Film Review: Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

SYNOPSIS:

Alice fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead.

REVIEW:

Milla Jovovich as Alice returns with another chapter in the “Resident Evil” franchise. As usual the conditions around her keep getting worse. Deemed a weapon herself, she seems to have been relieved of her super powers for this entry. Though have no worry as she still knows how to flip around in the air and kick some ass when she needs to. Probably most noticeable is a return to her humanity in some sense. We begin with a false intro that has Alice enjoying family time with her husband Todd (Oded Fehr) and her daughter Becky (Aryana Engineer). The moment is lost when savage zombies come busting in with a mean throat squid added to their attack modes. Alice awakens on the floor of the umbrella corporation, and while not fully nude, her tiny towel provides a much desired peek at Alice before suit up.

The film is the franchise 5th installment based on the game of same name. Added this round is the much toted 3D aspect, though I myself usually pass on “that” when able.

Resident Evil: Retribution” centers its whole film under the environment of the Umbrella main corporate operations facility. The facility is located underwater in the Arctic Circle created for the sole purpose of testing the dreaded T-virus. Cleverly, the filmmakers have incorporated a round of different locations that are incorporated into the design of the facility. Using simulation, it is explained that Umbrella has created separate environments for testing the virus in different country settings (to sell the technology). Alice and friends have to venture thru simulated Moscow, Japan, New York City, and a Raccoon City suburbia to escape.

Playing the antagonist this round is a brainwashed Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and a corrupted version [f of Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez). Alice is aided by Ada Wong (Li Bingbing) and Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) (whom Alice had to battle against last film).

The “Red Queen” has gone into attack mode controlling the decisions in the facility. Because of this, Alice and friends have to do battle with some pretty savage opponents. This includes a set of “Axemen” who they encounter in simulated NY, a onslaught of zombies, Russian savages and one mean gigantic Licker. They are later joined with an operatives team who help them in their confrontations and escape.

While I’m quite a fan of the franchise, I only found myself liking portions this round. The creatures are very cool, Alice is looking good, and the action is pretty hip but something that I can’t place my finger on was missing from the experience. Perhaps it’s just a case of alot of the same characters and villains. Or maybe I like the pumped up Alice a little better. Alice herself has to deal with some flashbacks from her past, alternate realities and the addition of a daughter she acquired by corporation default. It’s a “less” colder version of her character, but also more vulnerable.

Michelle Rodriguez appears in the film as both an ally version and a foe. It is explained that many of the models used are cloned which is further backed by a warehouse containing 100’s of models being transported thru the facility.

Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine appears as a blond version of herself, however I much preferred the “Underworld – Selene” version she fashioned back in “Resident Evil: Apocalypse“. Paul W. S. Anderson returns to the franchise as a director, producer and writer reprising his contributions not seen since the original Resident Evil debut and the 4th installment “Resident Evil: Afterlife“.

The coolest factor for me would have to be the appearance of 2 “Axemen” added to the confrontation list this round.

Resident Evil: Retribution” has lot going on that at times might even be confusing to Resident Evil fans. I think on the whole it’s a strong entry, just not my favorite (from the series). The ending leaves room for another follow up which was first reported to have been planned as a an additional production to begin filming after this one (now on delay). In any case, its probably a safe bet that we’ll be seeing more “Resident Evil” fan fare and that Milla Jovovich will be their to make sure we don’t get sidetracked. “Resident Evil: Retribution” is full of adventure, action, monsters and mayhem delivering just the kind of goods that we’d expect it to be.

Resident Evil: Retribution is now available on bluray per Sony Entertainment

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

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