I have come to the conclusion that the apocalyptic world Paul W.S. Anderson has created in his Resident Evil franchise is exactly how he wants the world to be. Every movie he makes pushes humanity closer and closer to the brink of evolving into monstrous, CGI-animated creatures.
With Resident Evil: Retribution, Anderson, who not only wrote and directed the movie but also slept with star Milla Jovovich, the lucky bastard, reminds me how the man ran out of ideas years ago. Now that the world has been destroyed multiple times over, Anderson literally goes back to square one and inserts Alice (Jovovich) into a computer simulation so that she can relive experiences from past movies. The bad guy who I thought died in the last movie is back, as is the Red Queen. Actors from yesteryear have returned as well, though they are shells of their former selves.
The Resident Evil franchise is a curious one, because none of the movies (with, maybe, exception to the first one) are particularly good, but they serve as mindless entertainment nonetheless. Resident Evil: Retribution is just more of the same, which is good or bad depending on how you look at it. It's stupid, it's cheesy and doesn't make much sense, but fans who just want more of Milla Jovovich running around in black tights could do a lot worse.
In relative terms, the action is pretty decent, as are the special effects. The final fight sequence is ludicrously over the top - it goes for way too long and every punch seems to inflict a broken bone - but it is satisfyingly brutal. The opening action sequence is a nice touch, too.
Still, Resident Evil: Retribution establishes how Anderson has exhausted this franchise. The last few movies were silly and repetitive, but they at least made an effort to add a unique spin to whatever story was being told. By reverting to what is essentially a Holodeck - coupled with cloning as a cheap solution to bring back formerly dead cast members - Resident Evil: Retribution is just more of the same, and a shadow of its former self.I'll end this review with a motivational quote: only you can look inside yourself and say whether another battle with the Umbrella Corporation is worth it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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