Resident Evil: Retribution Reviews
The plot continues yet again from the cliff hanger ending of the previous installment, once more invincible Alice is running from the Umbrella Corp and trying to save mankind. Once again she has a new team of allies to get splatted and eaten one by one as, yet again, she escapes another Umbrella facility, this time under the sea.
You do get the impression they have run out of ideas for this new film. All the previous films have a memorable setting, almost like levels in a videogame believe it or not. The first film was in the Umbrella Hive facility, second film was a suburban setting in Raccoon City, third film was a desert setting and the fourth film was in a prison setting. This new film is just in another Umbrella facility which happens to be under the sea, but that's it, they toss in lots of other testing zones within the facility just to show as many zombie battle locations as possible which seems cheap.
I also didn't really like the inclusion of old characters from past films in zombie/clone form. Again this just seemed a little cheap trying to revive past success (sort of success) from the previous films by sticking in the old characters.
In my previous reviews I have mentioned that these films have pretty much copied the basic Aliens survival plot with a team of...survivors. Funnily enough this new fifth film actually goes one step further by giving us a Ripley and Newt subplot rip off right down to even copying an alien...errr I mean Licker pinching Alice's little girl and cocooning her! We then get an almost identical dialog sequence with Alice telling West the kid is still alive and she's going after her like it or not. Oh and a mechanical facehugger bit too. Jesus Anderson lets not actually steal scenes now!
Speaking of the Licker, this giant one is actually pretty cool, looks down right nasty and bites peoples heads off with spurting blood! nice. The CGI wasn't too bad either, its just in the end its a complete anti climax once invincible Alice finds it.
The new team for zombie chow time isn't as good as previous films either. They don't last too long for starters so we don't get to know them, they're just a small team of blokes who are trying too hard to be butch. Leon is crafted well and looks like his videogame counterpart but my god does the actor try for the Eastwood thing. The only other guy of interest is Barry who isn't as pretty as Leon but much more guff and gritty but both of course have huge arms, why wouldn't they? The other two guys we find out nothing and don't see much either, where as Alice's new best friend Ada Wong is a nice sexy double act for the chaps. She does everything in a dinner dress too! (doesn't she ever get cold in that?! she's in the Arctic!).
This is probably the most videogame-like film of the franchise with its internal test zones and duplicated characters all over the shop. It doesn't hold in your memory like the previous films with its bland setting plus there's the usual plot issues like why Wesker wants to now help mankind, I thought he was a super mutant monster thingy and how come the zombies are now almost intelligent to the point where they can hunt underwater! Isn't that kinda checkmate in terms of places left to go? Las Plagas parasite? you see you gotta know the game background somewhat, or so I've read.
Of course by now we all know not to look into these things too much with this series. In terms of action, excitement, violence and plot surprisingly, this film does deliver. I must also admit to LOVING that final sequence from the White House, surely most people got a kick outta that enticing visual tease. It looked like a Peter Jackson inspired sequence for the horror genre, my interest levels are rising.
Good movie! The movie made it quite clear, early on, that there would be no complicated plot lines or character development. And the dialogue was equally simplistic. "Retribution" is full of mindless action sequences that never seem to stop. You won't have time to take a breath before the next action sequence begins. The fight choreography is outstanding and the 3D enlivens the scenes. That's probably the shining spot of the whole film. "Resident Evil: Retribution" will attract fans and action buffs but will not be suitable for others who want a clear story and convincing performances.
The Umbrella Corporation's deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race's last and only hope, Alice, awakens in the heart of Umbrella's most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex.
Retribution, the fifth installment of Paul Anderson's haggard attempt of re-creating the popular videogame contains a lot of shooting, more shooting, and just a little more shooting of firearms at random targets. It seems Anderson figured the vast amount of action scenes would make-up for horrid acting and the sheer stupidity of the plot. Here, we are given clones of actors from previous installments; submarines, simulations of major cities which include New York City, Moscow, and Tokyo; slow motion martial arts, and for the grand finale; James Bond-esque car chases which compromise of zombies in fur-hats with machine guns and RPGs...............
In the end, Retribution is a prime example of a film that legitimately makes you wonder what types of drugs where consumed by the writers.
* out of 4 stars
At times, few and far between moments that are nigh nonexistent, Retribution is aware of what it is. It's this self awareness that makes the film watchable, because even though you knew it was going to be bad, you watched it anyway. C list actors running around shooting zombies in fairly well designed sets should be fun, but without this self awareness, Resident Evil is not fun. In fact, Resident Evil is a chore to watch. Acting is terrible, music is somehow out of place, special effects are lazy (and about 100% CG), and the hackneyed attempts at shoehorning story elements from the games is completely random and almost insulting to fans. This is simply an awful movie, to the point of being annoying. Constant abuse of slow motion insures that the action scenes lack any sort of gravitas or weight. In my opinion, watching something transpire in slow motion in these days is just an excuse for my brain to shut off.
I didn't like it, to say the least. Gets a 20 for awesome gun sounds and some stand out moments (all of which were in the trailers). Skip it, but hey, if you're reading this your probably won't.
The story follows Alice (Milla Jovovich) as she teams up with other survivors as they still try to figure out a way to take down the Umbrellas Corporation and there deadly plans.
The plot of the film seemed to me like it was written by a bunch of guys in college who are obsessed with porn and have seen too many Jason Statham movies. This films story just doesn't matter in the slightest, I mean they say a lot of words and give a lot of complicated explanations of a virus and zombies, but we just are too uninterested to even try and understand what they are talking about. I have seen the characters go nowhere over the years, and I can say with all honesty that I hate the character of Alice. She has no likable traits and Milla Jovovich gives just a worse performance with each film releases. They don't keep true to the video games at all, and characters from the video games just have gotten annoying, I mean they made Leon Kennedy into an unlikable dork with a gun. I never took the Resident Evil movies seriously, and this movie further explains why.
The cast has absolutely no talent and this is a great example of how not to perform in a film. Milla Jovovicvh has played this role many times but never before has she been so stale and dull. I mean Milla just has no heart with the character of Alice and just seems to have no traits other than killing people, and if she died in any of the films, I wouldn't care in the least. Sienna Guillory is just here for her looks, and she couldn't act to save a human being if she tried too. Michelle Rodriguez is usually a cool actress, but she really doesn't need to return to this film series, it's beyond her. I liked Rodriguez in Avatar and Machete, but now she seems to just be taking any roles that she is given. Li Bingbing just had no purpose in this film other than they need an attractive Asian woman that couldn't act. As for the rest of the cast, I can't see their careers going past this film.
Resident Evil: Retribution is a pure example of how to waste your money at the movie theater, and how to feel ripped off after you leave. There is a lot of guns and killing for the people that really don't care about good filmmaking, but as for me, I enjoy films that actually have a purpose. I hope with all my heart that this series dies soon and they end it as quickly as possible. I think we all realize that they are just trying to keep this series alive by any means necessary, even if that means they will keep adding more and more ridiculous stories to this ridiculous franchise. I love the Resident Evil video games but this film is just another entry in a string of stupid and mindless action films that you will forget in less than a day. Great film franchises like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or Harry Potter are so great because we care about the characters and the stories, but these movies could care less about any of that. I am not looking forward to any further Resident Evil films, and I hope they just end it and get it over.