I know relatively nothing about the Resident Evil franchise. I’m aware of its existence due to having watched my older brother play the video game on his first generation PlayStation when I was younger, and I’m aware that somehow for the past decade there have been five of these films. FIVE! Admittedly, I only saw Resident Evil: Retribution because it was assigned to me yet had every intention to catch up and watch the first four, but then you know, stuff happened and I forgot. However, I was genuinely looking forward to seeing Retribution as I expected it to be a great film to turn my brain off and just watch. The good thing about Resident Evil: Retribution was that it didn’t exceed my expectations, but that was also the bad thing.
If like me you’ve missed out on the past few films or need a reminder, Resident Evil: Retribution quickly brings things viewers up to speed: Our heroine Alice, once the head of security for the Umbrella Corporation, has witnessed the fall of human society at the hands of her company. The Umbrella Corporation has been responsible for releasing a viral disease among the masses that not only have awakened the dead, but have mutated them into monstrous flesh craving beings. Alice has turned rogue and been souped up with and later stripped of special superhuman abilities in an attempt to bring down the corporation. Nevertheless, Alice’s efforts have been futile until now where her newest task is escape the Umbrella Corporation’s underwater ice base and stop them from releasing and distributing a deadly viral parasite that makes its host nearly invincible…or something like that.
I consider myself a comfortable, red-blooded, heterosexual woman, but watching Milla Jovovich run around in skin-tight spandex kicking ass and shooting guns is pretty hot. Maybe it’s the empowerment of women or just the fact that she’s a ridiculously attractive woman, but having to sit through almost two hours of confusing story and subpar action isn’t bad thanks to Jovovich.
What can I say? She’s got a nice pair…
Unfortunately there are scenes that don’t always involve her, so I was forced to pay attention to a jumbled mediocre story that raised more questions than were worth answering. The Umbrella Corporation heavily involve themselves in creating situational, computer-simulated virus outbreaks in replicated cities with clones of Umbrella corporation members that represent the human population. In one of these simulated outbreaks, a cloned suburbanized Alice fights to protect her fake clone daughter from a zombie attack. After awakening back in the real world, the real Alice later comes in contact with the child, Becky; someone she didn’t know existed because it was her clone living the suburban life and not herself. Yet for some reason Alice takes this cloned child under her wing, fighting to protect her despite the fact that “a day ago [Becky] didn’t even exist” as a member bluntly puts it. The confusing relationship between the clones and their existence among actual humans isn’t dwelled on in this film, as a film like Blade Runner did.
Now aside from a relatively crappy, thin storyline, the action sequences are pretty disappointing as they are nothing more than a hail of bullets going back and forth with a few of them “soaring into” the eyes of audiences through lame generic 3D. There are a few moments of hand-to-hand combat, most notably the first action sequence between Alice and a group of Zombies in the Umbrella Corporation. Although it’s one of the few, if not only action sequence with great choreography and non-jumbling editing, it loses its impact because of the excessive use of slowed down bullet-time editing that craves to emphasize the spectacle of what is taking place. I don’t need my action slowed down to see what’s happening and frequent use of the effect only makes the scenes trite and tedious instead of cool and badass.
Speaking of trite, can we all please collectively pray for Michelle Rodriguez’s career? For some reason I really like her and want her to do films that will show that she has talent and I was pretty impressed to see her name featured 2nd in the opening credits. But alas, apparently the only talent Rodriguez possesses is being able to rock a wife beater, hold a gun, and be a sexually ambiguous bitch that appears for about 20 minutes max in a film. If you’ve seen Michelle Rodriguez in any movie before, then rest assured the character she played then is still the same old stock character she’s portraying now.
“Just doing my duty and playing the same role forever. It’s easier on everyone.”
The biggest disappointment was that Resident Evil: Retribution spends nearly two hours accomplishing nothing more than a set-up for a SIXTH FILM! Why? …. Why???
There’s no doubt that there are worse films, and Resident Evil: Retribution is far from the worst, although it’s not that good. It’s slightly entertaining with a couple of cool moments, but it’s nothing new. If you’ve seen a 3D action film or even played “Mortal Kombat” for XBOX, then you will be far from impressed by what writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson’s mediocre film has to offer. The night before I saw Paranorman in 3D making me gasp in awe at how great 3D can actually be, but after seeing Resident Evil: Retribution I was quickly reminded as to why I dislike the 3D trend so much and sequels have always been an enemy. If you’ve followed the franchise, then I can’t imagine why you would not see this one. However, as a viewer out of the loop, I would have been better off Googling images of Milla Jovovich.
Take a Drink: every time you wonder why Becky is using sign language but talking perfectly.
Take a Drink: every time Becky seemingly hears a command despite being deaf.
Take a Drink: every time you remember who’s a clone and who isn’t.
Take a Drink: for every fight sequence featuring a gun.