Lo and behold the latest chapter in the live-action Resident Evil film series. After, what, four previous attempts you would have thought that the director would have learnt his lesson. Unfortunately the critical flak has clearly not registered. At this point I don’t think I need to tell you how bad this trash heap is, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
The story picks up immediately where Afterlife left off and shows the Arcadia coming under attack by the Umbrella Corporation. After waking up in an underwater base, Alice has to find her way out with the help of some cosplayers who somehow made their way into the story. What follows is a mishmash of loosely connected action sequences as Alice is pursued by the brainwashed Jill Valentine and along with a group of clones of characters from the previous four films, which get absolutely no characterization and contribute little if anything to the overall story. After all this it concludes with a disappointing 2-3 fight between the survivors and the main villains which is as unsatisfying as the rest of the film.
The special effects in this film don’t add very much to the film and are generally not all the great to look at. The big axe guys make a re-appearance, but they are far less scary than they were Resident Evil 5 and are beaten in a mildly anti-climactic manner which doesn’t help. The zombie effects are along the same lines as they were in the previous films, unscary, unrealistic, and…that’s about all you can say for them. Now the Licker deserves special mention because it is an absolute joke. How anyone believed that it would pass as realistic, given the quality of the effects, is just beyond me. I have to ask where the budget went to cause the visuals to look so cheap that they are almost painful to look at.
The acting does not do anything for the film either. Milla Jovovich returns as Alice who is just as cynical and apathetic as she was in the previous film, barely batting an eye as people die around her. Sienna Guillory is back for the first time since Apocalypse to reprise her role as Jill Valentine and is if possible even worse than before. Boris Kodjoe is also back from the previous film as Luther West and is just about the same as he was before. Several other faces from the previous films are also back through cloning. The problem is they don’t get any characterization so you could easily replace them with any old faceless minion and the story would stay the same. On top of this is an entire supporting cast of cosplayers who are nothing like the characters they are imitating. However, this film series was never one for doing the franchise any justice so at this point complaining about the characters being nothing like they are in the games has almost turned into a cliche.
So how does this fair up? It doesn’t. The entire film will leave even the most ardent fans with a sour taste in their mouth long before the credits roll over. This is because Retribution is lazily written, poorly acted, and features pathetic visual effects. This is nothing more than a cheap and nasty blotch on the horror genre which is unworthy of the Resident Evil name.