Really? This is the FIFTH Resident Evil movie? Wow. For a series of films that get only about a 6 out of 10 rating on iMDb you’d think they’d stop making these.
But, if the movie-going public is going to spend their hard-earned money on them, Hollywood is going to keep churning them out, regardless of how lame they turn out to be. And this, my friends, is how my summer in the movie theater went for the most part.
So, Resident Evil: Retribution begins where the last one left off. Then Alice wakes up in a detention cell, escapes, and is aided by a small strike team to escape from a big, secret Umbrella Corporation facility deep beneath the ice in some really cold place. They encounter lots of crazy undead things on the way. And that’s it.
Sounds a lot like the others, doesn’t it? Frankly, the first in this series way pretty good, but only because it was the first and it was cool to see a movie version of this game. Then the next two kinda sucked. The scripts weren’t so good. Then, surprisingly, the last one, Resident Evil: Afterlife, was actually pretty good, for this kind of genre, anyway. It felt like Paul W. S. Anderson put more effort into the story so we got a better film. Now we have RE: Retribution. I don’t know what happened, but maybe this is what we get for getting our hopes up for a decent 5th installment, because this thing is disappointing on practically every front.
All of the actors appear to be on auto-pilot. They just say the lines to move the action forward, but with not much conviction. Maybe because all the lines are incredibly cliche’ and banal. Even Milla Jovovich, who obviously returns as Alice, appears to be particularly one-note here. And she isn’t exactly a full classical orchestra to begin with, right? But even the couple people that usually have some chops, like Oded Fehr, are just not giving all that much to the cause. But again, they haven’t much to work with.
The effects are ok, but not stand-out. The action sequnces are pretty cool, but not astounding by any measure, with the exception of one, early in the film. It is, in fact, the most choreagraphed sequence in the film. And it’s downright beautiful; a violent, bloody ballet in a bright white hallway. Here in these hallways the 3D looks kinda cool with all the use of depth, but the rest of the film pales in comparison. The 3D is only adequaqte or used in blatantly obvious ways (Oh, look out – that bullet/knife/other sharp thrown thing – is coming right at us!!). Nothing new.
And this is pretty much how the rest of the past summer went, too. Other than a few exceptions, there were some very promising films to look forward to, but when it came down to payoff, we got robbed. I was more satisfied with some of the smaller movies this summer than the big Hollywood ones. Not that I am surprised by that so much in general, but this past summer had some major potential – potentially some of the best in quite a while – and yet they left me unfulfilled. Not unlike some ice cream flavors and relationships I’ve had. Can I get a rimshot? Anyone? No? Fine. Ok, who am I kidding; my last relationship was with a Fleshlight. BOOM! …What? Too blue for the room? What are you, nine? If so, this site is not for you! Go back to your PS3!
Ok, clearly off track. Now, if all that weren’t enough, the whole film is basically just a first act. You’re waiting for something more to happen and it doesn’t. The whole movie is them trying to escape this facility. That’s it. THEN they leave you hanging for the next in the series. Should have seen that coming, I guess. Resident Evil: Retribution is a two and a half kittenhand film. Maybe only two. Only rent it if you’re a huge fan of this franchise. Or if you’d rather watch this than take a nap for an hour and forty minutes. The nap is more practical, though.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, really just preparing you for a summer recap article.