Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Well I hate to say this but you really do need knowledge of the videogame and all previous four films to understand what goes on here. This franchise is one long story and I must say its been handled well with great continuity and an exciting plot, a real hook to the chops that drags you in.
The plot continues yet again from the cliff hanger ending of the previous installment, once more invincible 'Alice' is running from the 'Umbrella Corp' and trying to save mankind. Once again she has a new team of allies to get splatted and eaten one by one as, yet again, she escapes another 'Umbrella facility', this time under the sea.
You do get the impression they have run out of ideas for this new film. All the previous films have a memorable setting, almost like levels in a videogame believe it or not. The first film was in the 'Umbrella Hive facility', second film was a suburban setting in 'Raccoon City', third film was a desert setting and the fourth film was in a prison setting. This new film is just in another 'Umbrella facility' which happens to be under the sea, but that's it, they toss in lots of other testing zones within the facility just to show as many zombie battle locations as possible which seems cheap.
I also didn't really like the inclusion of old characters from past films in zombie/clone form. Again this just seemed a little cheap trying to revive past success (sort of success) from the previous films by sticking in the old characters.
In my previous reviews I have mentioned that these films have pretty much copied the basic 'Aliens' survival plot with a team of...survivors. Funnily enough this new fifth film actually goes one step further by giving us a 'Ripley and Newt' subplot rip off right down to even copying an alien...errr I mean 'Licker' pinching 'Alice's' little girl and cocooning her!. We then get an almost identical dialog sequence with 'Alice' telling 'West' the kid is still alive and she's going after her like it or not. Oh and a mechanical 'facehugger' bit too. Jesus Anderson lets not actually steal scenes now!.
Speaking of the 'Licker', this giant one is actually pretty cool, looks down right nasty and bites peoples heads off with spurting blood!, nice. The CGI wasn't too bad either, its just in the end its a complete anti climax once invincible 'Alice' finds it.
The new team for zombie chow time isn't as good as previous films either. They don't last too long for starters so we don't get to know them, they're just a small team of blokes who are trying too hard to be butch. 'Leon' is crafted well and looks like his videogame counterpart but my god does the actor try for the Eastwood thing. The only other guy of interest is 'Barry' who isn't as pretty as 'Leon' but much more guff and gritty but both of course have huge arms, why wouldn't they?. The other two guys we find out nothing and don't see much either, where as 'Alice's' new best friend 'Ada Wong' is a nice sexy double act for the chaps. She does everything in a dinner dress too! (doesn't she ever get cold in that?! she's in the Arctic!).
This is probably the most videogame-like film of the franchise with its internal test zones and duplicated characters all over the shop. It doesn't hold in your memory like the previous films with its bland setting plus there's the usual plot issues like why 'Wesker' wants to now help mankind, I thought he was a super mutant monster thingy and how come the zombies are now almost intelligent to the point where they can hunt underwater!. Isn't that kinda checkmate in terms of places left to go?. 'Las Plagas parasite'? you see you gotta know the game background somewhat, or so I've read.
Of course by now we all know not to look into these things too much with this series. In terms of action, excitement, violence and plot surprisingly, this film does deliver. I must also admit to LOVING that final sequence from the White House, surely most people got a kick outta that enticing visual tease, looked like 'LOTR' for the horror genre, my interest levels are rising.
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