Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Festivus, or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate. Hopefully everyone is having or did have a great day with family or friends. Well, today I will be finishing up the Resident Evil series with the latest movie available on DVD, with the newest one in the series due in theaters next month. Down the road, the only question there will be is whether or not I will see the last movie in theaters but for now, the question is how well do I like today’s movie, Resident Evil: Retribution.
The plot: Picking up where the last movie ended, the Arcadia is attacked by a fleet of aircraft, led by a mind controlled Jill Valentine, with the survivors either being killed or captured and Alice is flung from the deck of the ship by an explosion, while Claire, Chris, and K-Mart’s fates are left unknown. When Alice regains consciousness, she finds herself married to a man named Todd (who looks like Carlos Olivera) and they have a daughter named Becky. Choosing to believe that everything had been a dream, Alice quickly accepts the new reality and her family when suddenly, zombies attack and kill Todd. Alice grabs Becky and they escape the house, where they find the entire neighborhood in chaos. As they start to run, they are almost run over by a woman, who tells them to get in and they drive off but when the car is struck by a bus, Alice and Becky leave the car and continue running. Taking shelter inside a house, Alice hides Becky and manages to kill a zombie that followed them but when she turns around, she sees a zombie Todd standing there and he suddenly attacks her. Alice suddenly wakes up inside an Umbrella testing facility, where Jill Valentine repeatedly questions and tortures her. Some time later, the main computer is shut down, allowing Alice to escape her cell and make it outside before the system reboots and she is killed by the laser grid. Outside, she is shocked to find herself in Tokyo and uses a bike chain lock to smash a police cars window and grab the gun from inside. Suddenly, she hears a voice saying to begin Tokyo simulation and people suddenly appear as Alice witnesses the zombie infection hitting Tokyo. When the zombies start chasing after her, Alice runs into a new corridor and kills some of the zombies but finding herself about to be overwhelmed, she rushes to a door at the back of the corridor and makes it inside before it closes. Alice finds herself inside a control room, where everyone inside has been killed. As a weapons panel opens up, Alice starts to arm herself when a woman approaches her. The two briefly fight before they end up at a standoff and the woman starts to introduce herself but Alice stops her, saying she knows that she is Ada Wong, an Umbrella Corp agent from Tokyo who works for Albert Wesker. Wesker suddenly appears on a communication screen and starts talking to Alice, saying that humanity faces extinction and that they have to work together to save it. Wesker tells Alice that she is in Umbrella Prime, the testing facility where they used clones to show simulated zombie outbreaks to countries in order to sell the weapon. The base is located in an old Russian naval yard and Wesker says he has hired a team to help them escape to the surface. On the surface, the team is led by Leon S. Kennedy and contains Luther West, Alice’s ally that survived the prison in Los Angeles. Wesker explains that the Red Queen has taken control of Umbrella and is sending Jill Valentine and her team after her and says she has to escape before he is kicked out of the computer system and the Red Queen appears on the screen, telling Alice and Ada to stay where they are but when they choose to leave, says they will all die there. Alice and Ada enter the New York testing room, where the Red Queen sends two of the giant Axemen to kill them but they manage to evade the monsters then kill them by blowing up a taxi that their axes got stuck in. The two make their way to the Suburbia test site and enter one of the houses, where Alice sees a clone of herself that was used in the simulation. After killing a zombie cop, Alice encounters Becky, who believes Alice is her mom from the simulation. Ada explains about the clones and how they are essentially grown to be used for simulations but Alice decides to take Becky with them. As they go to leave the house, they encounter Jill and her security team, which also includes clones of Rain Ocampo, James “One” Shade, and Carlos Olivera, which forces Alice to tell Becky that it is not her father. Alice and Ada begin shooting at the security team and before they are overwhelmed, Ada gives Alice a pair of glasses that will help them find the exit, telling her to escape while she holds the team off before making her own escape. As they head into the subway tunnels connecting to the Moscow area, and encounter the clone of Rain, who was driving the car that Becky and her mom was in. Becky tells Alice that she is a friend and, as they hear explosions nearby, Alice gives the clone one of her guns and has her watch Becky while she goes to investigate. Meanwhile, the extraction team is making their way through the Moscow simulation area when they come under attack by zombie soldiers, who begin shooting at them. One of the team is killed with a chainsaw but the others manage to escape only to encounter a giant Licker, which kills the team’s computer expert. As the Licker moves to attack the rest of the team, Alice hits it with a car and rescues the surviving members; Leon, Luther, and Barry. As they make their escape, they are forced to deal with more of the zombies as well as the Licker but Alice manages to drive the car back into the subway tunnel, knocking out several support columns during the crash which buries the Licker in a cave in. Reconnecting with Becky and Rain, Alice uses her glasses to lead the group to the submarine pens but when they reach the elevator, the Red Queen cuts the power to the area. As Leon, Luther, and Alice work on getting the power restored, the giant Licker shows up, injuring Barry and killing the Rain clone while grabbing Becky and dragging her up the elevator shaft. Alice moves to go after it and Leon argues against it but decides to stand aside and let her go. Suddenly, they are attacked by Jill and the security team and Luther is shot in the arm but tells Alice to keep going while he, Leon, and Barry hold off the security team. Alice climbs up the shaft to the level the Licker took Beck and after finding them, manages to kill the Licker, then frees Becky from the pod she was trapped in, as well as grabbing the explosives from Leon’s team member that the Licker had killed earlier. As they make their way back to the others, the pass through a room filled with various clones and when she sees all of the clones of Alice, Becky asks if Alice is her real mommy and Alice says she is now, then sets the explosives just as the Licker returns, then uses Ada’s grappling gun to escape the explosion, which kills the Licker and destroys the clones. Back in the sub pen, Barry tells Leon and Luther to head for the elevator while he holds off the security team and manages to kill the clone of Shade before he is killed. When the explosives the team planted earlier explode, water comes flooding into killing the security team, including the clone of Carlos, while Luther and Leon make it out on the elevator, meeting up with Alice and Becky as they head up the shaft. Reaching the surface, they get into the snowmobile and head for their rendezvous when they are knocked over by a surfacing sub, containing Jill, a captive Ada, and the evil Rain clone, who injects herself with the Las Plagas parasite which gives her super strength and renders her practically immortal. As Alice and Jill begin to fight, Leon and Luther take on Rain but she easily overpowers them and manages to kill Luther by punching him in the chest hard enough to stop his heart. Jill manages to overpower Alice and receives orders from the Red Queen to kill her but Alice manages to rip of the spider robot and destroy it, freeing Jill from the Red Queen’s control. As Rain goes to kill Leon, Alice shoots her and starts to fight her but realizing she is outmatched, she shoots the ice under Rain’s feet, sending her plunging into the water, where the zombies escaping from the lab are seen swimming up and the quickly grab Rain and kill her. Alice passes out as the helicopter arrives but comes too while on board to find Becky sitting next to her and Jill approaching and the two friends are glad to see each other. Reaching the White House, Alice is lead into the Oval Office where she finds Wesker sitting behind the desk. Wesker quickly injects her with the T-virus, explaining that he needed her full powers to help the last remaining humans survive, then takes Alice, Leon, Jill, and Ada outside, where they see a heavily fortified wall around the White House, with Umbrella Corp and military troops working together to guard it as a horde of infected and mutated creatures come bearing down on the stronghold.
While Resident Evil: Retribution did meet with negative reviews from the critics, it did have the highest rating out of all of the sequels, with it’s 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes being just 3% off from the original movie. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Resident Evil: Retribution offers everything one might reasonably expect from the fifth installment in a heavily action-dependent franchise — which means very little beyond stylishly hollow CGI-enhanced set pieces.” Aside from using several influences from the 4th and 5th video games in the series, such as the Las Pargas parasite and Alice and Ada’s first meeting, the film was also influenced by several science fiction movies, while the fight scenes were influenced with Asian martial arts films, especially Thai movies. The movie would be a box office hit, earning $240.2 million off of a $65 million budget.
As far as an open ended finale, this would have been pretty good but as yet another in a series, it’s only decent. The acting was ok, with Milla Jovovich doing a good job as the serious Alice but also as the suburban clone version of herself, but, with the exception of Boris Kodjoe (Luther), I was honestly disappointed with most of the people that had come back to reprise roles in this movie, especially Michelle Rodriguez. The story was interesting, mixing elements of a prison break into the typical zombie movie. The special effects were actually pretty good in this movie, a lot better than some of the previous entries and even the times that they slowed things down to help exaggerate the 3D elements really weren’t that bad. A fun movie to watch that actually makes you interested in what they will do for a finale.
Rating: 3 out of 5