Project Alice, (Milla Jovovich) is back. She is still unclear about whether or not she is the original Alice or a clone. She is not sure even if her life is real or a hologram. She does, however, remain steadfast and deadly in her purpose, to bring down the Umbrella corporation.
As fans of the series know, (and as Alice tidily sums up at the beginning of the film,) the Umbrella corporation accidentally released the toxic “T Virus” four films ago, turning most of the humans on the planet into manic, flesh-eating zombies.
Umbrella continues to experiment with mutating agents, on an army of clones like Alice and many freaky others. At first the corporations’ goal was to correct its mistake, but with the entire planet infected, their goal has now become the survival of the human species, whatever that becomes.
This endeavor they share with Alice, although she prefers to do it the old fashioned way, by killing everything that is already undead.
We say, “It’s the worst of the five, and that’s saying a lot.”
TAYLOR: I’ve seen all of the Resident Evil series, call it a guilty pleasure if you like. I love sci-fi and I love horror, particularly when involving the undead. So it makes sense that I would gravitate to such a franchise. The films have always been cheesy, fairly wooden acting, high grade “TV quality” effects. The plots are forwarded by paranoid corporate folly followed by shooting, slashing and mopping up their mess. It seems like a recipe for success.
HOWE: Yet Retribution fails to deliver on all fronts. The story or stories in this series seem to just keep going around and around: Alice wakes up, blasts the undead/mutants to smithereens, gets tricked and caught by the Umbrella Corp, blacks out, wakes up remembering very little, then it starts all over again. Talk about Groundhog Day.
TAYLOR: The films have always been bad, in a good way. Now I think they’ve run out of gas. Resident Evil: Retribution is boring. As you stated, the plot is always the same. Alice always has some new sidekick (traditionally performed terribly), the undead have some new version of themselves, or some new monsteritus, and “the boss” usually sits in a big leather chair wearing sunglasses, looking like a character in a video game. Retribution delivers on all fronts, complete with gnarly guns, kick flips and 3D blood splatter. But at this point, I have to ask, who cares?
HOWE: What special F/X? Bad CGI? The zombies looked like they are wearing cheap rubber Halloween masks and the 3D is non-existent. The acting was so bad, it made Nicolas Cage’s performance in Ghost Rider look like Oscar material.
TAYLOR: This film, like the others, is set up to introduce the next. Retribution seems to point at a big finale looming. Shame they didn’t just go straight to it.
Howe gives Resident Evil: Retribution 1 absent zombie dog out of 5.
Taylor gives it 1 paper napkin dress out of 5.
–– The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.
Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie critics living in Vernon, B.C.