- New Undead
- Too Much Slow-Mo?
- A Little Scripted
Producers: Paul W.S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Don Carmody
Actors: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Editing: Niven Howie
Cinematography: Glen MacPherson
Project Alice and The Umbrella Corporation are back in a new battle for the safety and continuation of the human race. The newest installment fits in very well with the rest of the series. I was impressed that even after ten years the style of graphics and action hadn’t changed, but had only gotten crisper.
In preparation, I watched the first four films before seeing Retribution to really get inside Alice’s world of chaos and evil. To say Anderson had a very specific plan for the series when he started way back in 2002 would be an understatement. From beginning to end, everything comes together flawlessly. Obviously the films were based off the popular video game of the same title, but his creative touch is evident as it takes time to plan out a series spanning over ten years.
This piece of the puzzle picks up where we left off in Afterlife. Alice had just defeated Albert Wesker for ownership of Arcadia — a place which has yet to be infected. Wesker is shown taking off and his helicopter exploding. Soon after, fleets of Umbrella helicopters fly overhead — that is where our story begins.
Kicking off with several cool slow-motion action sequences, we are thrown back into Alice’s high-stress world. Confronted with the horrors planted by Umbrella, Alice’s mission is to defeat the evil corporation’s leaders while protecting the survivors. Teaming up with both new and old friends, she is pitted against her past and must survive the fight against a newer model.
Milla Jovovich is literally flawless. In a role she’s been playing for years, you’d expect her to run out of ideas for the character. But this is not so. She really comes to life as Alice, and always manages to keep things fresh. Teaming up with Bingbing Li, who plays Ada Wong, the two must escape terrible biohazards that Umbrella sends to execute them. With the return of Michelle Rodriguez and Sienna Guillory’s characters, Alice must learn that they are no longer her friends and adapt, as the two have joined forces and turned against her. The actors connecting so well with their characters is what makes part of the suspense work.
Having missed out on the most recent additions, I had some catching up to do before seeing Retribution and decided to watch each installment back-to-back. I discovered that the Resident Evil franchise stands on an incredibly cohesive story line that is flawlessly carried from one movie into the next. Anderson should be applauded for keeping a series together so well when so many others fail. Just staying consistent with the visual style from film-to-film is hard work. With the recent technological advances it would’ve been easy to redesign the computer grid features; however, that would have disrupted the flow of things. Each film picks up where the last one left off. It’s as if Anderson made one long film and divided it into five installments.
The Umbrella Corporation created new and terrifying biohazards. With multiple breeds of Undead walking around, the survivors and Alice have even more to worry about. With each mutation the Undead are difficult to defeat due to their unusual strength. There are even more sophisticated versions of the brainless flesh eaters that have military discipline to a few shockers that I’ll leave for you to discover. With the return of the creature from Resident Evil that scratched Matt, but with even more grime and terror than before, this is a seemingly endless battle for their lives.
If there is such a thing as too much slow-mo, this is a case for it. The opening scene incorporated slow-motion effects as the cameras walked us through the destruction aboard the Arcadia. It wasn’t long after that when we soon realized nearly everything was going to be in slow-motion. In every fight scene at least four kicks had been slowed down along with countless bullets gliding past the actors faces, missing them by only millimeters. It was an extremely cool visual, that lost its effect due to slow-mo overkill. If you can cut out twenty minutes of the movie from just eliminating the slow-motion, that’s too much.
A Little Scripted
Often times the dialogue felt unnatural as it was entirely too neat and scripted. Scenes between just two characters lacked chemistry. It was as if the actors had just received the script and were reading over the lines for the first time. In short, I just didn’t buy into all of the scenes.
Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
For fans questioning whether or not to see this film, I urge you to give it a chance. The ending is absolutely worth it. Without giving away too much I can tell you it follows the pattern of the others exactly. Afterwards I wanted to go home and rewatch the entire saga again. I think I’ll be having zombie dreams for weeks.
‘Resident Evil: Retribution’ Movie Trailer