by Kelly O’Brien
The fifth, and probably not the last, Resident Evil movie has now hit cinemas nationwide. As with every instalment of the RE series, I find myself asking, ‘How on earth can they still be making these god-awful movies?’
Most films based on video games, I’m sorry to say, just aren’t very good. Much is either lost in translation, or wasn’t there to begin with. The end result is usually something that leaves nobody satisfied, be they gamers or movie buffs.
Resident Evil: Retribution kicks off right where the last movie ended, just as the previous instalment Afterlife did.
Alice (Mila Jovovich) is knocked unconscious during an Umbrella Corp onslaught. Upon waking, she finds herself in the heart of suburbia – a homely housewife taking care of her husband and young daughter. Before long, however, some trademark RE zombies appear out of nowhere to chomp on some upper middle class meat. Just as it seems as if her number is up, Alice wakes with a start in an Umbrella-designed holding chamber, semi-nude of course.
Before long, Alice manages to escape with a new leather outfit but, surprise, surprise, she walks right into a zombie apocalypse simulation. We see the first of many flashy fight scenes here, culminating in the arrival of Ada Wong.
Ada is working for Albert Wesker, the main bad guy from the games. Wesker wants to join forces with Alice, because apparently he’s now out to take Umbrella down as well… which makes him a good guy? And as if that weren’t confusing enough, he’s also sending in some troops – Leon S. Kennedy and Barry Burton among them.
Such a sudden influx of characters from the games would be one thing, but such a bizarre amalgamation is another. It’s almost as if some crazed fan had a gun to the directors head and demanded he insert some fan favourites into the mix. It feels like some crazed, hardcore, RE fan fiction.
Despite Retribution dipping deeply into its source material, it’s still a Resident Evil movie, which means action sequence, after action sequence, after action sequence. While these are impressive when taken by themselves, collectively, they become a bit tiresome.
If you’re a firm fan of the RE series, then there’s a good chance you’ll love Retribution. It’s the best Resident Evil movie so far, as it has the best fight action sequences and enough nods to the past to thank fans for sticking around so long.
If you’re not a fan of the series, then stay away. The best of a bad lot it may well be, but that by no means makes it watchable.