- Written and Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson
- September 3, 2012 (Tokyo) / September 14, 2012 (US) / September 20, 2012 (Germany) / September 26, 2012 (France)
Alice fights alongside a group of Umbrella Corporation resistance fighters to stop The Red Queen’s latest sinister plot.
Having been more or less missing from the narrative for a few films now, The Red Queen (Megan Charpentier performance/Ave Merson-O’Brian voice) is back and has become the chief villain here. This AI is now in charge of the Umbrella Corporation and apparently has a rather dastardly plot to wipe humanity out.
While a straight up shooter with zombies, Resident Evil: Retribution has a slightly different vibe to it than the others. The movie picks up at the end of the previous film and largely takes place in an umbrella facility. The narrative leaves the fates of K-Mart, Claire Redfield, and Chris Redfield uncertain. The facility Alice (Milla Jovovich) finds herself in is responsible for the bioweapons arms race that Umbrella started that caused the escape of the T-virus. It was where they tested the T-virus in order to market it to enemy nations around the world.
Li Bingbing is Ada Wong who works for Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) but no longer works for Umbrella. Work? They offer minimum wage and a 401K in the zombie apocalypse? She is sent in to help Alice escape from the facility in which she is trapped. Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb) leads the team sent in to retrieve them both. Luther West (Boris Kodjoe), having survived the events of the previous film, joins in the rescue along with Barry Burton (Kevin Durand).
Being that the facility is used for simulations and uses clones, they stumbled across a clone named Becky (Aryana Engineer) from an urban simulation who was the daughter of an Alice clone.
Early on these movies introduced the concept of cloning. It provided an interesting way to bring back dead characters in new forms should anybody want to return or need to be brought back that avoided completely retconning their last appearance. This also implies that some if not a large portion of certain types of Umbrella Corporation employees were in reality clones before and since the outbreak. The only clone we could confirm previously really was Alice but here it is confirmed that there are at least 50 other “basic” models and that includes Alice. So Alice really is a basic bitch. I had to get that joke in.
Michelle Rodriguez returns as two different versions of her character Rain Ocampo from the first film. This was the first time I ever saw Rodriguez play a soccer mom and the umpteenth time I saw her play an angry badass. The former helps suburban simulation clone Alice while the latter is sent to capture the main Alice.
Oded Fehr returns as two versions of Carlos Oliveira. One is a clone in the suburban simulation while another is part of the team sent to capture/kill Alice. That team also contains a clone of James “One” Shade (Colin Salmon). This team is commanded by Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) who is being influenced by a spider-like device on her chest.
All these clones beg the question: how is the Umbrella Corporation so stumped on why Alice was able to successfully bond with the T-virus and become superhuman and nobody else was? They were after all manufacturing her so it is not as if they couldn’t have templates to understand what was different.
They are plenty of great action scenes. My personal favorites are the battles in the streets of the Russia simulation. There’s just something about a battle taking place in Moscow that is cool. This included an armed Las Plagas undead horde (something not called that in the film but it is something from the game). That was just cool.
The nature of the Resident Evil universe allows characters to simply disappear by the next film. It is a neat trick if somebody does not want to come back or cannot come back for whatever reason. This fluid nature prevents a difficult to cover narrative hole. Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and K-Mart (Spencer Locke) are mentioned but nowhere to be seen. Also Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller) is MIA and it looked like he was moving towards being somebody important in the series.
The finale of this film was a little different from the others. The whole film is finished off with a rather cool shot of Washington surrounded by thousands upon thousands of zombies and Resident Evil creatures. There was no argument they were setting up this movie for one more that could finish off the entire Resident Evil series. I’m sure plenty of people would like for them to have continued but sometimes you just need to know when to quit.
By the end of the film Alice is hold up with Wesker in a fortified Washington DC. Wesker is pulling president with the remnants of humanity against the zombie onslaught. Reversing course Wesker repowers Alice as part of his never explained plot.
Resident Evil: Retribution is an exciting action-packed film. The combat scenes are great and the zombies and their accompanying monsters are just cool. Starting with the second film and coming on heavy by this point they call the creatures “biohazards.” They never called them zombies or the undead. The name for the Resident Evil games in Japan is Biohazard so it’s a nice nod to that.
Resident Evil: Retribution is not groundbreaking, but it is very fun. You will enjoy yourself and will probably revisit it. I say watch it!