Resident Evil: Retribution
DVD Review by Kam Williams
Fifth Installment Pits Latex-Covered Heroine vs. More Mutants
The Resident Evil film franchise is proving to be every bit as enduring as the hordes of flesh-eating zombies featured in every episode. The movies are based on the popular series of high body-count computer games which has also spawned comic books, graphic novels, cartoons and a line of merchandise with action figures.
This fifth screen adaptation marks yet another collaboration between writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson and his wife, cover girl-turned-actress Milla Jovovich. She, of course, reprises her lead role as Alice, the pistol-packing protector of a planet ever threatened with extinction.
As usual, Anderson does his best to exploit his supermodel spouse’s good looks, between keeping her clad in form-fitting latex for the duration of the adventure and seizing on any excuse to take a pause in the action for a lingering, extreme close-up of her flawless facial features. Otherwise, RE 5 features fairly formulaic zombie fighting fare, with Alice and an intrepid team of defenders (Michelle Rodriguez, Boris Kodjoe, Bingbing Li, et al) representing the last hope of humanity.
At the point of departure, our heroine, by way of voiceover, quickly recounts the back story of what’s transpired in the prior installments. We learn that the trouble all started when an industrial accident triggered a viral outbreak which in turn led to the rise of the undead.
Today, the diabolical Umbrella Corporation is again up to no good, and on the verge of unleashing an army of mind-controlled minions, including clones of our pretty protagonist. Over-plotted to the point of absurdity, there’s really no reason for me to relate RE 5’s inscrutable storyline.
For while Milla might be up to the challenge of executing the script, the same can’t be said about her supporting cast’s wooden delivery of every last line of dialogue. The worst in this regard is Hong Kong star Bingbing Li who is crippled by the English language here, making a most disastrous Hollywood debut.
A visually-captivating fantasy for teenage males with raging hormones, the demo most apt to enjoy watching an invincible vixen in spandex waste wave after wave of mindless mutants.
Fair (1 star)
Rated R for partial nudity and pervasive graphic violence.
Running time: 96 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Outtakes; Drop Undead: The Creatures of Retribution; Retribution Soundtrack; Face of the Fan; Commentary with director Paul W.S. Anderson, Milla Jovovich and Boris Kodjoe; Commentary with director Paul W.S. Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt; and more.
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