September 16, 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

"Alice fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead."

After watching "Underworld: Awakening", it was only fitting to finish off my Sunday with another pointless action-horror which looks like a 3D computer game. At least "Resident Evil: Retribution" has the excuse of being based on a computer game series for its impressive visuals and, once again, the complete lack of any coherent plot.

If all you want from a movie is to see lots of fighting and things getting blown up, "Resident Evil: Retribution" is the film for you. Occasionally, I also like to watch those very things and have always thoroughly enjoyed Milla Jovovich getting physical so, although I'll try to be objective, my review is undoubtedly going to be biased.

Even though Milla Jovovich's Alice lacks the grace and more feline attributes of Kate Beckinsale's Selene, there's little difference between them in terms of female badassery. Milla Jovovich has slightly more tomboyish looks, but it's hard to choose between which heroine is the sexiest. Why choose anyway when you can watch both and have neither in real life?

One major style difference is that the fight sequences in the "Resident Evil" series have never been quite as smoothly choreographed as the ones in "Evolution". Both originally owed a lot to "The Matrix", of course, but the "Resident Evil" fights have always seemed rougher and bloodier. Some people prefer them for that very reason.

Alice hates cosplayers!

As far as the fights in "Resident Evil: Retribution" were concerned, I thought they were quite weak at the start with Milla Jovovich being a lot slower and more awkward than usual. As the movie progressed, her skills improved until her final battle with Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) turned out to be everything a girl-on-girl fight in one of these things should be. Not to be too much of a pervert, but it was definitely the ultimate battle of the latex catsuits.

The various CGI monsters were much the same as before and as close to the ones in the console games as I remember them. I started playing the games when they first came out on the Playstation back in 1997, but, as I haven't played one since I came to America, I honestly can't remember what the last "Resident Evil" game or its monsters looked like. I'm sure the latest versions have been upgraded to be more like the movies and create a more effective tie-in though.

I'm not going to say a lot about the acting as it was perfectly acceptable. Everyone was overly stressed-looking and angry as usual with only a few chances to show more depth due to the flashbacks and clones. Michelle Rodriguez stood out the most in that respect and even managed to inject some humour into her brief alternative role.

Let's face it, the characters don't really matter all that much anyway. At their best, the "Resident Evil" films are only meant to be some fast-paced, mindless fun. In this case, the non-stop action really made things fly by, perhaps a little bit too quickly, but nothing was spoiled in the process. It was certainly a lot better than "Resident Evil: Afterlife" from two years ago.

Everything looked great, the various sets of different "holodeck"-style cities were very well done, but there was still no resolution to the story which looks as if it might just be coming in the next sequel. From previous experience, I doubt that even the next "Resident Evil" movie will be the last.

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