To give you an idea as to what sort of a movie Resident Evil Retribution is, I must mention that in one scene, Michelle Rodriguez absorbs a whole magazine of machine gun bullets, and slowly excretes them out of her fingers. Such is the subtle brilliance of Paul WS Anderson’s latest Milla Jovovich annual salary.
It’s hard to call Resident Evil Retribution the worst movie of the franchise because apart from the first one, every subsequent film has been terrible in its own unique way. But one thing is for sure - those who thought that the franchise couldn’t possibly get worse than the previous entry Afterlife are in for a jaw dropping surprise. What’s more, it comes in 3D that guarantees your eyes turn as red as the zombies’ pupils in the movie.
The ‘story’ picks up immediately after the events of Afterlife, where Alice (Jovovich) is bracing for an epic gunbattle from a horde of Umbrella Corp soldiers swooping down from helicopters to shoot the shit out of everything. Turns out that Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory from the second movie) is now blonde, bustier and is being controlled by the big bad corporation to eliminate Alice. After about 90 minutes of Alice shooting the shit out of everything to remain alive, we are told that Umbrella in fact needs Alice alive for her help – the point where you reach out for a shotgun to shoot the shit out of Anderson. In any case logic and common sense doesn’t matter because in the final act Anderson just gives up on his own movie and proceeds to borrow scenes from James Cameron’s Aliens.
The only decent bit in the film is the slow motion opening sequence played out in reverse, and you begin to wonder if the fifth Resident Evil movie has something new and interesting to offer. All those hopes are quickly dispelled when the sequence just repeats itself and Jovovich breaks the fourth wall and droningly recites all the boring bits from the previous four movies as if they matter. It would be a spoiler to mention how the characters of Michelle Rodriguez, Guillory and Oded Fehr return despite dying earlier in the franchise, but the explanation makes the Punar Janm concept from 80’s Bollywood movies seem more believable.
Without a doubt, we would get at least two more sequels and the goodwill that Anderson garnered from the excellent Event Horizon will continue to recede. In fact Anderson has made a bad enough film to confirm that the Rage Virus from 28 Days Later originated in a movie theater playing Resident Evil Retribution.
(First published in MiD Day)