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Review: Resident Evil: Retribution

Resident Evil: Retribution
Sep. 14, 2012by:
2 10

PLOT: That slinky, immortal ass-kicking clone Alice is back doing what she does best: being a fly in the ointment of the evil Umbrella corporation. This time she has to battle her way out of an underwater facility, while old faces reemerge to either help her or try to end her life once and for all.

REVIEW: The RESIDENT EVIL movies have been watchable time-killers at best; vapid, by-the-numbers shoot-em-ups at worst. The series has never exactly sought to challenge expectations, usually content to toss its heroine, Alice (played by Milla Jovovich, what a trooper) into various ghoul-plagued situations only to see her blast her way out time and time again. It switches up the background and supporting characters, sure, it but never strays from its formula; it's what works, and the movies have been moderately entertaining thus far. But with the latest installment, a snooze-inducing, awkward and ugly mess subtitled RETRIBUTION, it really looks like the franchise is close to death. There will be another one, there's no doubt about that, but honestly, it would be humane of Screen Gems and RESIDENT EVIL overlord Paul W.S. Anderson to put a bullet in the old gal's head before its suffering continues any longer.

RETRIBUTION begins with a banal round-up of what's been goin' down thus far, a completely unnecessary montage that might as well begin with, "Previously, on Resident Evil..." If people are settling in for RESIDENT EVIL 5, they probably don't need a refresher. And if they do? F*ck it, it's RESIDENT EVIL 5. Following this silliness, we're thrust in what looks like a dream sequence, with Alice playing suburban housewife to a husband (Oded Fehr, from the 2nd and 3rd installments) and deaf daughter (Aryana Engineer). This soon turns into a zombie-filled nightmare ala the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake (really, its wholesale lifting of DAWN'S celebrated opener is shameless) and though this isn't a dream, exactly, we're ultimately back with Alice as we recognize her: half-naked and shivering on the floor of an antiseptic lab, courtesy of the nefarious Umbrella Corporation and its snarling boss, Wesker (Shawn Roberts, once again doing a terrible Hugo Weaving impersonation).

But wait! Before you can say, "here we go again," it turns out that Wesker is actually attempting to save Alice this time around. You see, even he has now lost control of the Umbrella corp's sinister computer system, the Red Queen; you may recall it being represented in hologram form as a little British girl in the first film. The Red Queen is intent on wiping out humanity - what remains of it anyway, there has got to be like thirty people left on the whole goddamn planet - and so Wesker needs Alice's assistance to put an end to the computer's schemes. Why he even gives a shit is beyond me, but to help her out (did I mention this is all taking place in an elaborate underwater facility? Well, it is.), Wesker dispatches a "strike force" made up of about five dudes, one of whom is Luther (Boris Kodjoe), who shared very vague chemistry with Alice in the last one, and another head-smashing-yet-feminine warrior named Ada (Li BingBing).

RETRIBUTION then sets about a series of wholly uninspired, cheesy and strangely cheap-looking action set-pieces staged in various "cities" within the facility. The movie's idea of being clever is to have the characters move through several artificial environments that were once used for training exercises. Said environments are modeled after Moscow, New York and Japan - and it would actually be a cool concept, but the movie's effects are so chintzy, the sets so half-assed and Anderson's direction so dull, that it's a completely wasted idea. For example, Anderson decides to set a no-holds-barred brawl in the middle of "Times Square" between Alice, her new gal-pal Ada and two hammer-swinging behemoths, but then absolutely squanders all the potential the location provides by staging the sequence so gloomily and unimaginatively that it never once seems like they're anywhere other than a sound-stage. For a movie made by a gigantic corporation like Sony, RETRIBUTION feels so oddly low-budget.

Never one to be confused with a cinematic genius, Anderson has never been more on autopilot; his approach to crafting an exciting action scene is to pummel the audience with a cacophony of unappealing noises (including Tomandandy's relentless score) and planting the camera wherever is easiest. He obviously believes that the image of a person shooting a machine gun is as good as it gets, because there are countless minutes spent (wasted?) on people standing in place while unloading their weapon; I haven't seen so many bland shoot-outs since the 80s. If the characters are not standing still, they're leaping and shooting, or running and shooting, or sliding and shooting. The director also finds a thrill in such passe visual tricks like bullet time (which stopped being cool right around the second MATRIX movie) and that thing where someone gets punched and the camera zooms in so tight on their body that suddenly we're seeing an x-ray of their bones being broken! Super awesome, right? It's so awesome that Anderson has three shots of this very thing occur all in the span of about one minute.

Because Anderson is so uninspired, his listlessness and dearth of creativity clearly rub off on the cast; most of the acting in the film is pretty dreadful. Sienna Guillory, who returns as Jill Valentine (from the 2nd film, only now brain-washed and bad), gives a remarkably awful performance, one for the ages, but everyone looks bored stiff and eager for lunch. Even Milla, usually a strong screen presence even in the franchise's weakest moments, is recognizably weary of this tired charade, as Alice is forced to mutter the same hollow threats and dangle from the same old wires countless times. I honestly felt bad for her; wanted to tell her that it's okay to say no to her hubby, to tell him maybe it's time to move on to something else, and damn those reliable checks from Sony.

The only interesting image in RETRIBUTION comes in the final moments, as the inevitable cliffhanger presents us with a bizarre, surreal apocalyptic vision, while Wesker ominously intones, "It's the beginning of the end." Yeah, but how long is it going to take..?

Source: JoBlo.com

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-4
2:04AM on 09/17/2012
Yeah, it's basically what you'd expect from one of these films. Here's my full review:

[link]
Yeah, it's basically what you'd expect from one of these films. Here's my full review:

[link]
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-1
1:59AM on 09/17/2012
#1 at the box office this weekend.
W. Anderson never intended to win Oscars, only to make money. The franchise has made close to 1 billion dollars.

OP fails and Anderson wins.
#1 at the box office this weekend.
W. Anderson never intended to win Oscars, only to make money. The franchise has made close to 1 billion dollars.

OP fails and Anderson wins.
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8:25AM on 09/16/2012
The comments on this thread alone explain why they keep pumping out these shitty movies. They have a fan base that, as we all can read, get pretty fired up when you piss all over it,. I personally think these movies are shit but hey if theirs an audience for it... Enjoy.
The comments on this thread alone explain why they keep pumping out these shitty movies. They have a fan base that, as we all can read, get pretty fired up when you piss all over it,. I personally think these movies are shit but hey if theirs an audience for it... Enjoy.
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-8
10:03PM on 09/15/2012
What is the point of giving this film a 2/10? Production value alone warrants a higher rating. Are you giving the story a 2/10? The visuals? The acting? 2/10 means the film only has 20% going for it? The visuals, effects and action alone warrant more than that. It certainly is better than the Twilight films on every level.

Let's get some serious reviews please, your 2/10 is obviously just biased opinion. The film isnt great, but it isnt 2/10.
What is the point of giving this film a 2/10? Production value alone warrants a higher rating. Are you giving the story a 2/10? The visuals? The acting? 2/10 means the film only has 20% going for it? The visuals, effects and action alone warrant more than that. It certainly is better than the Twilight films on every level.

Let's get some serious reviews please, your 2/10 is obviously just biased opinion. The film isnt great, but it isnt 2/10.
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9:07PM on 09/15/2012
Isn't a 2/10 a bit harsh? I've only liked Extinction but after I really enjoyed the hell outta this. Had consistent action, cheesy lines that made me laugh at its terribleness, and a badass final fight scene. You need to walk in knowing you're not about to watch a good film. Take it as a dark comedy, and it works.
Isn't a 2/10 a bit harsh? I've only liked Extinction but after I really enjoyed the hell outta this. Had consistent action, cheesy lines that made me laugh at its terribleness, and a badass final fight scene. You need to walk in knowing you're not about to watch a good film. Take it as a dark comedy, and it works.
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+9
6:06PM on 09/15/2012

LOL

They go through test area's that look like different places (in this case cities)? LMAO These hacks are so out of idea's they have to rip off idea's from S.D. Perry's Resident Evil novels, most notable Underworld (not based on any of the games) where Leon and Co. have to get through 4 Umbrella training area's.
They go through test area's that look like different places (in this case cities)? LMAO These hacks are so out of idea's they have to rip off idea's from S.D. Perry's Resident Evil novels, most notable Underworld (not based on any of the games) where Leon and Co. have to get through 4 Umbrella training area's.
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2:01PM on 09/15/2012

This movie was a rush...

It's a resident evil movie not a grade A movie. It's cheesy, its fuckin makes no sense. You see it for CGI action, milla looking hot and some that about it. Sit back and enjoy this mindless awesome film. Don't expect a plot either there never was one. I got what I wanted and came out loveeeinnnggg it plus the dude who played leon and the girl who played ada were spot on :) MINT for that.
It's a resident evil movie not a grade A movie. It's cheesy, its fuckin makes no sense. You see it for CGI action, milla looking hot and some that about it. Sit back and enjoy this mindless awesome film. Don't expect a plot either there never was one. I got what I wanted and came out loveeeinnnggg it plus the dude who played leon and the girl who played ada were spot on :) MINT for that.
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+0
1:46PM on 09/15/2012
I didn't think it was as bad as the second and third film, but I was mostly bored. That said, I also thought it was a tie with the previous RE movie. The action was decent, though I found myself bored quite a bit, It certainly knew what people who still watch these movies want: Milla Jovovich kicking ass. That's pretty much it. As Paul and the rest of the RE crew have clearly thrown the RE universe out the window (what the hell was the purpose of having Leon and Barry in the movie anyway?),
I didn't think it was as bad as the second and third film, but I was mostly bored. That said, I also thought it was a tie with the previous RE movie. The action was decent, though I found myself bored quite a bit, It certainly knew what people who still watch these movies want: Milla Jovovich kicking ass. That's pretty much it. As Paul and the rest of the RE crew have clearly thrown the RE universe out the window (what the hell was the purpose of having Leon and Barry in the movie anyway?), these are pretty much about one thing. Sadly, much of the gaming series is starting to resemble the movies more than the games.
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9:23AM on 09/15/2012
I cant blame PWSA for loving his wife and wanting a steady paycheck. I have to blame Hollywood. Anderson isnt paying for all this out of pocket. Someone keeps greenlighting these bowel movements. But some of the blame has to fall on moviegoers who keep allowing these to at least break even.
I cant blame PWSA for loving his wife and wanting a steady paycheck. I have to blame Hollywood. Anderson isnt paying for all this out of pocket. Someone keeps greenlighting these bowel movements. But some of the blame has to fall on moviegoers who keep allowing these to at least break even.
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9:04AM on 09/15/2012

?

It's Resident Evil (the movies). Don't expect anything but a long music video! I tough it was ok.
It's Resident Evil (the movies). Don't expect anything but a long music video! I tough it was ok.
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4:06AM on 09/15/2012

HAHA

Well who didn't see that comin. The previews looked terrible. All the actors are terrible and B list actors besides Milli. I mean seriously does anyone even know the actors names besides Milli. They have taken a fat shit on all the resident evil characters since the first film especially Chris, Claire, Jill, Leon, Wesker, Ada, zombies, lickers, zombie dogs and poor Nemesis. The only thing he did right was use the title and the umbrella logo in the movies. RESIDENT EVIL started with
Well who didn't see that comin. The previews looked terrible. All the actors are terrible and B list actors besides Milli. I mean seriously does anyone even know the actors names besides Milli. They have taken a fat shit on all the resident evil characters since the first film especially Chris, Claire, Jill, Leon, Wesker, Ada, zombies, lickers, zombie dogs and poor Nemesis. The only thing he did right was use the title and the umbrella logo in the movies. RESIDENT EVIL started with Jill,Chris,Rebecca,Kenneth,Forest,Richard,Barry, Wesker, and that guy who died in the mines who I can't remeber his name...got it PAUL. You moron. One day there WILL be a re-boot and I will sigh with relief and smile. Why Sony hasn't stopped this BULLSHIT from being shit out of PAUL'S mouth and ass is beyond me. FUCK ALICE.....she steals everyone's scenes from the games. There is no alice there never was and never should have been. It's a damn shame....it REALLY is.
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1:40AM on 09/15/2012
Only thing I liked was I thought Leon was ok. As for a video game movie taking a character from the games to live action Leon would probally been the best one I seen but his character was pretty much just thrown into the movie with what it felt like Anderson orginally wasnt gonna have him in. The we have Barry and I dont think Kevin Durdan woulda been the best choice for that I mean he was alright in the movie but with the way the movies have been Anderson woulda been better off casting Al from
Only thing I liked was I thought Leon was ok. As for a video game movie taking a character from the games to live action Leon would probally been the best one I seen but his character was pretty much just thrown into the movie with what it felt like Anderson orginally wasnt gonna have him in. The we have Barry and I dont think Kevin Durdan woulda been the best choice for that I mean he was alright in the movie but with the way the movies have been Anderson woulda been better off casting Al from Home Improvment as Barry. I did like to see "One" the black guy from the orginal movie back because I always felt he was the best character in the movies in all of them but he was usless in this movie. If Alice was not in 97% of the scenes then I think other characters would have shine. What made the first one better than the others was it was classic zombie movie team is sent in and eliminated but each character in the movie were more developed and Alice was just the central plot but wasnt the always the focus like she became. I wish they would stop making these movies but If they gonna keep making these movies then atleast for the next one have Leon (since hes the only male character left that wont be too usless) have just as much screen time and split the lead with him and get rid of the Alice always being in every single scene crap because im sick of seeing her I am sick of hearing how she knows everything her wanna be badass attitude. Resident Evil games were great because of their characters and this movie replaces them all with Alice.
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10:12PM on 09/14/2012
After Resident Evil: Apocalypse, things started getting really ugly. Now they're just big budge movies that should be coming on Syfy.
After Resident Evil: Apocalypse, things started getting really ugly. Now they're just big budge movies that should be coming on Syfy.
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10:51PM on 09/14/2012
I completely agree with you! I actually kind of like the first one too but things went downhill fast with the second one. The third sucked too. When Afterlife came on Netflix, I tried giving it a chance but shut if off after Alice lands the plane on the roof. But prior to shutting it off, I kept thinking, "Wow, this movie was opened nation-wide? It looks like a made-for-TV movie." Good call brother.
I completely agree with you! I actually kind of like the first one too but things went downhill fast with the second one. The third sucked too. When Afterlife came on Netflix, I tried giving it a chance but shut if off after Alice lands the plane on the roof. But prior to shutting it off, I kept thinking, "Wow, this movie was opened nation-wide? It looks like a made-for-TV movie." Good call brother.
6:32PM on 09/15/2012
Another overstatement this one coming from a guy with the username JigSaw what a joke.
Another overstatement this one coming from a guy with the username JigSaw what a joke.
-5
9:20PM on 09/14/2012
The first three of the series are very guilty pleasures of mine, but once the series went 3D the movies started becoming as cheesy acting wise and action wise as the opening movie on the original Playstion One Resident Evil. I'll watch this but my expectations are way low.
The first three of the series are very guilty pleasures of mine, but once the series went 3D the movies started becoming as cheesy acting wise and action wise as the opening movie on the original Playstion One Resident Evil. I'll watch this but my expectations are way low.
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6:30PM on 09/15/2012
That's a bit of an overstatement the last one was the best in the series by far.
That's a bit of an overstatement the last one was the best in the series by far.
8:30PM on 09/14/2012
I honestly don't care what these people at JoBlo say it's not even a reliable site for reviews. I like always will go out and see it and judge for myself and I'm probably really going to like it no sweat off my back what these guys say.
I honestly don't care what these people at JoBlo say it's not even a reliable site for reviews. I like always will go out and see it and judge for myself and I'm probably really going to like it no sweat off my back what these guys say.
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10:50PM on 09/14/2012
If you don't care 1) why are you visiting this site in the first place? and 2) why are you commenting on a site you shouldn't be visiting if you don't care what they have to say?
If you don't care 1) why are you visiting this site in the first place? and 2) why are you commenting on a site you shouldn't be visiting if you don't care what they have to say?
6:41PM on 09/15/2012
1.) because it's my god given right to go to take a proverbial shit on JoBlo, but I admit it's a little trollish. But will I stop? NO, so back off. 2) Well that the same basic question as your first one so it's possible you're not even worth my time.
1.) because it's my god given right to go to take a proverbial shit on JoBlo, but I admit it's a little trollish. But will I stop? NO, so back off. 2) Well that the same basic question as your first one so it's possible you're not even worth my time.
8:00PM on 09/14/2012
I agree 100% with this review. The film left me quite shocked that something so lazy, so slipshod, with so little effort put into it, so incoherent and so bland could make it to theaters.
I agree 100% with this review. The film left me quite shocked that something so lazy, so slipshod, with so little effort put into it, so incoherent and so bland could make it to theaters.
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-2
7:24PM on 09/14/2012

Retribution

To all the fans of the franchise, go see it! it's non stop action from begining to end! the best in the series by far!
To all the fans of the franchise, go see it! it's non stop action from begining to end! the best in the series by far!
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8:37PM on 09/14/2012
Thanks X-Kid. ....I will be checking it out. It's pointless reading this review, as it seems it's coming from someone who already hates the RE franchise.
Thanks X-Kid. ....I will be checking it out. It's pointless reading this review, as it seems it's coming from someone who already hates the RE franchise.
7:15PM on 09/14/2012
Hmm, a shameless re-release for money or a shameless sequel for money this weekend? How about neither.
Hmm, a shameless re-release for money or a shameless sequel for money this weekend? How about neither.
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6:42PM on 09/14/2012

You were expecting maybe a good film? Ha Ha Ha... not gonna happen.

Remember when Paul W.S. Anderson directed Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon, and Milla Jovovich was in the The Fifth Element and Zoolander and other decent works just generally being a good actress... and this movie franchise came along and destroyed every possible hope of them ever being viable talented people again?

Me too.
Remember when Paul W.S. Anderson directed Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon, and Milla Jovovich was in the The Fifth Element and Zoolander and other decent works just generally being a good actress... and this movie franchise came along and destroyed every possible hope of them ever being viable talented people again?

Me too.
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6:26PM on 09/14/2012
I guess I'm seeing Nemo.
I guess I'm seeing Nemo.
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