Resident Evil: Retribution Review: The Most Pointless Entry With Some Fun to Be Had

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You know what you are getting into when you sit down in the theater to watch a Resident Evil movie. It may be your thing, it may not be. Either way, this franchise continues to be mindless fun, even if this fifth entry doesn’t quite deliver as well as the other sequels have.

The biggest problem with Retribution is that it does almost nothing to move the franchise forward until the last few minutes. It is basically a rehash of the original film (made ten years ago now for those nostalgic Resident Evil fans) with the style and tone of what the franchise evolved in to. It has the same plot, a crazy artificial intelligence taking over a massive facility that Alice (Milla Jovovich) has to escape from with a few allies.

Jovovich remains the best thing about this franchise. She is great at kicking butt and looking great doing it. While Alice isn’t exactly well-written, something has to be said for how she has brought the female action hero into the light. Now we see it all the time with The Hunger Games, Prometheus, and Brave. She is no Ellen Ripley but Alice will certainly be remembered when these films stop being made.

The rest of the cast is dull, as usual. Michelle Rodriguez manages to chew on the scenery with her time on screen. She is clearly having a ball.

But what everyone goes to these films for is the crazy action, and Retribution has plenty of that. Sadly though, unlike any other film in the franchise, the best action scene comes very early as Alice takes on a horde of zombies with a chain and pistol. It’s awesome, but it never gets more awesome. The final fight is pretty sweet though.

For fans of the games, you will finally get to see Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong on screen. Also Jill Valentine is back and has a much larger role than in the past.

Of course Retribution ends with an idea for a sixth film. Based on how few original ideas this entry had, perhaps Paul W.S. Anderson should finish up the franchise in the next one. Weirdly enough, Alice and her world deserve a proper ending. Hopefully they can deliver before this franchise runs out of steam for good. Grade: C-

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