MOVIE REVIEW: Resident Evil Retribution

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In this, the fifth entry in the Resident Evil movie franchise, Alice must be rescued from a high tech underground complex run and owned by the evil Umbrella Corporation. There are clones, zombies, and all manner of oogly booglies, but can it live up to the lofty heights of the previous movies?

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION
Writen and Directed- Paul W.S. Anderson
Alice- Milla Jovovich
Jill Valentine- Sienna Guillory
Rain- Michelle Rodriguez
Leon S. Kennedy- Johann Urb
Barry Burton- Kevin Durand
Ada Wong- Bingbing Li
Todd / Carlos- Oded Fehr
Albert Wesker- Shawn Roberts

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Previously in Resident Evil: In Resident Evil we were introduced to Alice, the evil Umbrella Corporation, and the zombie making T-Virus. In Resident Evil: Apocalypse the T-Virus escapes into Racoon City, the zombies spread, and umbrella plot evily. In Resident Evil: Extinction and Afterlife Alice becomes super-psychic, the zombies mutate, and Umbrella continue their nefarious shenanigans. All the while the quality of the movies ebb and flow, but never exceed their status as terrible guilty pleasures, and any resemblance to the original Capcom games gets lost in the mix.

THESE ARE NOT GOOD MOVIES

A few things that I need to make clear from the off. First, I never played the games, until the last few years, so I’m not going to be comparing this to that. Second, These movies are not good and as such cannot be compared to other movies because other movies are, in one way or another, good. Third, I love these movies, and they are watched surprisingly frequently in the Cat Halo household.

With all that being said, this is a fitting entry in to the Resident Evil franchise. It is not good, but is still somehow enjoyable.

This movie really has no story to speak of, or character development for that matter. But there is action, lots of action, and it’s all in pretty cool looking 3D too. As with a lot of the previous Resident Evil flicks it opens very well, following on immediately after the previous instalment ended…only in cool looking rewindy slo-mo. Then there’s regulation recap of the “plot” from the previous movies. After that it starts to go downhill. Like the previous movies, they use and re-use monsters, characters, and moments from the games and movies to middling effect.

ONE MAN’S VISION, BUT HE NEEDS GLASSES

The problems really begin and end with Paul WS Anderson. Resident Evil is his movie franchise: he has written and produces all of the movies, and has directed the first, fourth, and now the fifth. The problems in this instance lie specifically with his script, in so much as it is terrible. The plot is beyond simple, the characters have no character, and in attempting to develop Alice they simply “Newt” her. They give her a dirty, pre-teen girl to protect, whose name is Becky. But Milla does look smoking in her tight black number.

It is nice to see so many people from previous movies return, even if it doesn’t make a lick of sense. Oded is still cool, Rodriguez kicks ass, and another cool guy from the first movie makes a welcome return. Wesker is still pretty cool too. Kevin Durand has a great presence, but is very underused. The cast isn’t all good though, as the hacks playing Leon and the returning Jill Valentine are shockingly bad.

THE STRENGTH IS IN THE ACTION

But when the action kicks off, things get much better. Anderson is a man of little talent, but he does make action look pretty cool. The sequence in suburbia does deliver one or two acceptable jumps, and the Tokyo/white room action scene is genuinely quite brilliant. However, as cheesy fun as the opening 30 minutes is, it wares quite thin by the end. It does all look very cool in 3D though, and it is definitely better used than the last movie.

BOTTOM LINE: MORE OF THE SAME

So…Despite the utter lack of discernible plot, or character development, this movie is still a bit of fun. Probably because the action scenes are very well put together, and are probably the best of the series to date. It’s a shame it’s just so damn dumb. Add a star if you happen to like the series or bad movies.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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