This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Gandalf the Gay’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
These domestic structures are subservient to a still-bigger agenda: the accumulation of wealth by a global elite through the asset-stripping of the planet's resources and the rationalisation of permanent war.
– Jonathan Cook
I've seen The Final Chapter a few times now, and no matter how hard I study the action sequences, my feeble brain can't quite comprehend their ludicrously rapid editing. I admire Paul W.S. Anderson for several reasons, including almost never repeating himself. When he chose to model Afterlife and Retribution off the Wachowskis' Matrix masterwork, it felt like he was pandering directly to me. I won't pretend I didn't love it. Hiring Doobie White however was a mistake that handicaps what should be Anderson's strongest suit; he trades well-defined spatial coherence for experimental hyperkinesis. Clearly it worked for some people, but it's a huge drawback when I'm physically incapable of following what's happening on screen. I feel pretty sad that such a crucial aspect of Anderson's cinema, one that I've praised him for earlier, just doesn't work for me here. He's earned the benefit of the doubt, and I'm extending him the goodwill accumulated from his previous couple of entries. But until Alice re-enters the Hive, it plays very much like a standard Resident Evil movie. That's the moment The Final Chapter kicks into high gear for me, and lives up to its promise.
The perfect emotional ending for Alice as a character, for the series on a meta level, for the thematic preoccupations of Anderson as a filmmaker, and for the personal history of Milla Jovovich as an actress and mother (her daughter Ever has a regal, classically elegant screen presence).
Even an idiot can identify Umbrella as the personification of rampant capitalism. Dr. Isaacs adds a shade of Christian Dominionism to his eschatological preaching, concerned above all with man-made climate change.
Isaacs: "We stand on the brink of Armageddon. Diseases for which we have no cure. Fundamentalist states who call for our destruction. Nuclear powers over which we have no control. And even if we navigate these dangerous waters, we face other, even more inevitable threats. Global warming will melt the polar ice caps within 80 years, flooding 90% of all hospitable areas on Earth. Unchecked population growth will overtake food production in less than 50 years, leading to famine and war. This is not conjecture. This is fact. One way or another, our world is coming to an end. Now, the question is, will we end with it?"
Alicia: "What do you propose?"
Isaacs: "I propose that we end the world, but on our terms. An orchestrated apocalypse, one that will cleanse the Earth of its population, but leave its infrastructure and resources intact. It's been done before..."
*He taps his finger on the Bible*
"...with great success. The chosen few will ride out the storm, not in an Ark, as in the book of Genesis, but in safety, underground. And when it's over, we will emerge onto a cleansed Earth, one that we can then reboot in our image."
All that stuff with the T-virus and zombies is a metaphor for the ruling class' endgame, as summed up by Jonathan Cook at the top of this review. These events have already come to pass, and the super rich's plans continue unabated.
ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change—seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm's own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.
Anyone who cares about the survival of the human race would agree with Noam Chomsky's assertion that this cover-up "is a level of criminality that is almost hard to find words to describe".
The United States government—run by members of a death cult—now admits to climate change being real, but claims its effects are so inescapably catastrophic that we might as well freeze fuel-efficiency standards. In other words, do nothing and continue lining the pockets of genocidal sociopaths. They're going to allow misery and destruction on an unimaginable scale just so capitalist investors can pillage the world's wealth before it turns into The Final Chapter's hellscape.
Billionaires are plotting to seek shelter underground and in protected seclusion, hiding from the cascading system failures and angry masses of victims following societal collapse.
This revelation comes from Robert Vicino, founder of the Vivos Project, a builder of massive underground bunkers who claims the Silicon Valley elites developed detailed plans to flee to New Zealand while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where the world's richest biggest kahunas meet every year to take victory laps and discuss future biz battles.
According to Vicino: "They foresaw a revolution or a change where society is going to go after the 1 per centers. In other words, them."
Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I assumed would be a hundred or so investment bankers. It was by far the largest fee I had ever been offered for a talk—about half my annual professor's salary— all to deliver some insight on the subject of "the future of technology."
After I arrived, I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys — yes, all men— from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world. After a bit of small talk, I realized they had no interest in the information I had prepared about the future of technology. They had come with questions of their own.
They started out innocuously enough. Ethereum or bitcoin? Is quantum computing a real thing? Slowly but surely, however, they edged into their real topics of concern.
Which region will be less impacted by the coming climate crisis: New Zealand or Alaska? Is Google really building Ray Kurzweil a home for his brain, and will his consciousness live through the transition, or will it die and be reborn as a whole new one? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, "How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?"
The Event. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, unstoppable virus, or Mr. Robot hack that takes everything down.
This single question occupied us for the rest of the hour. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival. Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers — if that technology could be developed in time.
That's when it hit me: At least as far as these gentlemen were concerned, this was a talk about the future of technology. Taking their cue from Elon Musk colonizing Mars, Peter Thiel reversing the aging process, or Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape.