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Rated R for strong violence, frightening scenes and strong language
posted Sep 21, 2012 - 10:52:13am
While this certainly isn’t a shining example of cinema, Resident Evil: Retribution is nowhere near as bad as its predecessor, Afterlife.
Instead, this installment plays like a franchise “greatest hits,” as awkward as that is to say. Director Paul W.S. Anderson looked back over the past four films and figured out what he did right and what he did wrong, then he decided to cram all the bearable aspects together into one super-film. (Well, relatively super, anyway.)
Taking a cue from the first Resident Evil flick, Anderson returns Alice to an Umbrella installation from which she must escape. However, in order to break up the monotony of endless tunnels with blinding white paint, Anderson mixes it up by having areas where the sinister corporation runs biohazard simulations. So, the movie whisks the audience off to simulated serene locations around the world, then promptly has zombies attack. This idea is probably the primary saving grace of the film, along with the fact that Anderson brings back some of his favorite baddies, including the giant axe-wielding zombies and the infamous "licker" from the first film.
Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
The biggest flaw in the newest movie by far is the acting. Guillroy is horrible, and it’s really difficult to take her seriously in the action sequences. She just tries so hard that it’s ridiculous for her even to share a scene with the likes of action starlets Jovovich and Rodriguez, neither of whom is brilliant at the craft to begin with. Bingbing Li is about as wooden as they come, and Johann Urb comes across with all the charm and appeal of Dolph Lundgren. Luckily, Anderson seems to have figured out that actors in the franchise don’t really need to emote; they just need to look pretty and fire big guns, which they do manage quite well.
Obviously, gaggles of die-hard video game fans will flock to theaters, leaving enough cash in their wake to let Anderson make another Resident Evil film after this one (let’s hope he calls it Resident Evil: Conclusion). It’s not bad, but then again, Anderson has set the bar for that extremely low. It will just sort of leave you feeling indifferent at the end of it.
Stars & Popcorn grade: 1 1/2 stars, 2 1/2 popcorn
— Born and raised in the sunshine state, Patrick grew up loving movies. He’s currently attending the University of Central Florida and is a Cinema Studies major. Along with being the president of Stars and Popcorn, he’s a player in the independent comics scene.
Sponsored by Liebe Entertainment Group, Marketplace 8. Click here to see showtimes for Resident Evil: Retribution
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