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Resident Evil: Retribution - Movie Review

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Resident Evil: Retribution - Movie Review

2 stars

Resident Evil: Retribution or as I like to call it Thank God for Black Leather Unitards and the Female Body Kicking Zombie Ass isn't a complete stinker.  It just isn't very good at playing nice with logic in its storytelling and, still operating as game levels for Alice to beat, large parts of its glossy sheen comes across as dated and as aged as zombiefied flesh.

Outside of Milla Jovovich’s Alice and an icy water grand finale that doesn’t quite finish the series off, the pulpy Resident Evil: Retribution offers little enjoyment for its audience.  It’s mostly filler as we somersault toward the final film…if there ever is one.  Hardcore Umbrella Co-operatives might get a couple of bangs from the fifth entry in the Resident Evil franchise and the third directed by Paul W.S. Anderson but let’s consider the shell spent.

After opening with a super slow motion action scene that runs in reverse, Resident Evil: Retribution runs on the absurd and situates Alice (Jovovich) in an alternate reality with her husband Todd (Oded Fehr) and deaf daughter Becky (Aryana Engineer).  The domestic tranquility is busted up by zombies and a car crash the echoes the subtlety of an All State commercial.

Suddenly, the real slow motionalized Alice wakes up.

She’s a prisoner in the biggest and baddest Umbrella Cooperation facility and, after being interrogated by a controlled Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), must battle a horde of zombies that includes Japan's patient zero (Mika Nakashima) and a bad and good clone of Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) in order to save what’s left of mankind.

Unfortunately written by Anderson, Resident Evil: Retribution throws everything, including The White House, at the audience and incorporates more of the game mythos into the already convoluted story, forcing its audience to endure more fan favorite one-dimensional characters and plot twists that make little sense.  He introduces characters with so little care and has people switching sides as often as a bullet flies at the screen.  As confused as I was by the overindulgent 3D spectacle, it is a small miracle I survived the illogical nonsense and still had the ability to start my car afterwards.

What does work is Anderson’s lavish visual imagination and some of the choreography that sees Jovovich wheeling and dealing her limbs like steel beams of punishment against every type of villain.  In one well-shot scene, with just a handgun and a bike chain, she clears a hallway full of the undead.  Anderson is to be praised here.  It’s easy to follow and actually exciting without being completely redundant.  He also certainly has an eye for regurgitating the action of good Thai movies.  With two wondering pieces of paper taped to Jovovich’s naked front and backside before donning her super tight crime-fightin’ outfit, large chunks of Retribution are just mindless pervy fun.  Nothing to criticize there…

Cinematic reality has no place in a Paul W.S. Anderson film.  I actually enjoy that aspect of the ongoing popcorn spectacle.  But when the movie leans too heavily on boring Matrix-like maneuvers and generic motivations that we’ve seen before, no amount of bag-headed mutant giants swinging bloody axes and Nazi Stormtroopers selling WMDs is going to make me appreciate it more than the video game series its based on.

Game over.

Resident Evil: Retribution - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for sequences of strong violence throughout.
Runtime:
95 mins.
Director
: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast:
Milla Jovovich; Sienna Guillory; Michelle Rodriguez; Aryana Engineer; Bingbing Li
Genre
: Action | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
Evil goes global.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm kind of enjoying this."
Distributor:
Screen Gems
Official Site:
www.residentevil-movie.com/site
Release Date: September 14, 2012
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available

Synopsis: 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, 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. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.

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