Oct 3 2012 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Resident Evil: Retribution
Ah, the zombie action franchise the critics love to bash is back once again for a fifth outing.
Resident Evil: Retribution sees Milla Jovovich don the gun holsters one more time as heroine Alice in her never-ending battle with the Umbrella Corporation and the global fallout from their deadly T-virus.
Critics may loathe the Resident Evil franchise but healthy box-office returns ensure further adventures and prove fans of these adaptations of the long-running video game are extremely loyal.
I’ve always found the series to be entertaining, trashy fun but there’s no doubt it has suffered from diminishing-return syndrome, with the first film still the best.
Even I’ll struggle to defend Retribution, though, as it’s the worst entry yet.
British director and Jovovich’s hubby, Paul W.S. Anderson, has had his fingerprints all over the series since directing the first movie.
He has written every entry, including this one, since and returns behind the camera for the third time.
He starts with a neat reverse slo-mo sequence of the previous movie’s ending before running through events from all four predecessors, which is useful for newcomers but pointless for fans.
His script barely introduces new characters and is packed with expositional dialogue as a range of supporting cast members describe tasks before setting off to the next ‘level’; this entry being the most like a video game.
Much of the film feels like a Resident Evil greatest hits parade as old favourites Sienna Guillory (Jill Valentine) and Michelle Rodriguez (Rain) return alongside antagonists the axemen and the Red Queen, but it’s all very half-hearted.
Things aren’t all bad. ‘Testing room’ locations allow Anderson to have fun with simulated versions of Moscow, New York and Tokyo.
And as for lead Jovovich? Acting may not be her strong point but she has become one of the biggest female action stars.
Angelina Jolie only managed two go-around’s as Lara Croft and Jovovich’s one-liner spouting, somersaulting, expert in hand-to-hand combat and gunplay can only be rivalled by Kate Beckinsale in the equally critic-unfriendly Underworld films.
The Resident Evil movies have always had ‘cool’ moments; the first’s laser corridor death scene, number three’s zombie crows.
Nothing here hits those heights but zombies underneath ice and literal X-ray vision also come close.
Retribution is short, action-heavy and won’t win new fans.
And guess what? A traditional striking last visual tells us there’s more to come... critics beware!