Friday, September 21, 2012

Review of Resident Evil: Retribution

photo by Lindsey8417

I’m not a Resident Evil fan, but I did see what I think were the first two entries in the franchise.  The first one was impressive, especially if you realize the characters are from Alice in Wonderland.  (I say Inception also did this, and you can read my opinion here.)  So how did this fifth movie in the series do? 

Well, if you like non-stop action scenes with over-the-top stunts, Resident Evil: Retribution delivers.  The standout scene features our favorite zombie-killer, Alice (Milla Jovovich), fighting off a horde of zombies from Tokyo.  Think you’ve seen every way to kill a zombie?  Think again.  I’ll just say that those clips for reloading bullets leave a lasting impression.  Every move by Alice looks barely possible, assuming she’s a hyped-up human being with enormous experience in hand-to-hand and hand-to-face combat. 

But if you like well thought-out, original plots, your pizza delivery boy is more likely to deliver one of those.  Oddly enough, most critics seem to think there is not enough explanation of what’s going on.  I say there’s too much—we really do not need the little red queen girl announcing to no one in particular that she will now execute measures against the humans.  The first movie was better, when the characters had to figure out what was going on, or they just allowed us to follow the action.  And as for originality, I do not like how they ripped off Ripley’s desperate search for a little girl in Aliens.  The original was better. 

photo by Helen Taylor

Another very pleasant problem was Milla Jovovich is not the most beautiful and compelling woman in the movie.  Sienna Guillory is.  I noticed this back in Resident Evil: Apocalypse.  She played Jill Valentine, an astoundingly tough police officer, and I found her much more interesting than Jovovich.  In that previous movie she had short black hair, so when she showed up with long blonde hair in the current entry, it threw me at first.  But she’s still compelling. 

photo by Peter Duhon

Others would find Michelle Rodriguez, known for her tough chick roles, more attractive.  She put in a spirited performance in Battle: Los Angeles, which I reviewed here.   She’s reprising her character of Rain from the first movie, in a split role:  Good Rain and Bad Rain.  I thought they could have done more with the two characters to provide intentionally confusing scenes for the audience, but I think fans will be satisfied with seeing suburban Rain and Rain with an automatic rifle.  (I’ll let you guess which one is good and which is bad.) 

So if you like the concept of the Resident Evil movies and want to see a multi-million dollar extravaganza featuring zombies with machine guns, this is for you. 


msmariah said...

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this movie. I hope Milla Jovovich continues to star in these movies until she's carted off to the nursing home.

I've seen all 5 of the films now and I have to say this was the best one in a long time. It wasn't as good as the first one, but it was definitely the best one since the first one.

As a reviewer, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie. I have to give it to Paul W.S. Anderson, he knows how to create kick-butt female characters...unlike Zack Synder (a la 'Sucker Punch').

Mark Murata said...

In an interview, Milla Jovovich said she always takes the action scenes seriously. Otherwise, people get hurt. So hopefully she'll stay in good shape.

Ellie Garratt said...

I love the Resident Evil films. The first and third were the best in my opinion, so it will be interesting to see where they can take the fifth film.

M Pax said...

Since it has zombies in it, I'll leave that one for the husband unit to enjoy by himself.


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