Review: Resident Evil Retribution

My frustration with this film series can be summed up in a long series of inaudible and angry yells mixed in with plenty grunts. Paul W.S Anderson the director did a decent enough job of adapting the popular video game series to the big screen in the first entry in the series and technically, that's where the series should have ended. This series is simple, it does not have a coherent plot. It is simply just all one big set up to get to the next big fight scene. I am entirely convinced that Anderson and his wife, Milla Jovovich, will not stop making these films. They enjoy teasing their "fans" too much by saying "this is Alice's final battle" but then ending each film on a cliff hanger. Anderson took heat for not falling closely enough to the video game series so with each new entry to the series he has tried to cater towards the fans more and more. I understand you want to stay true to your audience, but when it gets to a point that I am asking for a controller to play along at the theaters then there is a serious issue. The other issue with this film is that I was under the impression it was the final film. Boy, I was wrong. Instead, in Anderson's style he continues to prolong a series that no one seems eager to see. It baffles me how this film series continues to go on. It makes me question how Hollywood and their studio executives continues to let a film like this come out when other films with much more substance does not.

The plot yet again follows Alice (Milla Jovovich) as she continues to attempt to survive in this post apocalyptic world that Umbrella Corporation has managed to take over. The events pick up right where Revelations left off with Umbrella attacking the ship Alice and all of her friends were on. I will give Anderson credit, the opening prologue is entertaining to watch and does use the 3D technology rather well. The attack on the ship was led by a familiar face and an old friend in Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) but she was under some sort of mind control. Alice is unable to thwart the attack and manages to get kidnapped by Umbrella. When she wakes her up, the filmmakers throw us off by showing Alice as a mother and a wife to Todd (Oded Fehr). She is living the white picket fence kind of lifestyle, but it all ends rather quickly when zombies attack them. Alice springs into action as she attempts to escape with her daughter. She however, does not make it. It was all a ruse though as it was simply a cloned version of Alice. The real Alice was being held in a interrogation room that she escapes from due to some unexpected help.

Alice escapes the facility only to find herself in an abandoned Japan and quickly finds herself a weapon or two just for safety. From that point on the film continues to become more and more like a video game filled with an obligatory boss fight at the end of an area or a big fight scene. The likely bad guy, does not even make an appearance much to surprise of the fans of the series. The biggest issue with the film is more centered around the crazy amount of clones. It almost makes it impossible to care about any character in the film as death is no longer the end for anyone. Jill Valentine was an ally in the second film and now without any explanation she is a villain. If you were a fan of the video game series however, her character makes more sense seeing how she is controlled by the red spider on her chest. Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) manages to make an appearance as Umbrella cloned her multiple times. Why? Who knows, as it clearly is not important for this film series to make sense. The main goal is to simply make it into a cheesy illogical action film.

1 star out of 5
1 star out of 5

Closing Comments

I am being generous by giving this film one star. If I could, I'd give it negative stars. The wardrobe for Jovovich's character is yet again, comical. She wears all black but at least they even manage to make fun of it during the film. That simply just goes to show to me that they do not take this series seriously at all. They are just winging it as they go. The acting was way over done and more importantly, the characters taken from the video game series were not done well by any standards. Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) is back in this installment and way to cheesy to even be considered menacing despite all of his great power. Jill didn't have anything to go on with her character, granted, but I continuously found myself laughing at how awful she was in her action scenes. Leon Kennedy (Johann Urb) was a major character in the video game series, but yet again like every other character taken from the series, is a carbon cutout and a very one dimensional character. The viewers know nothing about him other then his attraction to Ada Wong (BingBing Li) and Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), who were also taken from the video game series. All in all, it creates a very disjointed film. Somehow this series continues to keep going even though with each new entry it continues to get worse. I've never walked out of a theater before wanting my money back until I saw this movie. As harsh as that may be, it is the truth.

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Comments 14 comments

DS Duby profile image

DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

I will start by saying I am a die hard horror fan and more importantly zombie movies, with that being said I am just as tired of this series. They have wore it to the bone and hung it out in the rain. It's just lost its intrigue, but for some reason fans keep going back for more so Hollywood keeps making them. Consequently I loved the first one, liked the second one and barely tolerated the third. Great review voted up awesome and interesting.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

I honestly think this is a terrible review. I had nothing but horrible things to say about it so I thought it affected the actual review.


DS Duby profile image

DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

If the movie sucks then it sucks that's not your fault.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 4 years ago from Irvine

I've seen all the of the franchise once they come out on DVD. I never enter into the Resident Evil films with any expectations. I don't analyze them. For me, the movies are like comic books. You leave your sense of disbelief once you open the cover. Some way or another, the movies make money, or perhaps their transfer to DVDs is where they cash in.

I'm a fan of Milla Jovovich, so I watch her and try to prepare myself for fantastical plot twists. By the time I put the DVD back in its box, my memory of the film has already started to fade. I'm not too hard to please. I'll watch anything except slasher films and romantic comedies. I'm happy to watch a foreign film or vintage classics.

Sorry you didn't like this one, Nickalooch.


Dominique L profile image

Dominique L 4 years ago from Oregon

I have to say, I'm with rjbatty on this one. I loved it, but only because I knew it would suck and I like sucky movies. I actually thought the fight scenes were well done, but, yeah, it was very much like a video game. I thought, comparatively speaking, making it overly video gamey worked because, in 3 and 4, they tried for a bigger plot and it failed miserably. Making it video gamey keeps it truer to the source material.

And, yes, DSDuby is right, if a movie is that bad, you don't need to worry about saying something nice. You managed to refrain from swearing, like we knew you wanted to from the beginning, so no worries.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

Oh I really did want to be more and more vicious. I understand with these movies you are supposed to "turn off your mind". Well if thats the case, i refuse to dumb myself down to enjoy a film. That will never happen. I love the Resident Evil video game series, and to me, the film series is a disjointed bag of crap. They try to cater more to the fans, further complicating the plot in the process. The whole addition of the clones as well adds in that "respawning" feel to a video game as well if you ask me.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 4 years ago from Irvine

Nickalooch: Try looking at these films as roller coaster rides -- part of the film takes you somewhere upward (you might call it dumbing down) and other parts send you falling into complete plot chaos). The ride is circumlocutious because the basic moves are the same.

Milla Jovovich is actually a fine actor. Sometime check out "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" -- in which Milla has the lead.

As happens so often with actresses that are TOO pretty, it's hard for them to get serious, dramatic movie roles. Milla has had a good run with the Resident Evil franchise, and I think she is capable of delivering a couple more.

She's following in the footsteps of Sigourney Weaver and the Alien franchise.

A closer comparison would be to Kate Beckensale in the Underground fable.

The point is that a charismatic actress can make a lot of people glassy eyed, and they'll enjoy the action, the explosions, the crashes, whatever, and just chuckle at the plot.

I understand what you mean by dumbing down -- and it is for this reason I'm unable to watch slasher movies or romantic comedies.

Now, with a sci fi movie (even those involving zombies, werewolves and vampires) the entire world is entirely fictional. In a romantic comedy, there is no such free ride -- at least for most films in this genre. Thus, you end up watching the on-screen behavior of non-human beings in a more-or-less normal back drop.

Few directors have a knack for blending comedy with realism. I think Woody Allen may be one of the few exceptions. His characters act pretty much like real people -- only they behave and say things that don't quite mesh with the surrounding normality. In your standard comedy, the people simply do not behave or speak like real people, so you are constantly reminded, one minute after another, that you are watching something that is irritatingly unreal.

Why/how can I give sci fi such a wide margin of credulity but not the romantic-comedy? I don't know. Perhaps it has something to do with all the "B" level sci fi films I watched as a kid. Even when I first watched them, I forgave them all their unrealistic sins. It was obvious they were working on a tremendously low budget; therefore, I had to overlook all the schlocky monsters, aliens and sets. Even bad sci fi can create a mood or an atmosphere of something foreboding.

Disney's "It's a Small World" ride is unarguably designed for very young children, but I still find it charming. To get much out of it, you have to "turn off your mind" to some degree. You don't have to slip into a coma to appreciate the artistry and the overall feeling of pleasantness.

In this same way, I leave my expectations at the door to a theater then sit in my seat. I will already know that I'll be amused by a run-way model kicking butt, and I'll hope that the surrounding special effects are technically well done. Thanks to computer-generated effects, we no longer have to sweat things like a man inside a Godzilla suit.

The zombie menace really was used up after the original "Resident Evil." One could make the same claim for "Alien." But movie producers are like bankers. They like to lend money to people who already have high liquidity. So, we'll watch sequel after sequel, hoping without hope that we'll get the same thrill as watching Part I.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

First off, I've never found Milla Jovovich attractive. So that is a moot point to me. I think her acting is terrible as well, but shes good at action scenes and that is about it. Her best movie is Fifth Element, where she did next to nothing. She just stood there saying "Leeloo...Corbin."

I don't know why your trying to convince me that these movies are somewhat "good" because I just do not see it one bit. If you like it, good, but if you ask me the series shouldnt have gone past two. Each movie has significantly gotten worse. There is a reason that this movie in the series was the second lowest debut.


Richard Perazzo profile image

Richard Perazzo 4 years ago from Shirley, NY

Although I have to disagree with your opinion on the movie to some extent, I think you wrote a great review. I am a huge Resident Evil fan, from the video games, to the books by S.D. Perry, to the comics, to my collection of Resident Evil action figures, I love it all. I was extremely disappointed in the first Resident Evil when it was released because of its distance from the games but have since learned to love the movie series for what it is, big dumb action flicks. The acting is terrible, the plots are terrible, there is no sense of character development or anything but I love them. I'm able to just turn off the movie critic inside of me and enjoy the ride. That being said, with the next Resident Evil probably being the last one I am hoping that they reboot the series, making a direct adaption of the video game.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

I'd love to see a direct adaptation of the video game series. Making Alice into the main character is a flaw if you ask me. Wesker is the other issue I have with the film series.

I'll say it again to, if I have to "turn off my brain/turn off my critic" for any movie. Then that automatically means the movie is bad. No way anyone will be able to turn me around on that stance.


Dominique L profile image

Dominique L 4 years ago from Oregon

While I agree with you that if you have to turn off your mind, then a movie is bad, why does a movie being bad have to be a bad thing? If you spend every day of your life eating over blown haute cuisine French food, you're going to just want to go to McDonald's and have a 50 cent hamburger at some point. For a change. Just once. There's nothing wrong with McDonald's as long as you don't eat it every day, but as a treat every once in awhile it doesn't do any harm.

That being said, most movies put out now are 50 cent McDonald's hamburgers, so I can see why you'd want to resist that.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

the only reason why i say it is bad in this case, is simply because it is baffling to me how this series gets six films when there are much better films going around Hollywood that don't even see the light of day.


Richard Perazzo profile image

Richard Perazzo 4 years ago from Shirley, NY

The main reason that the film series is able to continue to put out sequels is because it has an established name, mainly due to the success of the video game series. Another reason is because Paul W.S. Anderson knows how to create visually arresting, fun action scenes that will continue to bring people in. Plus, it has zombies.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

yet, when i saw the recent one....there was 8 people in the theater. i get it, his films are "pretty" but they actually have less substance then Michael Bay films if you ask me. this series has the least coherent story for any film series ive seen. it's pathetic.

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