All of the Resident Evil movies have a common theme-after a movie ends on a cliffhanger, the next movie will immediately resolve that cliffhanger and get rid of most of the main characters and setting in the first fifteen minutes. Well, thank god, Resident Evil Retribution has finally learned from its mistakes, and most of the movie resolves around the crew of the USS Aradia-nah, just kidding. It’s gone in the first ten minutes. Shame though. Alice being a pirate would have been an interesting insight into her character.
Instead Alice is captured and brought to an underground complex of...well, Moscow of all places (quite a stretch, considering that she was in Los Angeles in the last movie) and interrogated by Jill Valentine. However, aided by Albert Wesker, she escapes and has to go through several simulated areas in order to reach the surface.
To be fair to the movie I will give it some good points: Some of the effects are beautifully shot. I especially liked the scene with Alice in simulated Tokyo. However, Resident Evil Retribution has a lot of plot holes, more so than any other movie in the franchise. And if you look beneath the surface you will find...well, more plot holes. I’m not one to normally compile a list, but:
1. Why was the suburban simulation running prior to Alice entering it for the first time?
2. Why use real people and zombies in a simulation instead of holograms?
3. How can a deaf child speak perfect English when she can’t hear herself speak?
4. Why was Ada wearing a red dress?
5. How can two little bombs on a pipe destroy an entire facility?
6. Why does the Umbrella Corporation insist on using the worst medical gowns possible?
7. Why is Leon in this movie if he was declared dead in the second?
8. What was the Red Queen’s plan anyway?
9. Why? Just...why??????
One of the best scenes of the movie was an Alice-clone defending herself against zombie in a suburban setting (though, if you see my list, that also made no sense). This Alice clone isn’t one of the kick-ass variety, but rather a domesticated one. The scene was her fleeing her house from zombies was probably the most real, terrifying scenes of the film, which is what we really need in this series. Let’s face it, Alice is pretty much all-powerful. She is shot in the side at one point, and treats it like a papercut. Later (spoiler warning) she is given something to make her even more powerful. First of all, it’s not a good sign of a series when you recycle ideas from the third movie, guys. Second, if you make your main character all-powerful, you remove the tension. Sure, some of the other main characters might die, which would cause tension...oh wait, they each have about fifty more clones they can use so everything’s honky-dory.
The bottom line is, don’t expect a suspenseful or emotional movie at all. But the direct has gone on record saying that he doesn’t care about negative reviews, so I’m sure this will have no impact whatsoever. It’s nice to know when someone refuses to listen to constructive criticism and improve his own art style. No wonder all the movies feel the same.
Final Grade: 1 ½ out of 5. Some good scenes and of course plenty of action. However, not even turning off your brain can avoid the plot holes. Physics and common sense mean nothing to this movie.