December 18, 2012

Filthy Review - 'Resident Evil: Retribution'

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

Ever since the first Resident Evil movie, back in 2002, the series has moved away from the game franchise that spawned it, whilst ironically moving closer in some aspects. Realistically speaking the movie franchise, of with director/producer Paul W.S. Anderson pulls the strings, is an expansion of the gaming world taken in a new direction. Zombies are no longer the main threat, and appear in Retribution very rarely, with the ominous Umbrella Corporation continuing to be the uber-villian.

Resident Evil: Retribution is not a movie. Nope, it is actually a huge, big budget game in which we the viewer follow Alice (Milla Jovovich) through various levels, fighting enemies and culminating in spectacular boss fights, whilst also introducing, and re-introducing more characters from the games. Maybe this is Anderson’s, who returns as director, way of staying close to the gaming roots of the game series? I don’t know, but what I will say is that Retribution is a visual explosion that is less concerned with plot, instead offering up the viewer a slick looking action-based horror flick. And not to mention an incredibly loud movie. Seriously, this is the loudest movie I think I have ever seen. Just bang this sucker in your Blu-ray player, crank up the volume and prepare to have your eardrums shattered!

There is, of course, a plot here, but it is a thin one if I am being totally honest. We join Alice once again, who gives us a brief recap of the franchise so far, whilst beginning the action pretty much where 2010’s Afterlife left off. The plot delves more into Alice’s past and further examines the Umbrella Corporation’s exploitation of Alice herself, and the world itself.

Without spoiling anything, as I think the accompanying text for this movie is unfair, the film then plays out in ‘arenas’, which resemble cities across the world, as Alice attempts to thwart Umbrella’s diabolical plans.

Throughout the movie Alice encounters various characters, some of whom are friend, and some who were previously friends, all of whom gamers and fans of the movies will no doubt recognize. Leon S Kennedy, Barry Burton, Ada Wong, Jill Valentine and Albert Wesker are all here from the games, as well as returning characters from earlier movies, such as Rain and One.

Like I said, the plot here isn’t all that important because everything happens at such a frantic pace as we rush from scene to scene (or level to level) and get treated to some terrific fight scenes and other action-packed eye candy. Retribution is not a film of great substance, not that you would expect it, but it does manage to add in new elements, such as the C Virus, and actually move the bigger picture forward; if the closing scene is anything to go by we could be in for a quite spectacular sixth movie, when it no doubt arrives.

As a film this is a far more enjoyable experience than Afterlife was, as I felt that installment offered up absolutely nothing to the series, and whilst it isn’t perfect (can I have some zombies, please?), it is an action-packed way to spend an hour and a half.

The Blu-ray edition I watched was not the 3D version of the film, but the regular 2D edition, and it still looked absolutely terrific. This is a film that really benefits from being viewed in HD, with the action popping off the screen and looking quite gorgeous. Add into this the booming soundtrack and you have yourself a visual and audio gem. There’s also a fair few special features included, some of which are exclusive to the Blu-ray; such as 6 behind the scenes featurettes and some deleted and extended scenes.

Resident Evil Retribution is big dumb fun, no more, no less. If you haven’t been a fan of the movie franchise so far, I very much doubt this film will do much to change that, but as an action-packed blockbuster, that requires little-to-no brain engagement, you could do far worse.

Game over? I very much doubt it.

Resident Evil: Retribution is released on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD by Sony Home Entertainment on December 21st.

1 comment:

Maynard Morrissey said...

I'm a big fan of Milla and the RE franchise, but this one really disappointed me. Hated the dumb story, the cheap-looking CGI, the weak zombie design and all the annoying slow-mo scenes. I enjoyed Afterlife way more than this - well, my two cents :)