Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution 3D - The scoop and digest


Resident Evil on the big screen goes someway to butting heads in the popularity stakes with the groundbreaking Capcom survival horror franchise.

Adapting a video game to film is usually a bad idea but there are some exceptions and this is one of them, despite some serious biological absentees.

The Resident Evil equivalent of SkyNet, the Red Queen is unoriginal but nevertheless, a welcome addition.

I am not saying that these are the world’s greatest films but I suppose it’s one of my guilty pleasures.

For me, they’re a bit like Paranormal Activity, once you’ve seen one; you are drawn to the next like a moth to a light bulb.

Paul W.S. Anderson is once again in charge as throughout the years, two other directors have been at the helm in Alexander Witt (Apocalypse) and Russell Mulcahy (Extinction) but Anderson currently leads with three directorial efforts.

This is the fifth instalment and some people may call this Resident Evil 5 but I’d immediately say that only exists in pixels.

Various spoilers and/or plot details will be infected by the T-virus.

Those fighting against the undead horde and other deadly creations include:

Milla Jovovich – Alice
Michelle Rodriguez – Rain
Bingbing Li – Ada Wong
Sienna Guillroy – Jill Valentine
Kevin Durand – Barry Burton
Johann Urb - Leon S. Kennedy
Shawn Roberts - Albert Wesker

Alice gives a brief history of the horrors and her involvement in the T-virus, The Hive, Red Queen and Umbrella.

Titles roll while an imminent scene plays out in reverse and when it actually starts, this scene runs normally.

What is the point?

Anyway, suburban housewife ‘Alice’ wakes up and lives with husband Todd and deaf daughter Becky.  Apart from a stain on hubby’s fresh shirt, everything is fine but the tranquility is swiftly disrupted by an inconvenient zombie attack.

Hubby is killed but Alice and Becky escape to the streets and hitch a ride with Rain.  A truck has an argument with the car and wins, leaving Rain out for the count.

Alice is reunited with Todd but he is swiftly revealed to be no longer a member of the living, and attacks with a ‘gobby’ attack.

This ‘Alice’ is actually a clone created by Umbrella for virus simulation.

The film really starts when the real and scantily clad Alice (surprise, surprise) wakes up in an Umbrella facility, having been captured by brainwashed Jill.

When Jill asks her to reveal her identity, she punishes her each time she doesn't give the right answer with a shrill and ear shredding noise.

Shortly after, an unexpected power failure allows an opportunity for Alice to escape.  She grabs some nearby clothing and sets off to kick inevitable ass.

She emerges in ‘another’ country and uses a bike chain to smash a police car window where she conveniently helps herself to a firearm.

The street scene becomes bustling and when a suspicious looking lady reveals her hunger on an innocent, that triggers a zombie infestation.

With chain and gun in tow, she flees to a corridor where she shows her shit by giving many zombs hell.

One stupid thing about this fight is that a zombie actually looks in pain when its arm is broken.

Did the actor forget he was a zombie?

They don’t feel pain, have no understanding of danger and only become concerned with a well-placed bullet to the rotting brain and/or losing their head.

A bullet anywhere else is merely annoying to them.

Why is this, because they are DEAD, hence the term – UNDEAD.

They just grunt, snarl, moan and salivate over the opportunity of a new meal.

Anyway, that’s digressing and back to this ravaged apocalypse.

She meets with Ada and Wesker (who appears via a monitor).  It's revealed that she and Wesker are no longer associated with Umbrella.

It seems that Albert has shed his image as supreme Resident Evil bad guy and explains that the Red Queen will do whatever is necessary to wipe out mankind and prevent Alice from reaching the surface.

He aids their escape by deploying operatives to infiltrate the base and rescue the damsels in distress.

These include Leon and Barry, first introduced in gaming terms from Res Evil 2 and Res Evil respectively.

Alice is the only human to successfully fuse with the T-virus and is more important than an alien is to the bio weapons division.

It is questionable if Wesker can change his spots faster than a leopard so does the shade wearing slick have a darker agenda?

We learn that you aren’t where you think you are and these ‘countries’ are just simulations.

Those susceptible to Umbrella experiment attacks are actually based in the frozen regions of Moscow.

As the Red Queen gets more and more pissed off, she orders biohazards to attack and bring Project Alice and co down.

It’s up to the protagonists to ultimately resist such diabolical experiments and some inevitably do, some don’t.

For this outing, I assume that Anderson had a budget simply bursting with flavour as the structure, set pieces and special effects certainly don’t suggest otherwise.

Everything delivers the required punch and consequently the result is an enjoyable and rip rollicking ride.

After eventually reaching the surface, the climax ensues with Jill and evil Rain.

After Rain knocks out hostage Ada, Alice takes on Jill while Luther and Leon are left with biting into the shit sandwich of fighting the seemingly invincible Rain.

Shortly before, Rain injected herself with a Las Plagas parasite.

Why is it that in these types of films, no attempt is ever made to try and prevent a baddie becoming potentially unstoppable?

The choreography, fisticuffs and weapons used during this full on fight sequence is fairly impressive but the human form that Rain retains throughout is frankly tedious.

Jill is brought to her senses when Alice deprives her of the scarab beetle which the Red Queen used to control her.

For Rain, the danger is not above, but below as Alice breaks the ice and she becomes zombie nosh.

It’s an unsatisfying climax and the ending is more contrived and more obvious than a yearly FIFA update.

This Resident Evil is really no better or worse than previous outings and Alice doesn't really 'do' what we haven’t already seen her 'do' before.

The slo-mo kicking, cart wheeling and bullet play is becoming way too familiar.

It’s still no less fun watching her though.

The action is fairly constant, bullets fly and Alice kicks the ass with necessary panache.

In my opinion, the scene involving thousands of Alice and Becky clones hung like coat hangers on some kind of aerial conveyor belt is the most visually stunning scene.

Sounds a crazy thing to say but it’s true.

Despite the blood and gore, this is no more shocking than previous entries and as such, the idea of an 18 certificate remains on hold.

The extra dimension is wasted as Anderson seems perfectly comfortable to create the tired illusion of bullets and projectiles coming at ya.

It’s another one of those that could be easily enjoyed in 2D and just designed to squeeze extra cash from its infected fanbase.

The main problem again lies with the choice of monsters.

Zombies are always a given and there are only a few other types in a giant gorilla licker, La Plagas soldiers and Executioners.

Gamers will know that these giant axemen are lifted from the lamentable Resident Evil 5 and were already seen in previous film Afterlife so they don’t even count as new experiments.

I really do have to say that seeing these army types using heavy artillery and riding motorcycles just looks absolutely stupid.

Even the chainsaw wielding grunt can’t prevent the absurdity.

The rampaging licker is just an uber version of a type we saw in the very first film so remains incredibly lazy to me.

I really did think that when I saw the ice crack shortly before the end fight, I thought this was it; finally a huge bad ass monster worthy of a big screen effort.

Oh no, obviously far too much hassle.

Would it have broken their hearts for Rain to turn into some new and unseen beast, or failing that, just have a huge behemoth for the frustrated audience to gasp in awe over?

The Resident Evil universe boasts so many wonderful biological beasts; it is frankly embarrassing that they still can't introduce such a terror.

Or is it a case of can't or won't?

After all, if it’s good enough for a game, why not the movie.

Maybe it’s all been saved for the rumoured sixth and final film?

Who knows?

Before I wrap up this untidy present, I must mention Anderson’s apparent obsessions.

Firstly, why does he always have Milla hide her modesty using a mere apron.  It’s openly pathetic.

In addition, why are we chained to a life sentence of this anti-climatic and unimpressive camera zoom out?

Mr Anderson, it may have looked good the first time but let me introduce you to the word overkill…

Ladies and gents, it is ripping off time.

The suburban scene at the start involving the Alice clone really has to be hijacked straight from Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead.

Next, we have an interesting one as I can relate this to film and game.

During the end fight with invulnerable Rain, she deals various blows which show internal damage to organs displayed to the audience via x-ray vision.

This is not new and I believe the first film to feature such attacks was Romeo Must Die starring Jet Li.

From a gaming sense, you’ll automatically scream MK9 on PS3 and/or 360 but years before that, this was first seen in the relatively unpopular Samurai Shodown V Special by Yuki in 2004.

Hanzo and his fatality provides the proof.

I’m quietly confident that most won’t know that.

What follows is laughable.

Before this, please forgive me but Mr Anderson, you are officially an asshole.

When a gorilla licker kidnaps Becky, it’s immediately obvious that we all know she’s not going to die.

Anyway, Alice is on the kidnap trail and what does she find on the way, only a backpack covered in slime…

Hmmm, the rescue is complete when the egg sack imprisoning her is ripped open by our hearty heroine.

Well holy plagiarism Batman, if that’s not basically ripping off Cameron’s action classic Aliens then I’m the asshole.

The simple equation is backpack = locator and Becky = Newt.

I am unsure a) how he had the balls and b) how he got away with this.

Before I’m done, here is the craziest of the lot.

I’ll give Anderson and Shawn Roberts the benefit of the doubt as it’s so random, I can’t believe for one second it was done on purpose.

Wesker was portrayed by Jason O’Mara in Extinction and then Shawn Roberts wears the shades in Afterlife and again in Retribution.

I remember Roberts speaking in Afterlife and I’m fairly sure it’s now even more pronounced.

In my opinion, his voice has an uncanny resemblance to terrorist Charles Rane (Bruce Payne) from action vehicle Passenger 57, also starring Wesley Snipes.

If the next film is the last, why not employ Kate Beckinsale as some kind of baddie because can you imagine a bitch fight between her and Milla Jovovich?

Surely a dream match made in cat fight rhapsody.

Let’s face it, that’s more plausible than a long overdue Umbrella super weapon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2012-2017 Nukes and Knives™ All rights reserved.