Resident Evil: Retribution Review

Resident Evil: Retribution is a 2012 science fiction action horror film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, starring Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Kevin Durand, Sienna Guillory, Shawn Roberts, Aryana Engineer, Oded Fehr, Colin Salmon, Johann Urb, Boris Kodjoe, and Li Bingbing.  It is the fifth installment in the Resident Evil film series based on the video game series of the same name and follows Alice (Jovovich) who is captured by the Umbrella Corporation, forcing her to make her escape from an underwater facility used for testing the T-virus.


Positives:

  • Good performances by the main and supporting cast
  • Interesting characters
  • Great soundtrack
  • Good action sequences
  • Good use of practical and make-up effects
  • Great visuals

Negatives:

  • Unoriginal story
  • Convenience ridden script
  • Useless, flat characters

Plot:  Alice (Jovovich) is captured by the Umbrella Corporation, forcing her to make her escape from an underwater facility used for testing the T-virus.  The story isn’t original but it is interesting.  Leon, Barry, Luther, and Ada infiltrating the facility to rescue Alice is an interesting subplot but at the same time lackluster.  Alice escaping of her own wits and resourcefulness sounds leagues better.  (3 out of 5)

Characters: Alice is a likable character and the emotional ties do make her more relatable, despite her strength.  Alice’s relationship with Becky (Aryana Engineer) does make her more relatable and does give her a personal interest in the story.  Ada (Bingbing) is one of those characters that doesn’t seem like she fits, like she’s just a shoe-in but doesn’t really contribute anything to the story.  Jill Valentine (Guillory) is the film’s main antagonist and is absolutely a badass character.  There are two Rains (Michelle Rodriguez portraying both) in the film, the Good Rain and Bad Rain. (4 out of 5)

Cast:  The casting of course is a bit of a mixed bag.  Milla Jovovich is totally badass as usual.  Sienna Guillory is a great choice for Jill although she does have moments where she reaches just a little bit.  Li Bingbing sucked as Ada.  She had no presence, she wasn’t tough, and should never have been even considered.  Johann Urb as Leon was an interesting casting choice and at some points hit the mark for Leon while mostly missing the mark for the character. (3 out of 5)

Visuals:  The visual effects are really good.  The creature effects are definitely on point, especially the Uber Licker (by the way, an awesome idea guys).  The zombie effects look really good.  Some of the costume designs are questionable though.  Alice and Jills body suits are good, but Ada wearing a freaking pink dress just looks plain ridiculous.  And of course, they ripped the idea from Resident Evil 4 but come on. (4 out of 5)

Score:  Definitely got to give it to Tomandandy.  The soundtrack is actually awesome.  It definitely sets a really cool tone for the film.  The opening music is just epic.  (5 out of 5)

Writing:  The script is shitty though it could’ve been leagues better.  First of all, there is just way too much action going on.  Think about the Moscoe scenario where Barry, Luther, Leon, and their crew were fighting a group of Las Plagas zombies.  Why was that even in the damn movie?  Second, the scenarios were interesting but poorly executed.  How the hell was the corporation replaying scenarios from events that already happened?  The J-Pop Girl who starts the infection in Tokyo in Resident Evil: Afterlife is in the scenario for this film doing it again.  Seriously?  Thirdly, the conveniences are just horrible.  Towards the end of the film, the good Rain is killed by the Uber Licker and Becky is captured.  Now Becky is still alive despite being capture by the B.O.W. but everyone else who’s come into contact with the thing is killed.  Nice little girl and I’m glad she didn’t die but really.  And lastly, the film is riddled with nothing but clones.  Clones of Alice. Clones of Rain.  Clones, clones, clones.  The Good Rain and Bad Rain were actually pretty cool choices but the Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and One (Colin Salmon) clones are just useless. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Resident Evil: Retribution isn’t a good film but nor is it a bad one.  It does suffers the same problems like the other films such as lackluster characters and a terrible script.  The film does have good action, great visuals, a great soundtrack, good performances, and an interesting story.  Resident Evil: Retribution gets 4 out of 5.

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