RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION
With Resident Evil: Retribution, director Paul W.S. Anderson is back in action. The film seems intended as a tribute to what has gone on before, bringing back many of the familiar supporting cast Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Colin James, Boris Kodjoe and the characters of Albert Wesker, the J-Pop Girl and the Red Queen. Anderson tosses in elements familiar to the rest of the series zombies, a mild level of gore, mutant monsters and kick-ass chicks in action (Li Bingbing plays all of her action scenes rather absurdly wearing a red evening dress). Milla Jovovich is back in the central role of Alice and goes through the entire film with a lack of expression. She gets a daughter of sorts well actually a clone child that is given to her clone in one of the simulations which is about the nearest she is ever going to get to character development. There are all the action scenes, which Paul W.S. Anderson handles in a customarily desultory way, apart from one worthwhile fired-up sequence with Milla Jovovich fighting zombies off in a corridor after she escapes the Tokyo simulation.
As before, Andersons script throws in all manner of perplexing twists. The film openings on a massive aerial attack on an aircraft carrier, which for reasons unclear is played in reverse. The next scene is an entirely baffling one where Milla Jovovich wakes up (just as she did in the first film) in what increasingly becomes clear is an alternate reality of some sort where she is now a regular housewife with a husband and daughter, before the neighbourhood is invaded by zombies. To Paul W.S. Andersons credit, this is eventually rationalised in a way that makes sense. Elsewhere, Resident Evil: Retribution is made to resemble a videogame more than any of the other films with Milla Jovovich having to progress through a series of simulations that resemble game levels, which is emphasised by cuts away to three-dimensional maps and displays that show the partys progress through the complex.
The one appearing to be having the most fun in an otherwise instantly forgettable show is Michelle Rodriguez who has two rather fun roles as a hard-ass military type who eventually becomes a super-villain of sorts and gets to go head-to-head to with Milla Jovovich at the climax and an alternate role as a regular mom where she gets the films few funny lines asking Jovovich why she is outfitted in bondage gear and protesting that she voted against the NRA when asked to handle a gun.
Paul W.S. Andersons other genre films include:- the videogame adaptation Mortal Kombat (1995); the haunted spaceship effort Event Horizon (1997); the programmed-soldier film Soldier (1998); the tv movie The Sight (2000) about a haunted hotel; Resident Evil (2002); AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), Death Race (2008), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016). Anderson has also written and produced Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), produced the horror film The Dark (2005), another videogame adaptation DOA: Dead or Alive (2006), the sf film Pandorum (2009), Death Race 2 (2010), Death Race 3: Inferno (2012) and Death Race: Beyond Anarchy (2018).