Saturday, September 15, 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution

I have a review for Silent House coming up in the next day or two.  But I went to see the new Resident Evil movie last night, so I thought I’d get this one up first.

Allow me to preface this review by saying that I have seen all of the Resident Evil movies multiple times.  I loved 1-3, but didn’t care much for 4.  There were some good scenes, and a handful of characters that I enjoyed, but it was definitely the weakest of the movies to that point.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new challenger.

I knew we were in trouble from the very beginning.  The movie opened with an extended slow-motion backwards scene.  It was at least 5 minutes long.  It was like Enigma’s “Return to Innocence” video, but with lots of people getting shot in the back.  The next 5 minutes was an in-depth recap of the series, narrated by Alice.

It didn’t really get much better from there.

As the previews showed, a lot of previous characters showed up in this movie.  We saw Michelle Rodriguez (Rain), Oded Fehr (Carlos) and Colin Salmon (James Shade) return, but not as their original characters.  This movie also marked the return of Sienna Guillory (Jill Valentine), which was tremendous.  The only returning character from Afterlife was Boris Kodjoe (Luther West), which was cool, because I really liked his character.

There were also quite a few nods to previous movies.  Ada wears a dress that is very similar to the one Alice wears in the first movie.  The opening scene from Afterlife is reprised by a simulation.  The Red Queen returns, and delivers her signature line “You’re all going to die down here.”  Alice finds herself in an Umbrella Corporation interrogation room wearing the same white-sheet look as she does at the end of the first movie.

The concept was decent.  Alice is captured and is held in the Umbrella Corporation’s underground Russian facility (when I say “underground”, I really mean “under-ice”).  A team is sent to rescue her.  But this is no ordinary facility: it’s where the Umbrella Corporation would test their biological weapons and test their effects in different settings.  There were a few cities (New York, Tokyo and Moscow), and a suburban setting.  They were able to spawn whatever they wanted in these settings.

Suburban zombies


This led to Alice and her companions finding themselves in different situations, fighting some familiar foes (zombies, the large axe-hammer guy from Afterlife, a larger version of the crawling brain-monster from the first movie, etc.), and some not-so-familiar foes (intelligent, gun-wielding zombies in Moscow that looked quite a bit like the zombies from Dead Snow).



Sounds cool, right? 

Believe me, it was not.  There were numerous problems with this movie, and I’ll try to mention all of them (but I’m sure to miss some).


The plot was needlessly complicated.  I know these movies get into a lot of Umbrella Corporation conspiracy stuff, but this one got way too deep into that.  Too much talking.  Not enough action.  Which wouldn’t have been a huge problem if the acting was better.  Or the dialogue was better.  It was really, really bad.  Four of us went to see it, and we all laughed out loud multiple times.

There also weren’t really any good new characters in this.  We know Alice.  As I mentioned, Luther was in this, but he didn’t have a big role.  Jill Valentine was brainwashed, so she was basically a robot.  They tried to introduce some new characters, but there was absolutely nothing to them.  They were not so much characters as they were action figures.  For a series that has had its share of memorable characters, this was a major disappointment.

Welcome back, Jill


As I mentioned, we laughed quite a few times, but never at the times when we were supposed to.  There were a lot of moments that were supposed to be funny that were really cheesy.  Then there were a lot of moments that were supposed to be serious that were just really funny.  (There were two moments in particular that were amazingly funny.  One of them involved a picture of Oded Fehr smiling like a goofball, but I wasn’t able to find it to add to this post.  The other one can’t really be described in words.)


The music was awful.  It was almost too loud, and it was always over-the-top dramatic.  There was a scene where two fights were occurring simultaneously, and they each had their own fight soundtrack, with were both equally ridiculous.  There was no segue between the fights, so it felt like I was being pulled in two different directions.  It was confusing.

Some of the fight scenes were pretty cool.  There was a long scene of Alice fighting zombies in a hallway with a gun and a bike lock that was pretty awesome.  There was a car chase scene that had some enjoyable moments.  There was a fight in the snow that looked great (this is one of the few scenes where I felt the 3D really added something.  The snowflakes looked like they were floating in the theater.)  There were a couple of great deaths.  

But the good moments didn’t make up for the poor ones, and the poor moments far outweighed the good ones.


Being a big fan of the series in general, this movie was a major disappointment.  That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that I will watch the next movie on its opening weekend.  Because I’m a sucker.

Rating: 2/5


Even though the movie was terrible, there were quite a few terrific posters for it.  Here are some of my favorites.

I'm not sure this last one is actually a poster for the movie, but it came up in my search, and I thought it looked pretty cool.

No comments: