Monday, November 5, 2012

Cinema Junk: Resident Evil: Retribution

*SPOILERS* As a warning, there are spoilers in this review. More to accent the pure idiocy of the film, and the inconsistencies. As I consider there to be little story anyways I feel it might be a useless warning. But if it's to save someone the grief of walking out of the theatre with $10 less in their wallets going "What in the fuck?!" I feel spoiling this pile of cinematic garbage is worth it.

Paul Anderson sits in his bouncy ball pit, tapping away furiously on his pastel colored laptop. Every so often he stops long enough to read the drivel he just regurgitated from the bowels of his mind. Doing so causes him to excite himself enough to urinate himself. He leaps out of the ball pit, which is filled with red and white balls...and is shaped like the Umbrella Corp. logo. Paul happens to be wearing his "moo-moo" jammies tonight, which depict little cows leaping over smiling rainbows.

"Milla! Milla!" he cries out.

"Look at what I just wrote for my new movie! It's amazing!"

Milla Jovovich flies into the room, attached to the wire equipment they use for acrobatic stunts. She's dressed up like Alice.

"What is it Paul?" Alice...I mean Milla inquires

"Remember how I wanted to make that scene in the first movie? Where you fired a missile that splits into a dozen smaller missiles? But we couldn't! Because of our budget. Well Milla, I just wrote that back in!"

At first Milla is silent, then a slight twitch to her mouth, a quiver you might say. The quiver quickly becomes a tremor that envelopes her face....and then her body begins to shake uncontrollably...not unlike a Chihuahua, or Toy Poodle. She too begins to lose control of her bladder...and begins to make inhuman yipping sounds of excitement, Paul joins her. As their excitement grows they embrace each other, and fall into the bouncy ball pit. The bouncy balls spill out, and as they bounce, they break into a dozen smaller bouncy balls.

The Resident Evil films have always been a polarizing sort for me. As a fan of the games they irritate me to no end (this goes for Degeneration as well); but as a stand alone series of films, I find them as a bit of cheesy fun. Even though I do feel they slowly go down in quality. In fact my girlfriend and I watched them all in preparation for Retribution. And it all makes some sense until you hit the fourth movie. At that point everything jumps the shark and goes every which way it can, throwing elements from the games into it whenever it could. Hell, we thought it took a hint from the Silent Hill film, and threw in the Executioner Majini doing his best Pyramid Head impression. Afterlife was an utter mess of a film, disregarding the previous films logic, and even disregarding it's own logic it seems. We seemed to agree, Retribution couldn't be any worse than Afterlife.

A better alternative to seeing this movie

And we were god we were wrong.

The film opens as the previous titles have, with a recap of what has happened in the past films. Keeping in mind this is the fifth film, the recap is actually rendered useless. I don't believe there's any reason to believe someone would walk into the fifth installment of anything without following it somewhat closely. But after the lengthy recap, you are treated to Alice falling into what looks like water....then promptly sucked out. Now to provide context; at the end of the fourth movie (Afterlife), Alice has killed Wesker, she found K-mart and the other survivors, and is wondering what they are going to do next. This is while they stand on top of a Umbrella sea vessel disguised as an oil tanker. They see a fleet of Umbrella airships heading towards them, led by Jill Valentine dressed in what looks like a $50 Halloween costume and also appears to have become very sickly looking (Umbrella manufactured hair dye I assume).

Now at first I thought maybe it was an artistic way to start the movie off, until I saw that what was actually happening was the whole sea battle was playing very slow motion (Anderson might be a Dead Island fan). Now while this was taking about half the movie to unfold I began to feel a dread that this was just an excuse to show off explosions and cheap leotards. As once the slow motion rewind was played right back if we needed that. I imagine Anderson was pretending to be a DJ and saw he could manipulate the movie, and thus commences another pants wetting moment in the life of Paul Anderson.

But then the movie took an unexpected turn, and caught me by surprise. At the time it seemed like an alternate universe, or a flashback of some sort. But in actuality it is far more retarded than that. You see, Milla is a housewife in suburbia, she is married to Carlos (you know...the UBCS operative who died in the third movie), and has a deaf child. During this scene you see three things...

1. Alice's grasp of American Sign Language is tenuous at best, using the same 3 gestures to articulate a plethora of words and phrases

2. Carlos is a pervert who likes to expose his own daughter to what he intends to do to her mommy at night (ie....the very tight ass grab)

3. Their daughter might not actually be deaf...but just a moron.

Quickly things go downhill as zombies appear out of no where and kill Carlos (never can catch a break eh?). From here it plays out a lot like the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, except squid things pop out of the zombies for no reason.

But as quickly as this scene comes out and confuses you, the moment you feel you might have an idea what is going on, it makes another u-turn back into the world we never wanted to return to. Alice is subjected to what looks like a couple hours of torture, as Jill demands more nonsense.

And quickly all hope that this movie would be an improvement are dashed out the window. As the plot unfolds I realize it's not going to be better. Soon enough several characters are introduced (or re-introduced). Problem is it seems to follow no rhyme or reason. In fact I think it was expressly designed to confuse the audience so they couldn't think about how awful the move is. And that's before the whole clones plotline is revealed. You know that flashback sequence...all clones.

Oh look....Clones
Alice...cloned; Carlos....cloned; the agent in charge in the first movie...a clone; Raine...a clone. And thus in one fell swoop, everything is rendered null. Now to me all characters are meaningless because they are technically expendable.

In several instances I think Anderson just threw concepts from the game into the movie. Las Plagas make a measly entrance (including one with a chainsaw! Original). But they are merely cannon fodder for Leon, Barry and a few other nobodies that Anderson just shit out to be in the movie. Jill runs around talking like a robot, somehow being mentally brainwashed made her a cheap ass cylon. It's like her direction for the movie was "be devoid of human thinking". It's jarring, considering Sienna Guillory is one of the better actresses in Apocalypse.

Throw in a fist fight in the middle of the arctic wastes, more clones, giant Lickers covered in spikes (and also capture people like they were from the movie Aliens). And Wesker being a douche without a purpose, who gives Alice back her powers at the very end of the movie. Yet oddly enough, Alice shows no remote sign of even being human. She's able to do things she's always been able to do, except shoot mind bullets or whatever the fuck it was. And the Red Queen is back....the same Red Queen who was fried...and nuked. And she's the main villain....that's right, think about it....and I fear she was only written in for one gag.

Add in the biggest "fuck you" ending I've ever seen and this movie is guaranteed to delight everyone. Seriously...I could write a whole plot synopsis and tear the movie apart...or at least I think I could...the movie barely has a plot. Also the poster confuses me, the tag line is "Evil Goes Global". Did they forget the world was overrun two movies ago? Or do they just not care anymore.

If I were you I would avoid this film.

As we left the theater, my girlfriend described it as a movie that seemed to mimic a video game, but not a good video game. The kind where you can tell the graphics just aren't that good, and it's not that fun. And it's an accurate way to describe the movie, it progresses like a video game; has boss fights like a video game. It might of well have just been a video game. Then we could throw it in the bargain bin and be done with it for good.

 Humor Tumor is currently delving deep into various forms of cinematic torture...pity him.

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