The fifth film in the bloated Resident Evil franchise opens as the last ended with Umbrella operatives attacking the large floating tanker…Arcadia. Led by Jill Valentine (who is being controlled by a device on her chest like in Resident Evil 5). Alice is knocked into the water after an explosion.
The film then shifts to an American suburb were Alice is living happily with her husband, Todd (played by a returning Oded Fehr) & her deaf daughter when Zombies start attacking the neighbourhood & outside it is revealed to be Racoon City at the start of the outbreak. Alice & Becky run into a student, Rain (from the first movie – Michelle Rodriguez) who rescues them in her car before they are then hit by a truck. Alice & Becky escape the wreckage & run into a house. Becky hides while Alice is killed by an infected Todd.
Alice then awakens in a cell being interrogated by Jill. She manages to escape during a power failure & meets up with Ada Wong, an operative working for Wesker sent in to rescue Alice. It seems Wesker wants Alice on his team now to help save the world. The Red Queen (from the first movie) now controls Umbrella & is set on destroying the entire world.
Together with Ada, Barry Burton, Leon Kennedy & Luther (from the last movie) they have to infiltrate another Umbrella base in Russia used as a staging facility for selling the T-virus & destroy it. However some old friends won’t make it easy for them…
This instalement of Resident Evil manages to blur the lines between the movies & games even more then previous movies have. Plot wise & setting there is next to no resemblance yet they keep shoe-horning in as many references as they can. It is a very confused film…is it for action movie fans or Resident Evil fans?
It’s almost like they knew themselves that this movie was taking it so far away from the Resident Evil games that they needed to give something that might make a fan watch. I was intrigued by Barry & Leon showing up in the movie even if I was wary (Look how Chris turned out!). In the end I was right to be wary as Leon is just awful…for some reason he is Eastern European. His supposed-deep friendship with Barry is never extended on & feels false.
Barry on the other hand is a surprising positive, feeling authentic & being well-acted. I was disappointed that he was killed off instead of Leon. The same goes for Luther…one of the more fleshed out characters.
The return of previous Resident Evil characters in ‘bad-guy’ roles would have been better had there been more interaction…other than bad Rain the others just stand there looking threatening. It’s a waste of good actors.
The film suffers because of the increase in cast as it still heavily focuses on Alice. Deeper plot elements regarding Jill, Ada & Rain are left to the side so we can experience an awkward fake mother/fake daughter segment between Alice & Becky who she later finds & effectively adopts.
The whole point of this facility is that Umbrella uses clones to simulate outbreaks in different cities, show other countries & sell them the T-virus. We have some wonderful looking settings such as Tokyo & a Raccoon City suburb as well as some tense action scenes that is ruined by slow-motion.
Urgh…this is driving me nuts in these movies. I know they are in 3D but does everything have to be in slow-motion? Alice running down a corridor to escape a zombie horde is in freakin’ slow-mo. For me it doesn’t improve an action scene, it damages it. Ada & Alice’s fight against 2 axe-men in particular stands out as something that would have been better without long shots of Alice back-flipping.
Like the movies before it Resident Evil is a movie of moments that tries to fit far too much in & as always ends on a cliff-hanger/sequel set-up. This time Alice ends up at the White House, the last stand of humanity against the hordes of Umbrella experiments. Wesker injects her with the T-virus returning her super-powers (although I doubt you’d have noticed any difference) & tells her it is up to her to save the world.
Jeez….I can’t wait.
It does a lot right but tries far too hard to offer some connection to the games with characters that were extremely un-necessary. A badly acted Leon will stay etched in my mind for a while. So Alice now has a daughter…right.
Resident Evil: Retribution
- The Final Score - 6/106/10