Saturday, 13 April 2013

HFA Review No. 3 - Resident Evil: Retribution

A review I did for the site Horror Fans Asylum Reviews.

Hello everyone and welcome to the Horror Fans Asylum Reviews website. If you have unwittingly stumbled into the Asylum it is now too late for you, the doors are already locked! I have once again been let out of the Asylum for a couple of hours to go and see another horror film which I must mull over for this weeks review. For the uninitiated, my name is Michael and if you wish to hear any more incoherent rambling from me, you can usually find me at my Left Field Films blog. Or alternatively, at my Facebook page.

“Resident Evil: Retribution” (2012) was written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Milla Jovovich continues her role as “Alice”, who wakes up to find herself in the Umbrella Corporation’s main testing facility situated under frozen water in Russia.

Well, this isn’t exactly where the film starts.

The film begins on a boat where Alice is in the middle of a gun battle involving Umbrella soldiers and helicopters. She jumps off the boat to avoid an explosion and suddenly wakes up in a bed. She seems to be living in suburbia where she has a husband (Oded Fehr, who was the character “Carlos” in earlier films) and a daughter called Becky (Aryana Engineer). Suddenly they are attacked by zombies who kill the husband, but Alice and Becky manage to make it out of the house. The street is in chaos, reminiscent of a scene at the beginning of 2004′s “Dawn of the Dead”. They are saved by a passing woman in a car (Michelle Rodriguez, who also starred in a previous film as the character “Rain”), but unfortunately while they are making their escape, the car is hit by a truck.

This is when Alice actually wakes up in the Umbrella lab. She is being detained in a holding cell where she is being interrogated by a brainwashed Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), and every time she doesn’t answer she is tortured by a loud, piercing noise. Someone hacks into Umbrella’s security and shuts it down, allowing Alice to escape from her cell. The guards and Jill seem to shut down at this point as if they are linked to the system as well.

She makes it out of a door where she suddenly finds herself in the streets of a deserted Tokyo, but there are still cars around and the lights are even still flashing on the police cars. It starts raining and people come out of nowhere. A zombie in the crowd bites a passer by and the infection quickly spreads to other people, forcing Alice to go back into the Umbrella labs.

After killing lots of zombies, she makes it to the main security room where she finds some guns and bumps into an old acquaintance and enemy Ada Wong (Bingbing Li). She tells Alice she no longer works for Umbrella but is now helping Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts).

Wesker appears on a TV monitor and asks for Alice’s help. There is apparently something else happening that is more threatening than the Umbrella Corporation. He then goes on to tell her that she is in a  giant testing facility where Umbrella have recreated key cities around the world that are only a few square miles in size. They populate these areas with clones and can test any situation possible in the case of a T-Virus outbreak.

No one has ever escaped this facility which is now run by the Red Queen (the computer program from the first film), and it will stop at nothing to hinder Alice’s escape. Also hot on her tail is Jill Valentine and a team of bad ass clones of people from other movies (Michelle Rodriguez as well as others). So Wesker sends a crack squad to assist her, who are mostly recognisable from the games. The most recognisable are Leon S. Kennedy and Barry Burton (pretty much instantly recognisable really).

What follows is plenty of over the top action, each city they pass through is just another good excuse to throw in plenty of baddies that look exactly the same as they do in the games. And Alice uncovers some secrets about herself in the process.

As usual I have kept out a lot of the plot so not to spoil too much of the film for you.

Milla Jovovich gives you a brief summary of what has went on in the films story wise so you can try and make sense of the whole thing. I really still don’t have a clue exactly what’s going on, the plot is just plain incomprehensible. I have seen every Resident Evil film but I really don’t think I can tell you what’s going on (the same goes for the games as well), all I can remember is certain action scenes from each film in the series. Though the main reason I kind of enjoy these films is because you can basically go into auto pilot and just enjoy the action, and I can assure you there’s a LOT of action!
Another niggle is that the characters look too much like they do in the games. Ada Wong spends all the film jumping around in a dress, Leon looks like he just walked out of Resident Evil 4, and Barry has just stepped out of the original game. While I applaud the attention to detail on that part, the characters look like people going to a fancy dress party or a convention. It just looked a bit silly and out of place.

I liked the premise of them being in the main testing facility. It was a good excuse to throw in as many monsters as they could from the games.

I was a bit hesitant to review this film as it is more of an action movie, but hey, it has zombies and other creatures in it though it isn’t exactly scary (for those reasons anyway). I’ve always enjoyed the films for what they are, and I just switch my brain off and go along for the ride. This was actually one of the better sequels.

I give this film 3 needles out of 5.

Thanks to everyone for reading. I hope to see you in the Asylum for the foreseeable future! Mwahahahaha!


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