It's the vulgarity which, though regularly a quality which I favour in art, is simply not to my liking in Anderson's Resident Evil series. Spatial dynamism, relentless forward momentum, aesthetic symmetry, all integral components in the nucleus of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter's identity, and all valuable components too, offering bountiful viewing pleasures for the casual fan and the critical thinker alike. And then there's the sheer, simple atrociousness of fellow components such as the writing and the acting - less integral to this particular identity of film, perhaps, but still never less than essential to my own viewing pleasure. Am I a latent traditionalist in my own nucleus as a cinephile? Those critics and fans may seek to defend Anderson in dismissing the importance of these failings, primarily due to the intentionality of their failure, but that argument won't wash with me. There's no convincing purpose in employing poor actors to perform a poor script, regardless of its relevance to the formation of vulgar auteurism as a valid artistic concept. In developing that formation further, The Final Chapter offers nothing new of significance except a more fundamental grasp of basic filmmaking principles - possibly only indicating how low Anderson had set his own bar - whilst also emphasizing the hardiness of Anderson's technique, buried as it is beneath yet more and more layers of, well, vulgarity.