a critiQal film review Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Plot: The human race’s last and only hope, Alice (Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella's most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true.

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Milla Jovovich reprises her role yet again in the latest film in the horror-game-turned-movie-series franchise, Resident Evil: Retribution. Since this is the 5th film in the live-action series, fans may be starting to wonder if this series has anything left.

With the trailer hinting at some old favorites returning (despite having died in previous films) and a view of Alice as suburban housewife (!), I definitely wanted to find out if this latest film would manage to keep the franchise alive and kicking….or drive it straight into the ground. So, when I spotted it available on Blu-Ray at a local redbox® kiosk, I had to give it a try.

Milla has managed, throughout all 5 films, to really embrace her character of Alice, and that solid portrayal continues with Resident Evil: Retribution. Her Alice is still a high point of the films, and the big reason why this series continues to have a following even now.

The plot this time around manages to incorporate a lot of characters from previous films, including Michelle Rodriguez (“Rain”), Colin Salmon (“One”) and many more. It’s a nice “thank you” to fans that have watched the entire series, and really gotten into the characters. It also helps bring up a bit of a nostalgia factor, as the characters bring up memories of the previous films.

Also, fans of the games will be happy to know that Leon S. Kennedy, one of the major players of the games, is finally introduced in this film, as is Ada Wong, albeit in roles that are overshadowed (of course) by Alice.

Unfortunately, like the previous film, Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), the storyline, despite some strong characters, seems to be more about making an exciting 3D film, rather than an exciting thriller. While this has improved a bit over the previous film, the storyline in span id=”movee”>Resident Evil: Retribution is a bit hard to follow.

Unfortunately, that means that despite all the strong characters, this makes for a less-than-expected excitement factor to this latest film. Instead of exploring the new themes that are presented in depth, it skips quickly from one theme to the next. That means the film loses a bit of it’s connectivity, and degenerates a bit from a cohesive unit to just a series of action sequences, mixed with a whole mess of gore.

While the action sequences are entertaining, this “reunion” film isn’t as good as I was hoping, and still nowhere near the impressiveness of the original Resident Evil (2002), it’s still worlds better than the worst of the series, Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004).

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