The action-packed fifth edition to the video-game-themed Resident Evil film franchise sees protagonist Alice face off against, not only new enemies, but also old friends.
Resident Evil: Retribution begins straight after where the previous film – Resident Evil: Afterlife – left off, with Alice (Milla Jovovich) and a group of survivors being attacked on the Arcadia ship. Alice has been captured by the Umbrella Corporation – who for some reason still want to conduct tests with the virus – who were led by the still brain-washed Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory); and is interrogated by them until a computer malfunction allows her to escape. It turns out that the previously villainous character Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) is now against Umbrella and needs Alice’s help to win the war against the undead in the outside world. So with the help of ex-Umbrella agent Ada Wong (Li Bingbing) Alice begins to make her way out of the Umbrella structure, on the way meeting up with an extraction team who have planted charges to destroy the base of operations. But this is a Resident Evil film, so obviously getting out is not going to be a walk in the park. The heroes go up against hoards of undead, giant Axemen, giant Uber-Lickers and trained Umbrella agents. This film basically gives everything from the previous films and adds more. Do not go thinking that this is just a typical Resident Evil film though, as there is a significant plot point which changes the entire idea of the franchise, quite a clever one actually. This twist makes it more imperative for Alice to destroy the Umbrella Corporation once and for all.
All of the previous films in the franchise have offered something slightly different. Resident Evil (2002), although loosely based on the video-games, was more of a straight up zombie-horror film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) carried on in sort of the same story line; as it was based in the undead over-run Raccoon City. However at the end of this sequel supernatural elements were added in. The lowest point in the franchise – in my opinion – was the third film Resident Evil: Extinction (2007). Although it explained more about the Umbrella Corporation and linked in better with the games. It just didn’t grip like the previous films. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) brought the enjoyment back by adding in more elements of the video-games and by adding exceptional action/fighting sequences. Resident Evil: Retribution took the same route and added an original plot twist.
Director Paul W. S. Anderson basically took what it was from the previous films that the audience enjoyed and then put it all together: rabid zombies, mutated monsters, action-packed fight sequences and returning characters from the other movies. Including: Rain (Michelle Rodriguez), Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), Luther West (Boris Kudjoe) and James ‘One’ Shade (Colin Salmon). Unfortunately for Alice not all of her allies remember their friendship.
Milla Jovovich once again brings her great portrayal of Alice to the screen; it can be said that there is some shoddy acting in the film, but thanks to Jovovich’s role the movie stays together. With every addition to the series there are more and more aspects of the games being added, so hopefully the creators have learnt that this needs to continue with the sixth installment which is currently in the works.
There is always a chance with a horror series that spans five movies that the enjoyment can begin to fizzle out, and although it began to in the middle, it has definitely got its buzz back.
Not the best edition to the franchise, but certainly a great one.
Tag Line: Evil Goes Global.
Horror Rating: (:-O) (:-O)
Star Rating: ☆☆☆