Resident Evil Retribution
I’ve always had what you would describe as being a strained relationship with the Resident Evil films. As a huge fan of the games the first film disappointed me by omitting any of the series’ well established characters. But overall it’s not a bad movie, and I generally enjoyed it, admittedly it would have been better if George Romero had been left on the project, but we can’t always have what we want.
Then they went and made a sequel, Resident Evil Apocalypse (2004). Shit! What a mess; it was just a bunch of random scenes linked together with the flimsiest of storylines. It was as if someone had said what would you like to see in the film? Written a bunch of set pieces, and then tried to fit a story around them. It was such a departure from the first film that I took an instant disliking to it. I couldn’t understand how they could take a horror game and turn it in to a caricature of an action film. It’s so over the top and ridiculous even I thought it was stupid, and I’ll watch any old shit. So I stayed away from the sequels Resident Evil Extinction (2007) and Resident Evil Afterlife (2010), until a couple of months a go. When I found myself sitting down to watch Afterlife, because I’m lazy and I couldn’t be arsed to find something productive to do with my time. The surprising thing was I liked it. So I watched Extinction next; and I like that one as well. So it was inevitable with the release of Resident Evil Retribution (2012) that I would find myself sat in the cinema with my 3D glasses on looking forward to seeing Milla Jovovich in the third dimension.
The one thing that strikes me about the Resident Evil films is that even though they are a part of a series Paul W S Anderson has no problems with ditching or just plain ignoring events and characters from earlier movies. Retribution is no different, K-Mart and Chris Redfield are no where to be seen. Alice doesn’t even Bat an eyelid that the girl she spent the whole of Afterlife trying to save is no longer around, although I’m sure they’ll both turn up in the next one. At the end of Afterlife we see a fleet of Umbrella attack helicopters flying towards the umbrella prisoner ship. Retribution kicks off straight from this moment. In the ensuing fracas Alice is taken prisoner and held in a secret Umbrella base (another one!) Where she successfully escapes and starts to cause all sorts of mischief while wearing Umbrella sanctioned bondage gear.
It turns out that Alice was broken out by Ada Wong, who has a team of mercenaries making there way into the facility to help them both escape. This team includes Barry Burton and Leon S Kennedy who looks like he’s channelling the spirit of a young Dolph Lundgren, and for some unexplained reason Luther West who’s gone from being an ex-basketball player to a trained soldier, because this is after all a Resident Evil movie and shit like this doesn’t need explaining, ever.
If you’ve seen the other films then you pretty much know what to expect, because Anderson hasn’t deviated from the formulae he used in the last three entries in the series. However this time he’s out done himself. This particular Umbrella facility is used to simulate T-Virus outbreaks in various cities, so we have Moscow, New York, Tokyo and Suburbia all represented and ready to be shot to shit by the cast. The action sequences are truly magnificent, and the liberal bouts of fisticuffs are well handled, we even get a car chase through the streets of Moscow. The effects as ever are top notch despite the use of GG blood. Overall there’s nothing new here; but I’ve come to love these films, and it feels good to catch up with Alice and the Zombie ravaged world she lives in.
The best way for me to describe it is; it’s Resident Evil 5. It’s the cinematic equivalent of Candy Floss, there’s nothing there; and what little substance there is, is bad for you. But it’s colourful and fun and a little won’t hurt you every now and again. Besides it’s got Milla Jovovich, and you can always go see Looper (2012) afterwards.
I guess the best thing to suggest for you to watch in this films place is any of the previous entries in to the series, but I can’t let you go without suggesting a classic piece of Zombie asshatery in Retributions place; so go watch Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) it’s shit; in an awesome way.