Resident Evil: Retribution is by far the weaker film of the franchise but not completely awful as I still enjoy watching Jovovich and her physicality with the role, kicking all sorts of butt and taking out zombies and monster creatures.
Resident Evil: Retribution
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction
Sony | R – 96 min. | November 17, 2020
Date Published: 11/22/2020 | Author: The Movieman
Sony Pictures provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.
THE MOVIE — 1½/5
Plot Synopsis: As Umbrella Corp.’s deadly T-virus continues to turn the world’s population into legions of flesh-eating zombies, Alice (MILLA JOVOVICH), the human race’s last hope, awakes deep within Umbrella’s secret operations facility. The further she delves into the complex, the more of her mysterious past is unveiled. Her global hunt for those responsible for the outbreak leads to a mind-blowing revelation; Aided by friends old and new, Alice fights to escape from a world on the edge of oblivion.
Review (from 2012): “…what’s with the S&M getup?” – Michelle Rodriguez as Good Rain.
That’s probably the most pertinent (and insightful) question posed, though never answered, in the latest in the shockingly long-running Resident Evil franchise entitled Resident Evil: Retribution, though I think the retribution part is geared more towards viewers than any villain or monster.
Truth be told, I’ve never been enamored with the Resident Evil series, partly because I’m not a fan of zombie movies outside of Dawn of the Dead (old and new) and Shaun of the Dead, plus I’ve never played the video game so there’s no connection on a source basis either. However, I did find the first movie relatively entertaining while the sequels were at least tolerable, if not forgettable. But with Retribution, writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson tries a bit too hard to bring back some fan favorite characters and in the process the plot becomes convoluted and even slightly confusing.
Outside of the plot, it just seemed like veteran franchise star Milla Jovovich looked like she was merely going through the motions. Yeah, she still looks good in the outfit and does a good job kicking ass (with props to her stunt double) yet you got the sense that she wasn’t on her game. That being said, I can’t fault her too much as she is going on 10 years with the character (and the variations) so with a potential sixth, and final, Resident Evil film in the works, she might be looking forward to moving on.
The supporting cast is decent and while the explanation for the return of some of them is lame (clones), I suppose it’s nice to see them back in any form. Michelle Rodriguez gets two parts, a good and bad, with the latter get the most work including a final fight sequence that shouldn’t even have happened if our heroes weren’t such dumb asses as she injects herself with the Las Plagas parasite giving her superhuman strength and invincibility (they had plenty of opportunity to shoot her before the injection). But Rodriguez, albeit in it for the paycheck, looked like was having a good time. Oded Fehr’s return is minimal and mostly thankless and probably more as a favor to the producer and/or director. And finally Boris Kodjoe is a breath of fresh air and I really wish he got a movie of his own.
On the plus side, I did think some of the visual effects were good, especially given the budget, the monsters were creative (if not recycled) and the score by “tomandandy” was excellent, in particular the opening title sequence ‘Flying Through the Air’ is well worth the $0.99 to download on Amazon.com or iTunes. And, of course, Jovovich looks great but that’s all superficial.
However, minor positives aside, the plot is pretty lazy, the cast didn’t look like they cared and it appears this franchise has run its course. It should be noted that Retribution does end on another cliffhanger and I only hope they once again open up the world more because this one felt closed in and felt like a video game with different challenge levels rather than a motion picture with a fluid three act structure.
2020 UPDATE: Watching it again after 8 years, my feelings about this installment remains the same. Guess I found it easier to watch after revisiting the franchise but still think the plot was weak, even by the standards of the series, and while I know it’s based on a video game, really wish the movie didn’t feel like one, even more so than the previous installments. Still like Jovovich in the role of Alice, in fact, and take this for what you will, is the strongest actor of the ensemble with Guillory turning in an especially awful performance (at least under the Umbrella Corp’s influence). Easily this is the weakest entry.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3¾/5
Released as part of the Resident Evil: Limited Edition Collection, the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs are housed in a digipak packaging with cardboard on the front and back and plastic hubs inside.
DISC ONE (4K ULTRA HD):
Evil Goes Global (5:39) – Shows off the global locales utilized in the film.
DISC TWO (BLU-RAY):
Deleted Scenes (12:35) – There are five scenes that for one reason or another were removed or cut down from the final release. None of them here are all that informative or would add to the story.
Outtakes (4:36) contain the standard line flubs, prop malfunctions and on-set antics.
Project Alice: The Interactive Database – With this feature, you can view clips and read various files and learn about the different characters from all the Resident Evil movies.
Maestro of Evil: Directing Resident Evil: Retribution (8:06) has cast/crew interviews with particular focus on director Paul W.S. Anderson. It’s mainly superficial stuff here.
Evolving Alice (6:50) is another behind-the-scenes featurette that covers the heroine throughout the franchise.
Resident Evil: Reunion (9:42) tackles the return of cast members (Michelle Rodriguez, Oded Fehr, etc.) who previously believed to be dead and how they came back for this installment.
Design & Build: The World of Resident Evil: Retribution (9:11) takes a look at the production and visual effects with the movie. It’s a bit more interesting than the others.
Drop (Un) Dead: The Creatures of Retribution (6:58) checks out the various creatures featured in the film going into the make-up and VFX for the mandible zombies.
Resident Stuntman (6:17) looks at the stunt work and the preparation involved to filming some of the fight sequences.
Code: Mika (5:34) – This featurette focuses on the “J Pop Girl” character played by Mika Nakashima for the Tokyo environment recreated from Afterlife.
Resident Evil: Retribution – Face of the Fan (3:17) features a young woman, who won a walk-on role by submitting a video for a casting call, and she takes us behind-the-scenes.
VIDEO – 4½/5
|Resident Evil: Retribution comes to 4K Ultra HD presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p high-definition transfer. This is the film’s debut in the format, at least in North America, and for the most part does look rather good, detail is relatively sharp and well defined throughout, colors do have a fine pop thanks to the HDR, however a fair portion of the film, as is the case with this franchise, outside of Extinction, takes place mostly in the dark. The black levels though is deep without appearing artificially crushed.|
AUDIO – 4½/5
The included Dolby Atmos track provides some nice depth for the action scenes, right from the start with a decent opening title sequence, while dialogue levels are strong coming out of the center channel and the remainder speakers getting usage for ambient noises as well as the score from the composing duo, Tomandandy.
OVERALL – 3½/5
, Resident Evil: Retribution is by far the weaker film of the franchise but not completely awful as I still enjoy watching Jovovich and her physicality with the role, kicking all sorts of butt and taking out zombies and monster creatures. The final scene wasn’t all bad, though doesn’t pay off in the next film, unfortunately.
The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.