Sunday, September 16, 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution-review

As a fan of the “Resident Evil” video game and someone that on occasional will watch the other “Resident Evil” movies as a guilty pleasure, it really is depressing to see the severe drop in quality of these movies.  The latest of these movies, “Resident Evil: Retribution” is easily the worst of the lot. The acting and effects are horrible. The story lacks continuity, credibility, or a cause for the characters to do any of their actions.   It even goes so far as to steal ideas from other movies when not throwing in Resident Evil fan service for absolutely no reason. 

Alice, played my Milla Jovovich, is being chased by Umbrella soldiers onboard a boat.  Suddenly she wakes up and the friends she was with are gone (we never see them again) and she is being tortured by the agents of the Red Queen.  She needs to be rescued by a team sent by Albert Wesker, who is apparently alive again. Now she must escape the new facility she is trapped inside before it is blown up and is sunk below the sea.

Let’s start with the fact that these movies have stopped being relevant after the second one.  They never really had anything to do with the video game so it’s annoying as it is to see characters established in that world brought to the screen only to be secondary throw away characters to Alice, who is not in the games and is only there because she is the director’s wife.  Character’s that are established in the video game story die and some just vanish without a trace as if the actors read the script and gave up on this crap before it ruined their career.

The CGI is really lame.  There are stunts done in cars that go into CGI that you might as well be watching during the cut scene of a video game.  Considering the budget and considering the technology I expect a lot more.  The acting of characters like Albert Wesker, played by Shawn Roberts was so laughably bad and smug that he should have grown a villainous moustache to twiddle so he could laugh maniacally as he said his campy dialogue.

For the most part the movie is a simple story where the characters need to get form point A to point B. There is no major antagonist, which weakens this story greatly.  It also blatantly rips off better movies.  For example, the remake of “Dawn of the Dead” where the character steps out onto the driveway in the suburbs and we get a 360 shot of what is happening around her.  We also have a scene from “Aliens” where the lead befriends a little girl who gets captured and cocooned by a hideous monster.

Characters will sometimes pose like their character did in the video game or uses a particular weapon like they did in the game.  It was as if the writer was saying “Look! I’ve played the games! I’m cool!”   It was blatant fan service.  If that wasn’t obvious enough, the billions of frames of product placement during this movie are. It has scenes in Tokyo and New York so everywhere they went had ads for crap as obvious as Game Stop to Rockstar energy drink. 

The bottom line- this movie is almost unwatchable. For some reason it has the idea of leaving on a cliff hanger.  What this series needs is a reboot. It needs to stop focusing on a character that nobody cares about otherwise this franchise needs to end and move on to other things.  The video game is sort of on its last legs too and really it’s time they figured out if “Resident Evil” is worth bringing to life again and again, or if this series has run it’s course.   Do yourself a favor and give this movie a miss.

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