Resident Evil: Retribution - Review



As a big fan of the original game series, i will flatout admit that i completely hate the Resident Evil movies. Aside from the fact that they have nothing to do with the games except for the monster designs and characters, they are sloppily made prime examples for bad video game adaptations and bad movies in general. It seems like with every sequel those movies more and more just do whatever they feel like and simply slap the Resident Evil logo onto it.
I have nothing against updating one's source material. But if i am going to make a movie about a gay goldfish with superpowers that wears a Rick James wig and fights for female rights by throwing soap and call it "Grand Theft Auto", i have definitely made something wrong. Just like Paul. W. S. Anderson did with the Resident Evil franchise.
Does he continue this tradition with Resident Evil: Retribution?    



The plot:
The Umbrella Corporation's deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race's last and only hope, Alice (Milla Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella's most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex.  (source: IMDb)

Retribution continues the franchise's habit of completely ignoring the original games' storyline. With this fifth installment director Paul W. S. Anderson furthermore "deepens" the movies' own storyline by making it even more nonsensical, illogical and stupid.
There's no real need for knowledge about the happenings of the first movies because you get a nice little recap about everything "important" up until now (as if suddenly anybody would care).
Retribution's story more or less like the previous movies (despite a recap) somehow abandons all major global events and settings established before.
Retribution's plot of the T-Virus being a global concern now, killing every human on the planet leads to nowhere really (somehow just like in Extinction, but there EVERYBODY WAS ALREADY DEAD AND THE WORLD WAS A WASTELAND!!! HELLO!!!??! WTF HAPPENED WITH THAT?!?!). The complete story of Retribution only exists for the purpose of letting Alice fight in cool places.
How can i take a movie serious that doesn't even get its own supposedly continuous story straight.

At this point, i will skip all the illogical appearances of characters or monsters (like the sudden involvement of the Las Plagas). If we go into this in such detail we'll be here forever. It would be quicker to say what the movies and the games actually have in common. So let's move on (Answer: names and monster designs. THE END.).


Zombie Apocalypse!? Better dress like a dumbass!

Along with the story goes some pretty bad acting. To be fair, there at least has to be said that no Resident Evil movie offered much to act anyway. It's as blunt of an action movie as it gets.

While i despise Milla Jovovich's character of Alice, she does ok as an asskicking protagonist. She certainly is the only character that somehow represents a continous motive through all the movies, although her style, motivations etc. change so much with every entry that you get the feeling she never plays the same person.
Sienna Guillory as Jill is the main antagonist this time. Why? Because of the mindcontrolling device on her chest. Why did Albert Wesker put it on her? The movie plain forgot to give it a reason (in the games, Jill was Chris Redfield's former partner who got turned into a villain to kill him). Somehow in the course of the movie she becomes some kind of Terminator..*sigh*..nuff' said. Without any real character and just some bad cheesy acting ala "Dr. Evil" she never even comes close to representing a good or even decent villain. 
Additionally, there is a bunch of fan favorite characters thrown in like Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong. Of course they have no real purpose of being in the movie except for fan service. "Just throw those fuckers in. They gonna make money!". Their roles could easily be replaced by any other person. Special relationships to certain characters that trigger their involvement? Are you crazy? That would make loads too much sense.
The bland depiction of those fan favorites has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that mostly unknown actors got cast but rather with the fact that there's absolutely no acting-talent involved. But seriously, not even good acting could save this movie.
But don't worry, also old characters like Michelle Rodriguez rise from the dead to kick ass in this shitquel. Miracle? Nope. Just lazy writing with the poor plot device of cloning.


Keep the budget low by stealing costumes from the Underworld set.

But even fans of the RE movies will admit that they are primarily watching them for the action.
More or less just like RE: Afterlife, Retribution is more of a continous hyper-slow-mo 3D action sequence without a real story.
For me it feels somehow disgustingly surreal that the Resident Evil movies have much more in common with the Matrix movies than with the actual games or even a horror movie.
Although being "okay", the action scenes get thrown at you so rapidly that they very quickly get repetitive and boring. Especially the final showdown fight feels like it lasts an eternity.
However, keeping up the tradition, pretty much all the action scenes involve some stupid in-your-face-thrown-object 3D effect and an obsessive over-reliance on CGI.
Overall, the action is only an inch better than the one from the craptastic RE: Afterlife.


Just marvel at that amazingly imaginative setting!

All in all, there's as good as nothing that distinguishes Retribution from the previous movies in the franchise. While it definitely is a step above lazy excuses of a movie like RE: Afterlife, it's only by a hair. It might be cool to see favorite characters and monsters on the big screen, but that wears off quickly considering the complete lack of a story. Retribution could as well just be a long action-heavy music video. With laughable dialogue, no story and complete disrespect to the source material, there's nothing in RE: Retribution that will win the it new fans.
I strongly recommend this movie only to hardcore fans of the movie franchise.
If you still want to watch a good Resident Evil movie, then i suggest watching the animated movies RE: Degeneration and RE: Damnation (or even better just play the games or read the books).

Looking back, it's funny how i used to think Resident Evil movies would be horror flicks and not kung-fu movies. I guess i'm an idiot -.-

 


Final Verdict: 1 out of 10 




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