Rickly's Review - Resident Evil: Retribution (Spoiler-Free)
Paul Anderson has made it a habit to get his wife, Milla, leathered up and performing all sorts of stunts in freeze-frames, while beating fiends and monsters mercilessly. Now, having breath life into the Resident Evil franchise...the couple go at it again. I'm talking about the movie, of course...
..Milla Jovovich goes at it again...in slow-motion and 3-D...so do the monsters, as well as the box-office, stand a chance?
Milla sets off early on with her usual kick-ass and ask questions later modus operandi as the film picks up from Afterlife with the Redfields and Alice at the mercy of the Umbrella Corporation. The Redfields are given a strange sort of treatment in this film as it quickly boils down to Wesker and the Red Queen hammering things out with Alica as the pawn. I won't spill anything here but it's highly ludicrous and no doubt obvious how the film would end...after watching the first 10 minutes. Milla's looks no doubt, and her flexibility as Alice, have sold more tickets than Kate Beckinsale's tight bosom at the box-office, so when you throw in some more hotties from the video-game franchise, I think fanboys would be hoping for the best.
Sad to say, the wooden performances of the cast, especially Milla, helps the franchise regress as this turns out to be one of the worst movies in an already flailing franchise. Anderson has a knack for assembling an ensemble of model-like people in these films but the thing is...there's no chemistry on-screen as these guys are nothing short of robotic. Sienna Guillory is only there to look sexy (and she does it immaculately) but her role is as trite and wasted as Johann Urb's portrayal of Leon. You'd think these 2 would be orchestrated well...but there's a drone-like attitude in the cast...and it's nothing that sparks on-screen.
Further fizzling is Michelle Rodriguez as Rain and Kevin Durand as Barry Burton, as both manage mediocre performances at best. The film's climax is a disaster of a finale and I shudder for those who spend the money in 3-D. With this cast, there was potential. Forget how iffy the previous films were. This film could have been what Justin Lin did to reinvigorate the last two Fast and Furious movies but Anderson's script and his hiring template continues to disappoint. The movie's pacing and its hazard of a score help cultivate a feel that the production team is just simply out of ideas, imagination and original, fresh creativity. It's like they recycled the previous movies and tried to pick the best action sequence from each to throw in here and muster some 'oohs...and aahs'. The atrocious dialogue is testament to that...and when the script boils down to a simple 'Rescue Alice' mission, it's a hugely demoralizing feel as a cinema-goer. This movie feels like it was written and directed...very lazily! The 3-D effects, much like the fight sequences, are shoddy at best and never seem near rousing. There's no jaw-dropping moment, no twist or turns...and nothing that adds value to the plot. This is one of the most mundane flicks ever...and I've seen better Saturday night SCYFY features than this. That says it all.
I think they thought they were making a trailer for a video-game because Anderson simply filled his movie, yet again, with style and no substance. If this is his and Milla's legacy, then who am I to bicker with the box-office bucks. Maybe the next film would resuscitate hope but Wesker's plans and Alice's attempt to foil the end of humanity leaves a convoluted ending that offers no resolution, but the same formulaic teaser that Anderson so gratuitously offers every single time. He even tried a 'Tom Cruise' move to make Alice more family-oriented, and that element fell flat on its face. If you like a barrage of wanton violence, no cohesive plot or acting, explosions and a flood of bodies and debris, a sigh that none of the movie's hot girls even do a nude scene to just make up for the crap in front your eyes and that dubstep feel when the cavalry comes to 'save the day'...then this just may be the film for you.
But me, I gave this the benefit of the doubt when I saw the players they were using this film around, and boy...was I shocked. I knew they could go bad...but they really went terrible with this film. The 'climactic ending' says it all...
Rating = F (and I use that letter loosely here)...
Cheers...here's looking toward Judge Dredd
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