Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Resident Evil: Retribution
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Based on: the video game series
Sequel to: Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Aryana Engineer, Bingbing Li, Boris Kodjoe, Johann Urb, Robin Kasyanov, Kevin Durand, Ofilio Portillo, Oded Fehr, Colin Salmon, Shawn Roberts
Seen on: 20.9.2022

Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up in a suburban home, married to Todd (Oded Fehr) with whom she has a daughter, Becky (Aryana Engineer). But Alice has learned to mistrust waking up in the familiar-feeling unfamiliar – and rightly so. She soon finds that she is in a Umbrella Corporation testing facility, together with Ada (Bingbing Li). A rescue troupe has been dispatched to get them out, but meanwhile they need to fight their way to them and then out.

Resident Evil: Retribution brings back plenty of familiar faces from the films so far and that’s pretty nice, but I honestly don’t understand what the Umbrella Corporation is doing anymore and this really hurts the film.

The film poster showing Alice (Milla Jovovich) in a skintight back suit with guns in her hands standing front of helicopters and explosions.

The scripts for these films so far haven’t really been exemplary when it comes to logic. Really, one has to wonder about the reasoning and practices of the Umbrella Corporation from the very start. But until this point, this has never become a narrative issue. Even if the explanations were flimsy, they were sufficient. Not so in this installment. I freely admit that it was fun to revisit moments and characters from the previous films, but if you consider the why of the testing facility for even a second, it just doesn’t add up. I mean, it’s perfectly understandable that the Umbrella Corporation would want to test stuff. But I really didn’t get what they were testing and why they’d need those particular set-ups to test it.

So, the Umbrella Corporation is less of a foe for Alice in this film and more of a filmmaker’s wish fulfillment factory, always with an eye on what the audience might find cool, and less on what actually makes sense within the narrative . And it bothered the shit out of me.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) and Ada (Bingbing Li) standing in a Umbrella corporation facility.

The rest of the film is absolutely what you’ve probably come to expect of the entire series, nothing more, nothing less. The film doesn’t outdo any of the others, I think, but it can keep the level of the action scenes. If you’re missing something a little more creative, something a little unexpected here, you’re not the only one.

In any case, there is only one more film to go and that’s probably a good thing. I’ll watch it, and then I’ll probably never touch anything Resident Evil related ever again.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) standing over a pile of dead bodies, gun in hand.

Summarizing: I don’t really have anything left to say about these films and they don’t have anything to say, either.

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