Movie Madness #78: Resident Evil: Retribution

The franchise that never dies gets stronger!

The Resident Evil series has some staples like every long running franchise. Each episode opens with Alice waking up in some seemingly idealistic scenario until hell eventually comes to her.

There is one long drawn out battle between her and various attackers until we eventually get to the point where the story begins.

This latest entry takes a while getting there but the payoff isn’t half bad.

The last time we saw Alice (Milla Jovovich), she was standing aboard an oil tanker with the latest band of survivors she rescued. She turns and sees a fleet of helicopters descending upon the tanker.

Leading this new swarm of enemies is Alice’s good friend Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) now controlled by the Umbrella Corporation.

This cliffhanger is dealt with in the first ten minutes of the film as star Milla Jovovich gives us a recap of the series and then deals with the cliffhanger.

It ends badly for Alice.

The next series of scenes are in typical Resident Evil tradition. Alice has once again been kidnapped by Umbrella and this time she must make her way through a gauntlet maze of holographic recreations.

This entry in the series is very similar to the original film in that Alice once again has to escape an elaborate Umbrella facility, being chased by zombies and along the way watch her friends drop dead beside her.

It also sends a call out to Sigourney Weaver’s performance in “Aliens” as Alice is given her own version of Newt in this film. This is very uncanny given Jovovich has been compared to Weaver on many occasions.

Director Paul WS Anderson (or Mr. Jovovich) isn’t the greatest director in the world. If he hadn’t created the Resident Evil franchise I am sure he would be talked about in the same circles as Uwe Boll. Anderson has gone on record many countless times to his affection for videogames. And I can safely say now that his version of directing is starting to look more and more like a videogame especially since he adores the 3D camera. He uses the third dimension as the player’s interaction with his movies.

I have always liked the Resident Evil series mainly because its such a blatant mix of several different genres. Its like you took all the genres of geek culture and put them in a blender.

Superheroics, superpowers, fantasy, sci-fi, zombies, clones, evil organizations and even cameo appearances by actual game characters.

An honorable mention has to go to the people who created the costume for Milla this time. If Milla wasn’t a superhero in the other four entries she sure is now with that costume. Here’s hoping it stays around for the next entry. Actually all the women heroes in this flick have basically superhero costumes, Sienna Gulliory’s purple leather catsuit and BingBing Li’s red dress with hip holster. Actually Michelle Rodriguez is the only one without one.

This sequel’s tone and flamboyance makes it way better than the previous entry. It is probably the third best of the series. There is lots to like here even if the plot is razor thin. The movie does end with yet another cliffhanger and asks if there will be a sixth entry in the series. If there is one, I’ll be there.

3 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

Reviews for the rest of the series:

RESIDENT EVIL

RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE

RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION

RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE

RESIDENT EVIL: DEGENERATION

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