Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Ultra HD Review

resident-evil

Milla Jovovich is back as the iconic zombie slayer Alice, who is forced to return to The Hive, where her story began, in this final installment in the Resident Evil film franchise.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

94

Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures – 2016
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Genre: Action/Sci-Fi/Horror

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), Catalan, Czech, French, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, French, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, German, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish
Starring: Millan Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, William Levy, Iain Glen
Written &Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Music by: Paul Haslinger
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: May 16, 2017

“Finish the Fight”



My Take:

Picking up after Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where 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.

I have never played the video game that inspired this action/horror film franchise but the original Resident Evil looked interesting so I gave it a years ago. Milla Jovovich has proven that she has the chops for credible butt kicking action. Here we are now five films later, and with each installment the series has steadily declined in terms of the quality of the storyline. Obviously one can’t expect deep themes, and broad plots, but at this stage it has descended into the abyss with threadbare writing, rehashed situations and cardboard cutouts for characters. The one constant, which depending on your point of view may be all that matters, has been the action. I generally find that aspect to be gratifying despite a bit of thematic repetitiveness.

Diehard fans will find much to like in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter as it brings the storyline to a “close” while adhering to the same formula as its predecessors. I suspect that novices or those with a casual interest won’t be impressed with its style over substance approach to filmmaking. In spite of the fact that I haven’t found much merit in the majority of Resident Evil films, I still manage to own each and every one. Go figure. The truth is that good, bad, or otherwise, I find them entertaining. At the end of the day it is simply a matter of preference I suppose.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong sequences of strong violence throughout.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

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Dolby Atmos Rating: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Level of immersion:
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Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 69 Mbps and lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter was rendered from a 5K source and finished on a 4K DI. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD either sourced from 2K or 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far.

The film was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind and that comes through in both its 1080p and Ultra HD presentations. This isn’t an overtly colorful film however its palate of sepia tones and variants of blue/red benefited from UHD’s wider color gamut, appearing noticeably warmer and pleasing to the eye. Resolution gets a slight boost although the differences between the UHD and 1080p renderings are closer than I would have liked. Close-ups tend to be better refined with resolvable texture on surfaces and physical features being a bit easier to detect.

Early in the film there is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. Once things kick off, beginning with the large assault at the gate, followed later by the incursion at the Hive, there is excellent use of HDR where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant, and alternatively, low level sequences had excellent depth of field and emboldened contrast. The scene where Alice is separated from the group in the bowels of the Hive and faces off against the hybrid puts everything together nicely, featuring deep, detailed blacks, offset by vivid, natural looking highlights, that on occasion, make for eye blinking contrasts. Viewing Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in Ultra HD wasn’t a significantly different viewing experience from its 1080p counterpart, however I found it to be an appreciable improvement that elevated the source material.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects is a mix atmospherics, discrete effects and music. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the first act, there are several instances where the mix generates a noticeable improvement in dimension and depth of field. The assault at the gate contains a host of sounds that utilize the overhead channels, creating a wonderfully immersive, and involving listening experience. While this sequence sounds very good in the standard mix it’s taken to the next level in the Amos mix, providing an idea of what the presentation has in store.

This continues with the film’s action based sequences, such as the entry/incursion at the Have, that convey the breadth/expanse of interiors and exterior venues as the track bristles with enveloping ambience and discretely placed effects. Overall, I would say that viewing Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in Ultra HD with the Dolby Atmos mix definitely heightened the experience of watching the film.

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

 

Audio: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:

 

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.6 Mbps.

This film has an intentionally dark and singular chromatic visual style that doesn’t lend itself to vibrant colors and vivid high gloss video quality. There are instances where brighter elements are utilized and the boldly applied contrast allows them to pop visually. Otherwise onscreen images predominantly lean toward darker color schemes, and grittier textures that provide the look that the filmmakers use to drive the story’s components. This is done to good effect. Shadow delineation is excellent overall and revealing of visible details within dark backgrounds and low lighting. Stable contrast and deep blacks allow scenes containing mixed content to appear gradationally satisfying with crisp whites and dynamic highlights. Resolution is discerning as images are characterized by intricate and definitively rendered detail that gives the video appreciable dimension and delineated texture. This is a solid high definition presentation that looked great on my large screen.

This 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is aggressive and features an active surround mix that has extended dynamic range that positively renders the bombastic nature of the elements in the recording. The action based sequences transform the listening area into a three-dimensional sound field filled via immersive surround activity that mates perfectly with the events unfolding onscreen. Low frequency effects produce deep resonating bass that rumbles with tactile authority. Dialog is reproduced with lucid expression, and exacting clarity that imparts just the slightest hint of sibilance in the upper registers. This is an involving, and dynamically rewarding sound design that features high level sonic detail, excellent directional correlation, and rhythmically charged bass. My advice is to crank this one up, sit back and enjoy.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Blu-ray
  • Explore the Hive Featurette
  • The Baddass Trinity & The Women of Resident Evil
  • Retaliation Mode
  • Sneak Peek: Resident Evil: Vendetta
  • Stunts & Weaponry Featurette
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the popular Capcom game the Resident Evil film franchise has garnered a loyal following that eagerly awaits each release. I wouldn’t paint myself as a loyal follower however I just happen to own each of the films in the series. Since the original release each installment has been a little worse than the one preceding it. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the sixth and final film in the series. Like its predecessors, it favors style over substance that is no better or worse while closing out Alice’s story.

It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertaining in this Ultra HD Combo Pack that enhances the image quality while invigorating the listening experience with a noteworthy Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is on par with what we have come to expect from the franchise, and the addition of Ultra HD/Dolby Atmos takes it up a notch, so if you’re a diehard fan this may worth considering for your Ultra HD Blu-ray collection. If not, the Blu-ray offering is top notch, so the bases are covered from a technical standpoint.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package