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.
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.