Resident Evil: Retribution – A Film that Doesn’t Bring Anything New to the Series

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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 (Milla Jovovich), 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. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun. (from the movie’s website)

I want to start off my review by stating what went through my mind when I walked out of the theatre: “Meh”. It was just ok. While there were some amazing effects and action sequences, the acting fell quite flat. Just as a warning: There Will Be Spoilers in This Review!!

Let’s start with things I didn’t like about Resident Evil: Retribution. We can start with the opening credits. During the sequence, there is a whole battle scene that is staged on a tanker that is playing backwards, and I thought “Hmmm…different, but this could be promising”. My feelings changed about 10-15 minutes later when we are watching the same scene moving forward this time. The redundancy pulled me out of the overall experience of the film and truthfully, bored me.

While I appreciate the overall feel of the film, the acting was almost painful from everyone. The lines and dialogue felt extremely forced. Even Milla herself seemed like she was trying too hard. This is almost a cliche with video game based movies, but the attempt to create entertaining one-liners was blatantly evident.

I do have to give credit to whoever cast Kevin Durand as Barry Burton. He looked the part, he acted the part, and he was one of the main high points for me in the film. I really enjoyed the “tough guy” vibe from him, and how he handled the character.  He really got into character and reminded me of the Barry from the original video game. He had an impressive fight sequence towards the end of the movie, and I loved that they stuck with his “go to” firearm for his last battle.

Thinking of characters from the games/previous movies makes me think of another one: Leon Kennedy. This character wasn’t too bad. What could have improved his performance? Eliminate the attempt to copy the video game character’s hair. The blond hair hanging down around his face was really annoying. While it looked good in the games, it just didn’t do it on the big screen. I think his role would have been better served by concentrating on what he was able to bring to the screen than what his hair looked like.

I really appreciated all of the versions of the infected that were present in the movie. This movie almost was a mash-up of all of the previous games and movies, with a mix of the infected being present. From running infected, to Nazi Zombies, to the giant jumping infected, we had a variety of looks and feels. Each had a different type of effect or makeup that added to the total feel. The runners were bloody and shredded, while the Nazi Zombies had the look of corpses left in the ground and all dried out. It was pretty impressive. I loved the Nazi Zombie carrying the chainsaw. Pretty good kill scene resulted from that combination.

This movie did showcase almost all of the characters from the previous movies: Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Oded Feher, Colin Salmon, Shawn Roberts, etc. Now, these characters weren’t just thrown in to add that familiar element. The story does explain why they are in the story and why Alice is still alive and kicking. Some additional characters were added and they add either a little more depth to the story or they end up as zombie/critter chow.

Remember in the first Resident Evil movie when Alice wakes up wearing nothing but two pieces of surgical gown? Well, that scene is repeated in this movie. The main difference being that this time it almost looks like two pieces of legal pad paper with plastic straps. Two other characters add their own “sex appeal” to the mix: BingBing Li as Ada Wong and Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine.

This is the fifth movie that has been released in the franchise and guess what? They left the ending open for another movie! Wait, who here is surprised? I’m thinking the next movie will be called Resident Evil: Armageddon. It’s humanity’s last ditch fight against the infected and the malevolent power that is influencing and directing these assaults.

Overall, I’d give this movie a 5 out of 10. Fans of the series will definitely want to see it. If you have never watched one of these movies before, you might want to start from the beginning and see where that takes you. I’m afraid that if you were to start here, you’d give up on the franchise completely.

Take a look at the trailer and decide for yourself. Is this something you want to see? My question to you all: what do you thing about where the series is going? Are we completely offtrack at this point?

 

 

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