I have to admit; I have not seen the first four films in the wildly popular video game turned film series, “Resident Evil.” Before I went to the midnight movie, I did some research, reading some other reviews, how Alice got involved in the Umbrella Corporation and what makes her “super-human.” Obviously, the reviews of the first films were terrible, but that doesn’t mean I had my mind made up when I went to see the fifth installment to the franchise at midnight.
I love a well-engineered girl-powered flick, like “Kill Bill,” “Haywire,” and even the “Charlie’s Angels” movies, (which are a great guilty pleasure)! I also think Milla Jovovich, who leads the “Resident Evil” films as Alice, is a great choice for the films because not only is she beautiful, she looks like she could pack some punches.
The first 15 minutes of “Resident Evil: Retribution” are promising. During the credits, we have a battle sequence on water in slow-motion rewind-mode and I’m instantly intrigued. Then we see the battle between Alice (Jovovich) and Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), among other bad guys, fully ensue. In the next cut we see a different Alice, a suburban housewife Alice, who suddenly wakes up, as if the battle were all a dream.
The introduction of the plot for “Retribution” is action-savvy, a bit scary and appealing, it’s about 25 minutes into the film, where the plot gets immediately convoluted and messy. It appears that the studio is doing whatever possible to try and re-start the series to make money because this is definitely one story that should have been kept on the shelf.
Michelle Rodriguez, who played Rain in the first film, returns for this one and I can’t imagine “Evil” fans being too happy about her return. It was used poorly and her character was annoying and uninteresting.
“Retribution” has the most over-dramatic and cheesy exchanges between characters I’ve seen in a movie this year. I was sitting next to people who were laughing at the dialogue for the entire two hours!
The action sequences were fun and exciting within the first 30 minutes, but as the movie went on, it seems like Alice and posse got tired of fighting the undead and the Red Queen, which made it exhausting for the audience to keep up with the charade.
I guess if you’re a fan of the franchise and do decide to see it, see it in 3D. Jovovich’s hubby and director Paul W.S. Anderson (“Resident Evil” and “Resident Evil: Afterlife”), shot the film in 3D and the depth perception of the “Evil” world is fantastic. It does get a little gimmicky with weapons and bullets flying towards you, but it’s fun stuff!