Sunday, 16 September 2012

Review: Resident Evil: Retribution



Let me start by saying I really enjoyed the first Resident Evil film. There was building tension, some interesting characters and I think that whilst it could have been a lot better, for a video game adaptation (a road that is notoriously rocky for a filmmaker for some absurd reason) it did what it needed to do which was to get me invested in a sequel. Then the sequel arrived and it was perfectly fine, a lot like the first film but bigger in terms of scope and visual effects. It was really dumb but I enjoyed it for what it was - throwaway trash. The third and fourth films, not so much. Whilst they certainly looked the part there was a distinct absence of story, action scenes were all too often slowed down to a snails pace like this is something that doesn't get annoying after a while and the new characters introduced were never given enough opportunities to stand out from the crowds of zombies they often got eaten by. The few new characters that did survive had less to offer the world than their video game counterparts and did I mention already that there was no logical structure to the films anymore? Logic completely abandoned in a world overrun with uninspiring zombies. Oh dear.



With all this in mind can someone tell me why I haven't yet quit watching these films? I'm seriously beginning to think that Albert Wesker spiked the water cooler at my work with the same deadly (to most but not all) T-Virus only I've not been blessed with the same superhuman strengths as Alice, instead I've been dealt poor judgement and a taste for appalling dialogue. Oh, I also forgot to mention that the fourth Resident Evil film made over $270,000,000 worldwide - so there are many others like me desperately searching for the truth behind our poor lack of cinematic judgement. Is it out there? I'm not so sure, but if it is it will most definitely be explained to us in slow-motion.

This all reads like I've just discovered that I am a zombie. Sigh.

The fifth film in this franchise entitled Retribution is easily the worst. I won't spoil what happens during the short runtime for fear of making it sound really cool but just know that when the synopsis for the film reads; Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, this all happens in someone's basement. Yes, really, I'm not even joking. Surviving characters from the last film are ignored completely, not that you'll care, characters you didn't care for in earlier films are re-introduced for no apparent reason and the most painfully absurd moments involve Milla Jovovich and her faux daughter. Ellen Ripley and Newt's relationship in Aliens, this is not.



I'd love to say that what you just watched was a clip from Retribution, but it's actually a clip from Resident Evil 5 the video game. I will take this moment to warn you now if this will be the first time watching a Resident Evil film that the acting is much better in the video games. The games are also really good with dialogue, back story, things like that. I mean I would totally play spin the bottle with those three! They're all so likeable. These guys on the other hand, not so much.



Resident Evil: Retribution is all kinds of sad and whilst I'm not an advocate of remakes and reboots and regenerating tired cinematic properties I would be quite happy to see the Resident Evil series re-imagined by a really good director. The video games, Milla Jovovich, and my health all deserve more than this uninspiring piece of trash so please do your best to take heed and not part with your bloodstained pennies. I may be infected but you can still be saved my darling wasps!



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