Monday, 24 September 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

It’s that time of year again, yes you guessed it, and it’s time for another Resident Evil movie. Retribution is the fifth installment of the scientific/zombie/sci-fi/action series that is now in it’s tenth year.

Picking up the story from Afterlife, the Umbrella troops destroy the boat that Alice (Milla Jovovich) and the others planned to head off into he sunset with. Thrown from the ship in an explosion, Alice awakes in a bed; she’s living a normal life, with a husband and child! But it’s all just an Umbrella test, made with clones, to re-enact the zombie invasion. Alice soon finds herself working for Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), the very many she has fought against for so long. Albert pleads with her to team up with Ada Wong (BingBing Li) and save the human race. 

Retribution is the second 3D installment in the series, and for many this will be a step too far in the computer-generated stakes. The preponderance of CGI is bewilderingly obnoxious in this movie, going as far at times to look completely unnatural, as appose to the usual rule of thumb, where you make things look more natural. 

The story is all hit and miss too, you almost feel like the story was made up during the making of the movie, and by someone with very few ideas. Previously this popular franchise has been going through a process of evolution, with each new chapter taking you somewhere different, it’s clear this time round that this is nothing more than a cash cow, and in the way of storyline, there is little to hold it together, and it feels more like a step back, than an advancing story. 

For reasons best probably not addressed actor Colin Salmon, who last appeared in the original movie, get’s incredibly high starring rank (though at the time of writing is not listed on IMDB), yet is onscreen for less than a minute in total. Other actors listed in the credits, are shown in “flashback”.

The biggest flaw with Retribution is that it defies common sense, so many questions, so many needs to ask why? Towards the end, the outnumbered enemy, clearly thinking they are in charge of three other ARMED hostiles, is given the opportunity to infect themselves with a virus, and violently attack the others. When they clearly had the opportunity to shoot said assailant point blank in the head, and avoid a lot of pain. You are also meant to feel empathy for characters who you feel you have only just meant, one character is killed off with all the pomp and ceremony of someone who had been with the franchise since the offset, instead they have had only a few minutes more on screen than the aforementioned Salmon.

The over-riding feeling you have during the movie is that this really should be the last installment, but the final moments give a very clear hint that there is yet another chapter in the offing.

To conclude, this is by far the weakest chapter in the series, yet it’s still kind of ok providing you give it no rational thought. The 3D is ok, but serves no real purpose, and the performances are fairly solid. But ultimately this feels incredibly rushed, and it does grate on the nerves as it’s story unravels.

Resident Evil: Retribution 3D is in UK cinemas from 28th of September. 

Catch up with some previous instalments at Amazon. 

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