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on 24 December 2012
Question, What is worse than a Paul Anderson book?

Answer, A Paul Anderson movie.

I have never felt the need to write a review of a movie before, and just hate people who write reviews of ones that haven't even been released yet.

But this was such purile dross that I was left wondering how I would ever get back the hour and a half of my life I wasted watching it.
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on 4 February 2013
Resident Evil films are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I've been a fan of both the games and the films since their respective debuts. I even liked the slightly goofy Resident Evil: Extinction. But the latest in the series; Resident Evil: Retribution had me watching in despair and disbelief the entire time. So, where to start...

How about the terrible acting from almost the entire cast? I never thought I'd see the day where the famously wooden voice acting from the original games is more emotive than actual actors playing them on screen. Mila Jovovich does her usual robotic schtick as Alice, Sienna Guillory is equally as robotic, Michelle Rodriguez could have phoned in her "tough chick" character, the actor playing Wesker is hammier than a butcher's shop and new characters Leon Kennedy and Barry Burton are played just as badly. I almost wonder if they were intentionally paying tribute to the games and their wooden character voices and animations.

As for the story? Well it's basically a slap in the face to both fans of the game series AND the previous films. It's so full of plotholes, series continuity clangers and non-sequiturs that it's hard to invest anything at all into the plot. Considering Retribution directly follows Afterlife, why is Wesker suddenly a "good guy" trying to fight the things he was responsible for? Why is there a huge Licker monster? Why does the "Las Plagas" virus result in Nazi/Communist/Stormtrooper zombies? Why am I still watching? The whole thing is a mess from start to finish and it feels like one large excuse for the director to blow things up and show off how good his wife looks in a PVC catsuit.

I suppose the effects are alright, but when your film is 90% SFX and 10% everything else you're definitely doing something wrong. It might have worked as a B-movie, a Grindhouse-style movie or even as an ironically self aware nod to the charming rubbishness of the original generation of the game series but as it is, it's too slickly produced and reliant on SFX, CGI and 3D nonsense. It's hugely self-indulgent on the part of Paul WS Anderson and he seems to have forgotten about what made the first three films work. And if I have to watch the cheesy "Laser Grid" sequence again (I notice it's shown or recapped in every RE film) I will punch my DVD player and eat the disc. Hey Paul, it wasn't that great when I first saw it.

I never usually give one star ratings to anything as I try to find redeeming features in most things. However Resident Evil: Retribution is a film best forgotten completely. It doesn't work as a big-budget action film. It doesn't work as a b-movie action film. It doesn't work as a horror film. It doesn't work as Sci-fi. It doesn't work as a video game adaptation. It's an insult to even the most casual Resident Evil fan and it's an insult to a non-gamer who might just have been a fan of the films. Paul WS Anderson has taken a license with massive potential to be a great horror series and driven it at full speed into a reinforced steel wall. I've never seen a film fail on so many levels and if you have any shred of self-respect you'll spend two hours smashing your head against a table than watch this abomination.
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on 18 October 2013
Can someone please explain how this film gets five stars from some people? We are all entitled to our own tastes of course but good grief this film is appalling. Four of us watched it, two had the good sense to fall asleep, the other two had the deep misfortune of watching the entire debacle - sadly one was me.

Now I have quite liked some of the others in the series, and am happy with all action no brainers from time to time. But this is dismal. Plot? No none what so ever - utterly irredeemably plotless. Acting? Wow possibly the worst collective case of wood rot I have ever seen- truly terrible. Action? Yes relentless, from start to finish, it's like watching a series of weird random big set pieces randomly thrown together with nothing to connect them. Character? Ha ha ha. Picture quality and 3d? Actually pretty good in truth, but the film itself is so awful it would have been better if it was black screen and 0d.

The trailer makes this look like the ideal Resident Evil - please do not fall for that, it is simply utterly awful. The two of us that stayed awake are traumatised - one of the worst films ever - in fact possibly the worst film I have ever seen.
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on 20 January 2013
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on 7 January 2013
Well its been said that these films get better each installment, Not true,
Original Resident Evil was a very good zombie flick
Part 2 was a bit ropey to say the least.
3rd part was just diabolical trash with awful fight choreography & the actors were just going through the motions.
Part 4 had one standout scene which was the fight between Wesker & Chris & that was completely ripped off Resident Evil 5 game.

And now Retribution, I am so sick of Mila & her woeful acting I mean, yes! She's a bonny lass for an anorexic but damb. The lead in all five films? Come on, there's got to be an end to this garbage. Apparently not as long as idiots like myself keep going out in the vain hope that they manage to capture some of the magic they had with the original. But hey, What can I say I'm a sucker for zombies.
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on 10 November 2013
So this is the second review I am writing because Firefox has a tendency to crash exactly when you are writing reviews on amazon - maybe this has something to do with the reviewer being a college student who has 200 tabs open and should be studying instead of watching and reviewing movies, but I digress. Either way, remaining sane after such an event takes a tremendous amount of will power, let me tell you that.

But anyways. Where to begin? Oh, I know where - this film is so ridiculously over the top that there isn't even a story anymore, merely a series of arenas for the protagonists to kick some ass in and entertain the audience for 85 minutes before exiting the area and winning the game...err...ending the film. That's right - that's all it has boiled down to. There's a suburban arena, a Tokyo arena, an NYC arena, a Berlin arena that isn't shown (let me guess...Nazi zombies), a Moscow arena and a submarine pen that ultimately leads out of the Umbrella facility located in Kamchatka, Russia. Of course, Alice is trapped here (along with some Chinese dragon lady) and needs to be rescued by a couple of guys who drive there in a snowcat and, for the film to have a sense of urgency, conveniently place a single pack of explosives at the facility's ventilation outlet and set it on a 2 hour timer (shame the film itself is a mere 85 minutes) before embarking on their search and rescue mission. And because there is no story present, a cheap way of milking the franchise even more than it already has been is making use of Umbrella's cloning facilities and bringing characters back to life from previous Resident Evil movies such as Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez), Carlos Oliveira (Oded Fehr) and One (Colin Salmon) to give some flair on the bad guys' side of the shooting compared to your usual masked grunts, finally explaining their miraculous presence in the movie's trailers. Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) is back as well, but not in her characteristic black hair and blue tank top, nope, now she is blonde and mind controlled with a big red, metallic spider latched to her chest. (It takes ten minutes of fighting for Alice to realize that yanking it off is how you defeat her.) And guess who is controlling all of them? The Red Queen, now hell-bent on destroying the remnants of humanity with her legions of zombies, Umbrella clones and flying mutants that I swear were ripped from one of Starcraft II's CGI trailers. And who is the leader of the good guys? Why Albert Wesker of course, who has made himself comfortable in the Oval Office that has now become the place for humanity's last stand against the zombie onslaught. Oh and the Licker makes a comeback too, but of course this time it's not the Licker, or the Uber-Licker, no, it's the super-duper-mega-giant-uber Licker. Couple that with the return of the zombie giant from the previous Resident Evil film (who has brought some of his buddies along as well) and there you have it - a fifth installment in a series that has been going downhill since film #3, and has undoubtedly reached rock bottom with this one.

The protagonists look airbrushed and clean as if they were action figures that had only recently been removed from shrink wrap, or studio actors who had just stepped out of the shower instead of rugged, dirty survivors of a zombie apocalypse. And the zombies themselves - the defining focal point of the entire genre - merely look like actors wearing makeup instead of grovelling undead, probably because the environments they are fighting in this time around are too bright and well lit, and the zombies themselves are no longer the classic and distinctive, shuffling undead from the first two films. And you know the series has reached a new low when they can't even get the zombies right. Now they are driving motorbikes and military 4x4s and firing machine guns. I guess that passes for cool in the mindset of a 2012 audience with the attention span of a goldfish. Nevermind Michelle Rodriguez, who now injects a virus into herself to become an undead superheroine.

The reason the Resident Evil franchise has been declining is perhaps because they are now trying to stick more and more to the video game franchise of the same name. Except what the director doesn't get, is that there is a fundamental difference between film and video game - it shouldn't take ten years of film school to realize this. Things that are fun in a video game do not necessarily translate well onto the big screen. Whatever sense of realism the series had, died at the end of the second movie, and now the franchise has moved well past zombies and has boiled down to Kung-Fu style boss fights. Maybe it is because they have already shown everything there is to show, that they somehow feel compelled to keep raising the bar with every film. What has been sacrificed (read: gutted) along the way is the atmosphere. Resident Evil: Retribution isn't scary. It isn't bone-chilling. The undead are mere cannon fodder working as filler between boss fights.

However, all this doesn't so much as faze the director at all - Paul W.S. Anderson's formula of milking the franchise still seems to work, given the film's revenue ($240 million) and budget ($65 million) - that's all he is ultimately interested in. And two more films are planned, one bringing the Alice story arc to its conclusion (if you are going to believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you and some land in Florida, to boot). A 1, out of 5 stars, for the special effects. This film isn't even about zombies anymore, it's merely about stunts. They should make a new genre called stunts where films throw away all story and character development and merely become a 90 minute reel showing off the studio's CGI and stuntmen doing their best. I bet people would still go to those movies and this latest installment in the Resident Evil series makes a fine first in that new genre indeed.
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on 8 February 2017
This is the weakest entry to the series sure, but it’s certainly no less entertaining than the others.

It was nice to see many cast members from the first two films return, all playing against their original roles. First we have Sienna Guillory back as Jill looking completely different (although dressed no less skimpy) who is under mind control by Umbrella. Then we get Colin Salmon, Oded Fehr and Michelle Rodriguez return as evil clones of One, Carlos and Rain. Rodriguez and Fehr along with Jovovich get to play clones as regular people living in the suburbs, with Alice and Carlos as a married couple with a deaf daughter.

But just like my problem with Afterlife nothing really happens to push the story forward apart from a cool setup for the Final Chapter at the end. While the visuals are pretty I will it looks a little too clean for a post-apocalyptic movie, it makes sense since the whole movie takes in the Umbrella facility with simulated locations but personally I wanted to see more of the outer locations.

Many of the additional characters such as Leon (Johann Urb) and Ada (Li Bingbing) were clearly there just as fan-service for the game players, as non-gamer myself it was still very noticeable to me. They’re not awful but I didn’t like that they came pretty much at the expense of Chris and Claire.

Alice’s relationship to her ‘daughter’ Becky is clearly supposed to be an homage Ripley and Newt from Aliens. There’s a scene that’s a direct homage which kind of feels out of place, where Becky is captured by a Licker and which traps he in goo for pretty much no reason and Alice is rescues her with ease. But for what it’s worth Aryana Engineer is pretty talented for a young actress, so much so that they rewrote the character as partially deaf as Engineer is in real life.

We all have our guilty pleasures and there’s no shame in that, after all we all prefer good food but we still like going to our preferred fast-food chain. The Resident Evil films are my McDonalds. There’s no doubt these are bad films, they make no sense but they entertain me so much, I could watch them all back-to-back with a six pack and a batch of junk food and enjoy Milla Jovovich fighting zombies and monsters with over-stylised action, her interchangeable sidekicks, pretty locations and bad one-liners. And the day would be over before I know it.

To make it clear, I've never played the games; therefore I look at these as just movies in their own right and not as video-game adaptations. It certainly doesn’t matter if you played the games or not since the films all focus on a character, Alice, whom doesn’t exist in the games, and the characters from the games appear as supporting roles to Alice’s story.
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on 3 October 2012
The film begins from where the fourth film ended. Alice and the gang are on a boat fighting it out but people get captured and things get a bit messy. The opening to the film was spectacular and really eye catching. This part of the film is shown in reverse, in slow motion, which was really interesting. I don't watch many 3D films but this was one I was willing to pay the extra for, which is proven right at the beginning of the film. The 3D here was fantastic. Then, the scenes are sped up and put back into the right order, letting the audience know what is going on.

I completely love Milla Jovovich who has played Alice from the first film. She is a strong and interesting character who seems to be able to develop and adapt to each new situation she is put in. In this film, she is leather clad throughout which makes her look even more kick ass than she has done in the previous films. However, in this film we get to see a softer side to Alice due to certain things that happen. I thought that this was going to be one film just full of action and killing but there is more to it than that. Jovovich always gives an amazing performance and this film is no exception to the rule.

After seeing the trailer for this film, I was aware that characters from past films were being brought back in... even if they had previously died. This was the one part of the film I was desperate to find out about as I knew there was no way that they could just bring people back to live. The way that these characters are brought back is very interesting and not quite what I was expecting. Umbrella is a huge company and can pretty much do what they like... and they have. I loved having Rain back who is played by Michelle Rodriguez. Although I don't always like her as an actress, I do like her in these films and she is fantastic in this one. There are twists with the old characters but really good twists.

The action is exactly what you would expect from a RE film. There are plenty of big fight scenes which are both elaborate and simple at different times. There are normal zombies, evolved zombies and some big ass scary things. There are humans fighting each other and humans fighting the zombies. Really, this film covers everything in regards to action. There are car chases, explosions and lots of running from things. The action and fight scenes are the things that I love the most about RE films as they are always so exciting. Retribution doesn't let down the franchise at all when it comes to this.

The plot was a little simple for my liking, as the film is set in one place the whole time. However, the film does set things up nicely for the next film which will probably be the last with Alice as the main character or the last film completely. I think that the plot was left somewhere really good which gives a lot of room for things to happen in the next film. There is no certainty of what could happen though which I like as it means the next film will be a complete surprise again.
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on 30 September 2012
The film starts with the end of the fourth movie being played backwards in slow-motion, then forward at normal speed. This kills about five minutes of viewing time and is a very lazy way to do a recap. Was it necessary? No, not really, maybe Paul W. S. Anderson spent so much on that scene last time he thought he'd get his money's worth by using it again. After this we see snippets from each of the other four films in a Minority Report (iPad) style narration by Milla, so ten minutes in and the film hadn't actually started.

If you've seen any of the other films then you'll know what to expect, If not, you're not really missing out on anything. That's not to say they are not enjoyable, if you want a safe, solid, completely OTT sci-fi action flick with big explosions, big guns, big monsters, rugged heroes, slinky girls, evil baddies, mean stares, furrowed brows, muscles and grunting, this is it.

In each film they try and explain some pointless plot, this is laughable as the plot is not the reason to watch these films (see the points above). If there was less plot there would be less holes and less reasons to fail each time. If I wanted plot I'd watch something with 'actors' and 'dialogue' (meow!).

This is one of the better ones in the series, when the film does start we have an almost identical shot-by-shot re-enactment of the Dawn Of The Dead remake (which I liked, since I liked the DOTD remake). We have Milla playing Ripley from Aliens, giving her some kind of emotional connection and purpose. Also, this is a 3D film where I actually noticed the 3D in some places, second only to Avatar (OK and maybe some bits of Tron, but I'm trying to erase Tron from my memory).

If you're looking to lose yourself for a couple of hours and come out unscarred, this could be it.

*** Rant *** Spoilers *** Rant *** Spoilers *** Rant *** Spoilers ***

I tried to ignore the 'plot' but they made a point of it... So, the Umbrella Corporation have a massive undersea facility where they can replicate major city centres from around the world. They replicate Times Square and show the outbreak to sell their virus to the Russians, they replicate an outbreak in Moscow and sell the virus to the Americans. They fill these city centres with human clones and give them some memories to make them care about stuff. If the Umbrella Corporation has the ability to create a Holodeck type environment on a large scale AND have the ability to create fully functioning human clones wouldn't they have a market to sell this technology to the world instead of some virus to kill everyone?

We learn in the third one (which is essentially Mad Max followed by Day Of The Dead) that most of the worlds population has been wiped out by the virus outbreak in the first film. So who are they actually selling the virus to? I guess we have some evil corporation being evil for the sake of it.

Also, no undead mutant dogs - disappointed!
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on 28 December 2012
What can I say but 4 movies in and they get better all of the time? Brilliant quality, great extras, innovative 3d
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