Reviewbr> "My name is Alice, and this is my world" - Alice
Following on directly from 2010's RE: Afterlife the fifth movie in the franchise sees Alice surviving the attack by the Umbrella Corporation on Arcadia lead surprisingly by Jill Valentine. Alice wakes, as is her want, in an Umbrella holding cell and is immediately under questioning by Jill. Naturally nothing is going to contain our Gal and she is soon seeking escape from an artic submerged research facility. Up against Alice are the Corporation, Jill, Rain, the Red Queen, and of course a butt load of mutating zombies out for flesh.
Help is on hand however from a resistance cell sent in to destroy the facility and in particular from Ada Wong, an assassin who has the distinction of wearing the best ever red dress to feature in a motion picture. Alice has to fight through various simulations to reach the surface and hopefully get airlifted out of the ice. Not everyone is going to make it and former allies are going to prove to be mortal enemies. Ready to get your zombie action mayhem on, lock and load we're going in!
Guess I should admit I've never played the computer games the Resident Evil franchise is based on, ergo I'm coming at this review in exactly the way it should be approached, as a movie review. A lot of the gamers are up in arms over the franchise as they are wrongly viewing the movies as some sort of extension of the games, wrong, level over man, totally different medium, suck it up. Having said that, and I really wanted to like this movie, Anderson threw some crap in my direction that makes me think he never grooved to the criticism levelled at his earlier work post Event Horizon (1997). There's a whole bunch of things to like about RE: Retribution but the Director seems to be going out of his way to smear the good with some woefully inept Uwe Boll style garbage.
The movie kicks off with the Umbrella Corporation attack on the container ship Arcadia, which was about where we left the fourth movie from memory. Unfortunately Anderson for no apparent reason plays things in reverse, no honestly I'm not kidding here, we get to view the whole attack in reverse motion in a move that Boll would have been embarrassed to use. Later in the movie, and once again to no good purpose, Anderson goes with x-rays of breaking bones and heart failures, did he purposely set out to alienate his few supporters or did he somehow decide this bollocks enhanced the movie experience? Your call on that one, I'm still shaking my head over just how inane the whole thing was considering we're dialled in for a high octane action movie featuring a tight leather clad chick battling hordes of blood thirsty zombies. Thankfully we didn't get bullet cam or any other inept attempts at mirroring ground breaking Directors.
In between the shenanigans we get a movie that follows the Uwe Boll method of presenting almost a video game approach to things. Alice journeys between various scenarios in the underground facility dodging Umbrella goons and battling the never ending horde of monsters that the Red Queen can throw at her. Oh yes the evil mastermind is back from the first movie, and the binary code wants to simply eradicate all life on earth. Alice may have lost her super human powers, see the fourth movie, but she can still kick major arse while performing gravity defying moves. While the plot is at least coherent there was a sort of "seen this before" feeling to the movie that I couldn't shake off as things hotted up. Not sure what the movie reminded me of, at the very least the first two movies in the franchise, but it seemed slightly stale for mine.
More action than ten Arnie movies but they kind of forgot to supply a script
You can't fault Anderson on his high octane approach in this flick, it rockets through various battle scenes at warp factor nine, but I'm not overly sure end of day we get exactly what we wanted. For sure I wanted a continuation of the narrative, which we don't really get, and I wasn't expecting the final scene that bodes well for the sixth movie. If there's a plot going down besides the almost cookie cutter approach to the differing sections of the underwater facility then I couldn't discern it, kind of like not seeing the zombies because of the horde.
End of day I rocked on to the movie due to the almost non-stop action, some background on Alice, and the hordes of zombies being unleashed by the Red Queen. Guess I got exactly what I wanted in terms of action, lots of weapons in use, but was left vaguely dissatisfied with the overall plot and some pretty corny dialogue. Resident Evil: Retribution is going to appeal to fans of the franchise and teenage males, who doesn't want to see hot chicks in skin tight leather, but may not be of entertainment value to the rest of us. Your call on that one, at least five is better than four, but still lagging competitor Underworld.
Darn went a whole review without mentioning the horror elements. The zombies are surprisingly well conceived, though the mouth things reminded me of the last Blade movie, and for sure there are a couple of shock moments in the opening salvo which we learn is set in "Suburbia". However once these are out of the way Anderson reverts to having Milla shoot things and run from one fight to the next.
I should also mention that in one scene Milla seems to be dress only in a tea towel, oh and they don't provide remotes to patrons to allow them to slow mo. Thankfully everyone remained well behaved and we didn't have any Pee-Wee Herman moments in the Cinema.