Resident Evil: RetributionBy Wilson Morales
If you have been a fan of the previous four films, and you’re glutton for more punishment or pleasure, then you will no doubt see the fifth installment, ‘Resident Evil: Retribution.’
Although the film is based on the video game that Screen Gems has successful built a franchise around, this new film, which returns Milla Jovovich as the heroine Alice, literally feels like a video game where everything is repeated over and over again and no one dies.
Although ‘Retribution,’ resurrects some long dead characters from previous films such as Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez), Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), and James “One” Shade (Colin Salmon) while bringing in some fan favorites from the game such Ada Wong (Li Bingbing), Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb), and Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), it doesn’t do much from moving this lifeless film to an exciting action film fans want to enjoy.
Starting off from ‘Afterlife’ left off, Alice is in the middle of a battle against the Umbrella Corporation while recapping the events that led to this excursion. Having been lost as sea, Alice wakes up in a dreamlike fantasy, where she’s blissfully married to Carlos in a suburban area. When the virus breaks out and Carlos gets bitten, Alice has to flee the scene with her deaf ‘daughter’ named Becky in tow.
Before you know it, Alice is now in Tokyo fighting off more zombies. In case you wondering how she got from point A to point B, it turns out that Alice was actually captured by the Red Queen and finds a way to escape but is lost in this maze-like complex with Jill Valentine, who’s under some mind-control state, chasing after her. Not only is Alice fighting against Jill, but she also has to content with so dead friends brought back to life – Carlos Olivera, James “One” Shade, and Rain Ocampo.
Coming to her aid are Ada Wong, Leon S. Kennedy, Barry Burton, and Luther (Boris Kodjoe). It’s never explained how Luther found his way out from the sewers in ‘Afterlife.’ Anyway, throughout their travels in this compound, they are various parts of the “world,” from New York, Tokyo and Moscow. Just like a video, the audience is wondering whether or not Alice will get out alive.
Since this is the fifth film in the franchise, killing Alice will never be an option for the producers. Her existence is what kept the franchise going for ten years, but someone could have came up with a better script, and better special effects. Never mind that the script is poorly written, but having seen how ‘Fast Five’ did well at the box office and with audiences, writer-director Paul W. S. Anderson could have put together a kick-ass film that fans of both the films and the video game will appreciate.
Instead, with the exception a third act fight between Alice and one of the resurrected, everything else seems rehashed from the other films and Jovovich doing the same stunt moves over and over again.
While it’s nice to see the resurrected gang back again, they must have all needed a check when asked to reprise their roles. Oded and Salmon are useless in their spare time on-screen and while Rodriguez gets to show a different side of Rain, there isn’t much to welcome her return. As for the newcomers in the film, Durand doesn’t anything at all but point and shoot, and Urb as Leon is given no development. No explanation as what happened to siblings Claire and Chris Redfield (Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller), who appeared in ‘Afterlife.’ It would have better to bring Mike Epps back in the mix. At least his humor kept you entertained.
Just like ‘Saw’ franchise and other “horror” film franchises that have gone five films, there’s usually nothing left in the tank to bring in a new core of fans. It’s the diehards that keep coming back and whether or not story has any effect, they don’t seem to mind. If the film does well at the box office, expect to see Alice once again, but if the fans have had enough and ready to try something else, it’s time to let Alice die.