Monday, 1 October 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution (Movie, 2012)

The movie starts with recapping the ending of the previous one, tying neatly into the last few seconds where Umbrella Corporation helicopters are on the way to attack Alice and her surviving helpers on the aircraft carrier.
This alone is confusing and tedious as the scene motion is wound back and forth, but it ends with our heroine blasted into the water by an explosion from where she is presumably scooped up, which would explain how she ends up in the corporation's base in the arctic.

What it doesn't explain is why they did not kill her right away after everything she's exploded and foiled. Predictably, after being made to suffer for a bit in an attempt to get her to cooperate, she manages to escape. There's always an insider ready and willing to help out. Handy, isn't it?
From here on the entire movie is based on what I would call 'predictable unpredictability'. The makers are trying so hard to avoid being predictable, you just know something outlandish is going to happen any time now as soon as the plot, if you can call it that, has settled down for more than two minutes.

The weak to non-existent story is once again upstaged and rescued by fight scenes, bullets in slow-motion and the usual special effects, without which there wouldn't be much of a movie left. It just all doesn't make much sense, and people (one of the clones) who were supposedly killed by the undead in an experiment days or weeks ago and left to rot in an abandoned house look as fresh as a ripe tomato just plucked from its branch. But yeah, this is all about show and mindless entertainment.

If you liked previous Resident Evil movies you will like this as well, it's pretty much the same although a tad slower than 'Afterlife' and in particular 'Apocalypse'. It also is less atmospheric than 'Extinction' and 'Afterlife' which had their dark moments of suspense and brooding foreboding, hinting at what could have been possible. If I had to choose these two would probably be my favorites but in general I wouldn't call myself a fan of the franchise. In many ways this latest installment is quite similar to the first 'Resident Evil' movie.

Did I mention it's only available in 3d? The Wikipedia entry seems to think otherwise but I have yet to find a cinema that's offering the film in 'normal'. With the 3d craze in full swing and the many previews of movies due before the end of the year it's time to once again wait until the title is out on DVD or premieres on your TV channel of choice rather than paying through the nose for yet another throw away pair of glasses so you can watch the often artificial looking all around immersiveness that usually fails to deliver just that feeling.

The end, also predictably, hints at and leaves room for yet another sequel. Zooming out from what is we are told the last city in the grip of mankind we see masses of undead closing in from all directions outside the city gates on an epic 'Lord of the Rings' style scale, and of course only Milla Jovovich aka Alice can save the world, this time for real.

You can read two more reviews here and here to fully make up your mind if it's worth the dosh to watch it now or rather wait. They're not favorable I have to say and only 25% on the Tomatometer may be a bit too harsh, but if you like this sort of stuff you'll go for it anyway.

Speaking of the previews we're usually made to endure for about half an hour before the real movie starts, 'Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter' sounds like too much rubbish to bear and the preview cemented that. You wouldn't even want to do that to your ten year old. Even the faceless, black-clad Nazi-soldiers stormtroopers in their heavy leather coats of Resident Evil that just walk into hails of bullets and don't care aren't quite as silly and far fetched as Abe with a Tomahawk on horseback fighting armies of vampires. Ouch and out.

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