“My name is Alice, and this is Truly Disturbing Horror’s review of my latest film.”
Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, and Michelle Rodriguez
MPAA Rating: R
It has now been ten years since the theatrical release of the first Resident Evil film. We’ve seen the setting change from underground laboratories to a giant metropolis to the post-apocalyptic deserts of America. We’ve seen the central character of the series, Alice, transform from an employee of the villainous Umbrella Corporation to a superhuman test subject to an ultra-powerful action hero. Many characters have aided her and died doing so. Many new monsters have been introduced into the mix to help the zombies destroy what remains of humankind. No matter what one may think of the quality of the films, you can’t help but admire the scope of it all. Now, we see the release of the fifth film in the series, RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION.
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION finds Alice trapped in an Umbrella Corporation testing facility. Forming an uneasy alliance with series villain,Wesker, and a few new friends from the game series, she must fight through several different simulated situations, through hordes of different types of monsters, and even through cloned versions of her once-dead friends if she hopes to survive to fight Umbrella another day.
Writer/Director Paul W.S. Anderson has once again crafted a film that is devoid of any intelligence, any good action sequences, any real sense of humor, or any amount of fun. The story is silly, the characters are one-note, and the primary villain is a retread from a previous film. It’s certainly the laziest installment of the series which, considering the quality of the Resident Evil saga as a whole, is quite a feat in itself.
Milla Jovovich has always performed admirably in the role of Alice even though she is not often given much to work with from the writer. She inherits a cliché emotional connection in this installment that helps to make her character slightly more than just a standard action hero. It’s the only soul this film has, and it uses it when necessary. The rest of the cast performs to varying degrees of success; some are fairly good, others are pretty terrible, none of them are noteworthy.
The quality of the production is hit and miss. Paul W.S. Anderson exhibits none of the talent he showed when he directed Event Horizon with his latest endeavor. Most of the scenes are poorly constructed and poorly composed. The set design is fairly decent. The make-up and special effects are nice, if unimpressive. The CGI is mostly awful. The music score from Tomandandy is barely worth mentioning.
At the end of the day, those who will see RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION will do so no matter what any critic will say. There’s a built-in audience, and if you enjoyed the previous installments, you are going to enjoy this one as well. If you don’t like the other films, there’s nothing here that will surprise you or change your mind.
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is now playing in theaters nationwide. It cannot be recommended by this critic at all.
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