It’s Not Shit: Resident Evil: Retribution
Full disclosure, I’m a completely biased fan of this series.
From it’s genuinely horror beginnings to the zombocalypse sequel. The third one was a bit too super-powery, but number 4 was crazy-stupid enough to be fun.
So now we’ve go the fifth “supermodel kills the shit out of undead horrors while wearing flattering outfits” movie, and it doesn’t suck? That deserves some fucking praise, doesn’t it?
TL;DR The game fanboys can continue to wallow over how unfaithful it is, but you can’t go past Milla Jovovich dispatching endless monsters without even smudging her makeup. And it’s not even in a bullshit Book of Eli way. Girl works hard. 4 out of 5 stars.
The final battle between Alice and Jill (Sienna Guillory finally returning in full) is worth watching alone. Fight choreography done right.
So, I’ll try and get this plot together, but it’s hardly the reason we’re watching, amirite? The last movie ended with Umbrella assaulting the ship where Jill, Chris, Claire and K-mart had just rescued a bunch of people. We start off here. Umbrella murders the shit out of everyone and takes Alice to yet another retarded underground (later revealed to be underwater. Because that’s so much better) facility. Wesker (who apparently survived being dead center of an explosion large enough to level a pretty decent section of Tokyo) organises a team consisting of game characters Ada Wong, Leon Kennedy and Barry Burton, along with Luther from the last movie (and 2 nobodies who nobody cares about) to rescue her for suspsicious reasons. Blah blah blah underground cities filled with bioweapons blah blah blah clones blah.
What this movie gets right is an earnest sense of appealing to the fans. Not the unpleasable little bitches who’ll whinge about inconsistencies with the games, but the ones who just want to see their favourite characters kicking ass and being portrayed by very pretty people. Ada and Leon get almost no development, but they look hot and they get to shoot shit up, and that’s all we really want, isn’t it? Barry gets a hotness upgrade and zero explanation for his appearance, but I didn’t care. I just want to see him blast some fuckers with his magnum. And he DOES. Win win win.
Obviously, the story is fucking retarded. It really is. How many obscene facilities can Umbrella be operating with utter worldwide apocalypse having been confirmed 2 movies ago? Fuck.
Almost the entire film is confined to the facility, too, so there’s a lack of scope that the other movies kept in mind. But when the action’s this good, who gives a shit?
Why I DON’T hate this movie:
Milla Jovovich. Wearing this. Killing zombies. Are you not satisfied?
Ada Wong gives no explanation for wearing her heels and cocktail dress on a mission. And I don’t want one.
I saw this in 3D, because I’m rich as fuck apparently, and it’s definitely the most effective use of 3D I’ve seen in a movie. Of course, the only other 2 movies I’ve seen in 3D in the last 12ish months are Katy Perry and Final Destination 5, so maybe that isn’t saying much. But the fight scenes fucking shine in 3D. The fight against the Tokyo zombies is a highlight.
To fully list all of Alice’s badassery would be a waste. But I’ve gotta give special mention to the car chase scene. Only in a Resident Evil movie could you have a car chase through an artificial Moscow with Milla Jovovich behind the wheel and it not be terrible. There’s even a great emphasis on practical effects, which is fantastic considering the amount of stuff they could have easily flipped off with CGI. Points for effort.
It starts with a quick but comprehensive enough recap of the last 4 movies. Even as someone who has watched them many times, I still appreciate this kind of thing. Especially when you remember we’re 5 movies deep in a video game adaptation franchise.
I really can’t say how great the final duel between Jill and Alice is. A cat fight it ain’t. These bitches don’t pull their punches.
The dream sequence (you know, that thing from the start of the trailer) is genuinely tense. Get your traditional zombie movie fill here.
Oh, and the opening sequence is done in slo-mo reverse. It is beautiful. Combined with the amazing 3D, it really looks incredible.
Reasons to hate:
But god, that story. Just fucking dumb.
Apparently the writers of this movie got drunk one night with the writers of Underworld: Awakening and both had the same booze dream. So yes, Alice has some bullshit little girl she goes out of her way to protect (which is something we already covered in the 2nd movie. Hey, what happened to that girl anyway?...dammit, novelizations don’t count. Dangling thread!). Thankfully, nobody dies as a direct result of Alice saving the girl, but still. Female heroes shouldn’t need to have maternal instinct as a motivation to be awesome. Sexist.
Worse, the little girl is a clone. Remember that ridiculous clone shit from the 3rd movie which was scrapped within the first 10 minutes of the 4th movie? It’s back, and worse than ever! There are hundreds of thousands of clones, and the templates include Alice (natch), Carlos, Rain and One. Obviously it’s just a plot device so they can pack in dead characters, but I’m fucking sick of this cloning crap. If Umbrella has the resources to do this, why are they letting civilisation end? That can’t be good for profits.
All the other clones get killed off, including all the of the Rains. Michelle Rodriguez just can’t survive, can she?
Claire and Chris aren’t here, but at least Alice asks about them. Poor K-mart doesn’t even get a mention. There’s a couple of shots of her in the recap, then she’s completely gone. Fingers crossed she’ll be back for the sequel?
Oh yeah, massive sequel hook ending. Rude.
Luther has almost nothing to do, and dies. Boring.
The Las Plagas (from Resident Evil 4, the game) show up here. However, they are in a vastly different setting from the game and appear nothing like them. This kinda sucks for fans of the games (even non-rabid fanboys like myself). They are also given no explanation at all.
Leon isn’t hot enough (still hot, though) and looks too old. That’s a shame. Also, why would Leon ever work for Wesker?
Jill has that red spider thing on her that Claire had from the 4th movie. Alice knocks it off and Jill’s recovery is almost instant. Unlike Claire’s, which resulted in massive memory loss and was a major plot point. Inconsistent.
Oh, and at the end Wesker gives Alice her superpowers back. Goddammit, we got rid of those for a reason.
Just shut up and watch Milla kick some bitches. It’s not shit. 4 out of 5 stars.