Release Date: September 14, 2012
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
MPAA Rating: R
Film Pulse Score: 2/10
Resident Evil: Retribution marks the fifth entry in the Resident Evil series of films, and keeping with the pattern of the previous films, this one marks a new low. Paul W.S. Anderson once again proves his love for atrocious acting, convoluted and ridiculous storylines, and cringe-worthy action. This film fails on every level, and will certainly leave fans of the game crying into their Umbrella Corp. themed pillowcases.
The movie picks up after the events of the last film, with Alice (Milla Jovovich) being captured by the evil Umbrella Corp. after a shootout on a large freight ship. She wakes up and finds herself once again in an elaborate subterranean facility (under water this time!) and wearing nothing but that strange paper outfit we’ve seen in the first two films. We then find out that her arch nemesis, Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) sent in a team to help free her from captivity for some reason. Alice along with her teammates must then make their way through the base to freedom.
If this story sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. The butchering of the Resident Evil storyline has morphed into a convoluted mess of biblical proportions, so much so, that we need endless amounts of exposition throughout the film, just to have even the slightest clue as to what’s happening. What’s worse is that even with the nearly non-stop exposition, there’s still no point to what we’re seeing. The characters walk into a new area, a random creature attacks, rinse, repeat.
Apparently the filmmakers thought it would be a good idea to include more characters and creatures from the video games into the film. We have some people who had previously died in the other films coming back as clones, and some new characters like Ada Wong (Bingbing Li). Nearly everyone in the team from the first film comes back in this, but instead of that nostalgic reunion vibe, we’re left with a “Oh no, not these assholes again,” vibe.
It’s also to note, that all the acting in Resident Evil: Retribution is not simply subpar, but laughably horrible. From the stiff cardboard cutout that is Wesker, to the cheesy soap opera delivery of Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), the only thing positive to say about the performances is that they compliment the awful dialogue.
But hey, you don’t go seeing a Resident Evil film for the acting right? You just want to see some ass-kicking. There is indeed a fair amount of ass-kicking in the film, and while there are a few moments of originality, it is, for the most part, just the same shit we’ve been seeing before. Alice walks into a room, there’s some zombies in the room at the other end, Alice runs towards them, cue slow motion, dispatch said zombies, move on. The action feels insanely dated, considering the Matrix came out over a decade ago. People want more realistic action, not stylistic wire-work that says “Fuck you” to gravity.
I love the Resident Evil games. I even love the Resident Evil CG movie that came out several years ago. But as much as I love the RE mythology, I can’t excuse this film. It has no redeemable qualities and should be avoided at all costs. Oh and one more thing, in case you were worried (or relieved) this would be the last one, they begin an entirely new storyline after the finale and set up the next one. Here’s hoping that Resident Evil 6 (the game) is great, so it can get this taste out of everyone’s mouth.