[Resident Evil:Retribution 3D]
Synopsis:The wildly successful film franchise adaptation that has grossed nearly $700 million worldwide to the popular video game series, “Resident Evil,” returns in its highly anticipated fifth installment, “Resident Evil: Retribution” in state-of-the art 3D. 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.
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.
My Thoughts:MAKE IT STOP! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!
Review:When I first saw "Resident Evil:Extinction" (part 3), I thought it might be the weakest installment of the series. But then it grew on me. Just like "Afterlife" eventually did. "Afterlife", for all it's badly-done CGI explosions and the like, had some cool scenes here and there. But then they continue the series with "Retribution". The fifth installment in the series. And probably the most ridiculous so far as well. No scratch that...IT IS the most ridiculous installment thus far.
So last we left Alice, she and her friends were on the Arcadia ship which was being rapidly approached by an Umbrella sky-strike team. Led by a now-brainwashed Jill Valentine. I have to admit, "Afterlife" set up a nice start for "Retribution". But the writers squandered all of that with not just one of the worst opening sequences in franchise history, but possibly in FILM HISTORY! The beginning of the movie plays BACKWARDS FOLKS! Yes! It's like if you are in the middle of a movie, and someone walks into the room, hits rewind, and the films events starts to play backwards?
That's how they choose to open this film! Showing Alice taking on Umbrella's approaching forces in cool 3-D backwardsness! WHY? Who knows! Who cares! It's "Resident Evil" bitches! None of this has to make any "real" sense! Also noted in the opening sequence are a plethora of huge jumping monsters that attack the ship and kill some of the white-outfit-swapped-freed-kids we saw back in "Afterlife". Where did they come from? What are they called? Again...see my quote above about "none of this having to make any sense."
But it really sucks now that we've gone from this film series making "big", "dramatic" on-screen appearances for its monsters. To randomly throwing them into scenes to eat up time and space. Remember how cool the scene in "Resident Evil" was when the super-licker was first shown in full on the train? And how intense the lead up to that was? Now...4 movies later. Monsters are just appearing out of thin air! Sad. These creatures weren't established at the end of "Afterlife". Yet at the beginning of "Retribution"...they're just..."there".
And in the midst of all the chaos of Umbrella forces getting shot up, blown up, and likewise to the good guys...Alice manages to survive for awhile. Until an explosion blows her clean into the water and knocks her unconscious. As for Chris, Claire, and K-mart? Well, we don't see them in this film at all. Beyond a one-line-mention later on. When Alice awakens, she finds herself inside an Umbrella facility, which she later on learns is their apparent GROUND ZERO base. It's been established throughout the series that Umbrella has many resources at their disposal.
But if you thought "The Hive", or their fancy underground facility in part 3 was it? Oh no movie fans! The facility in this movie is established as THE MOTHER SHIP. Mind-controlled Jill meanwhile, is apparently running the Umbrella military wing of the operation. And finds time in between her busy schedule, to play mind-games with Alice. (More on that later). And if Wesker is somewhere licking his wounds from the last movie, then who's running this operation now? Well apparently...it's the RED QUEEN! That's right!
The motherf'kin quote..."homicidal bitch"...herself! Only she isn't the cute forewarning force she was in the first movie. She's now an evil pre-teen rugrat who kind of resembles Esther from the movie "Orphan". And this time, she's not about destroying the T-virus or helping Alice complete her mission. She's all about ruling with an iron fist, and having people mercilessly killed! Which shouldn't come as a surprise considering she's after all...a computer. Apparently, "she" was the one responsible for creating the creepy scarabs we see in part 4. And has taken over Umbrella from the inside!
Which sets up a scenario in "Retribution" where Wesker ends up aiding Alice in her escape from Umbrella's clutches since apparently - in "Afterlife"...Alice crossing paths with Wesker was only because he had quit his gig working as head of Umbrella. Because the Red Queen was secretly overthrowing him. So in a roundabout sort of way, him and Alice have been on the same side all along! And him trying to kill and later on..."eat" her in the last movie? Was all just a silly misunderstanding. Yeah...I know, it doesn't make much sense to me either. But hey, folks need work right? Especially in this economy!
And how did Paul Anderson come up with such a genius script? I dunno, maybe he watched the movie "Universal Soldier:The Return" one time too many. "Shrugs". Anyways, Wesker has gone through the trouble of assembling a team led by Barry Burton and Leon Kennedy to rescue Alice from this snow-drifted new Umbrella facility. Luther joins them, and aiding Alice on the inside to help her hook up with the others, is Ada Wong. Played by BingBing Li. Ada is the typical Asian female you'd see in an action film. Good with fighting, and can fire a gun better than most men.
Anderson doesn't bother to develop the character any at all beyond that. Nice outfit though. But she's given no real backstory other than she is Wesker's top agent to send in when some Umbrella sh*t needs to be ''cleaned up". And she apparently gets a lot of work because as this franchise has also already established...Umbrella makes "alot"...of messes. But apparently...Ada is Wesker's plan B for when atomizing an entire Umbrella facility with explosives...just isn't enough. But her demeanor is interesting.
Ada IQ-slaps Alice a few times, when she reveals to Alice that The Red Queen has been playing mind-games with Alice for awhile. Throwing her into all of these computer-simulated situational fantasies where she's a suburban housewife married to a Carlos "look-alike". In short, this facility has all kinds of test environments that resemble famous cities such as Moscow Russia, New York, Toyko, etc. Why? Wesker explains that this apparently enhances their sales of BIO weapons to various countries. But it also makes the beginning of "Afterlife" come totally into question as being real or not in terms of the story.
But again, these films stopped making sense 2 movies ago. With Wesker now apparently aiding Alice. the film gives her some new villains. Who just so happen to be "old" friends. Rain (Michelle Rodriguez), and One (Colin Salmon)...are back. Under the leadership of "zombie Jill". But of course, we know Rain and One are just Umbrella clones. Although the only one who doesn't seem to get this is Alice. Who also now has a daughter that Umbrella has "created" for her. To further enhance the aforementioned "suburban housewife fantasy".
"Retribution" doesn't give us anything new and exciting in the realm of creatures. And that's this films biggest failure after the TERRIBLE script. The new monster we get here is apparently a giant Licker. And a retread of the gigantic executioner from the fourth movie. Only this time, there's two of them. But the monsters in this movie are quite bad in terms of diversity. Anderson apparently thought Sienna Guillory as "evil Jill' could carry the movie as the villain on her own. Not so. First off, Jill is being "controlled".
So as a villain, she just doesn't work when you know it's not really her in there. Also clone-Rain and clone-One are just throwaway characters at worst. The good guys aren't much better. Luther is brave as usual, but Barry and Leon don't really have much personality. And are relegated to just doing a lot of shooting and looking hard at the camera. The one (barely)...bright-spot this film has is its climax, where a fight-to-the-death occurs between what's left of the Luther/Leon/Barry team and clone-Rain.
And Alice and "zombie Jill". It's not the best fight, but for a finale it "works" in a basic sense. But Anderson quickly manages to kill that small glimmer of light with a really effing-stupid ending where Wesker finally shows up in person...and we get a laughable overview of a "swarmed" nations capitol. This is not just a bad "Resident Evil" film. It's a bad "movie"..."period".
THE GOOD:Like I say above, the final battle is a decent exercise in choreography and hand-to-hand combat. Visually, this movie is good. With all of the different settings. Of course, that's why all of these films are 3D now. To get viewers to focus on visuals, and ignore the god-awful writing.
THE BAD:Where to begin? Short version? Stupid start. Worthless characters. Absurd plot twists, long and boring shootout sequences. Even the monsters this time around carried no impact. This my friends is just a BAD INSTALLMENT.
OVERALL:One star out of four.
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