Everyone said how bad Resident Evil: Retribution was and this in no way deterred me from wanting to watch it. In fact, it made me even more anxious to see it, because there’s nothing I like more than a bad SFX flick. Let’s face it; we’re talking about Milla Jovovich, zombies and explosions. What more do you need?
It probably took me under a minute to realize how bad this movie was going to be and I loved it. However, the awesome horrible nature of this movie inspired me. I mean, this thing was like the ugly offspring of Uwe Bole and Michael Bay, you know, if they were like somehow, together.
That’s when I decided to write a scene for scene review of this monstrosity. So, here it is, with the entire cheesy, cheesy dialog I could possibly remember to include. Try reading it in your worst Johnny Bravo impersonation and you may just capture some of the ridiculous nature of this film.
To say that this review contains spoilers wouldn’t be fair, because that would assume you can’t figure out what’s going to be said or done before everything happens and the only way that is possible is if you’ve never seen a single action movie before.
First, the 3 minute opening sequence is awesome! I loved the reverse footage. In fact, because you got to see everything in slow motion, it showed you little flaws like the obvious ports from where explosions would take place on the ship. I could probably spend forever just tearing apart that one scene, but let’s not. Instead, let’s get into the story.
So, Milla wakes up in yet another domestic environment. Nothing new here, after a few moments of normalcy, the zombies attack and she hides in the laundry room. So far, so good, but there’s no way that $10 metal shelf would have kept the door jammed closed for that long.
After a few moments of hiding in the attic, Milla escapes with Becky (Aryana Engineer) into the street and the whole world has gone mad. Really? So, they didn’t notice this when they woke up and got dressed? That’s one sound proof house.
The cop stopping in a dramatic pose behind Milla to fire off a couple rounds is ridiculous.
Milla and Michelle try very hard to make the best of their tired, completely unoriginal dialogue, but even they can’t save themselves from this atrocity. “Those things aren’t people. Not anymore.” Ouch.
Car crash, chasing zombies, runing like mad. Fair enough.
Alice and Becky find a house and hide in the bedroom. For some reason it takes the lone zombie forever to look into the closet to find them. Seriously? They lose and Alice wakes up in a pointlessly big, white plastic room that serves no purpose. She is interrogated to which she responds with, get ready for it, “Why are you doing this?! AAAAHHHHhhhh…”
Somehow, the room opens a trap door that provides her with the typical black, leather outfit she wears to kick ass. Hot, but why can’t it just be thrown through a door or folded neatly in a drawer? Why do these things always have to be perfectly seated in a form cut box? I understand the presentation value, but it’s so lame.
She gets dressed and then aimlessly stands in yet another glass hallway, not moving or looking for an exit, for what seems like, forever. Stupid.
That brings me to the blonde, Sienna Guillory who plays Jill Valentine. I love the whole Blue Beatle take on her character. (That’s a comic book reference.) Don’t get me wrong, her action sequences are fantastic and she’s a beautiful actress, but her line delivery in this movie is so over the top it makes Nicholas Cage envious.
Enter the laser grid. The one redeeming characteristic of this movie has always been Milla’s decent acting, despite the wild premise of the franchise. However, her face of astonishment at the laser grid is horrible.
She proceeds to overact her way through the entrance into Tokyo and the pointlessly long, slow motion initiation of the infection sequence. What is with the way she wipes the first raindrop off her face? Is water that shocking?
Now, we get treated to the first awesome fight scene in one of those ridiculous white hallways and it’s great, for the most part. The first flaw I noticed here was when Milla wraps the chain around her own neck and then proceeds to spin and have the momentum from that make it fly off her neck into a zombie’s face. Wait, what? How does she wrap it around her own neck twice and yet unwrap it in a single spin with enough momentum in to strangle a zombie? Never mind the fact that in order for it to stop and go the other direction, the lock would have smashed Alice (Milla) in the head before changing directions.
After a few more awesome moves she pointlessly wraps the chain around a zombie’s leg rather than shooting him. I know she was out of bullets at this point, but she didn’t know that as evidenced by her shock when she finally does try to shoot him.
We get another of those great, throw the clip into the air and take out a bunch of enemies before reloading sequences. However, the hallway is at most, 10 feet tall and she manages to make the clip stay airborne for nearly 7 seconds of normal time. How does that happen? During this same short period of time she manages to take down 2 zombies, one of which she does so by kicking the empty magazine from her gun into his head. That should have taken at least 4 seconds, on its own.
Now a perfectly timed exit door opens and she enters the Umbrella Central Control room which dramatically lights up. This is where we meet Ada Wong (Bingbing Li) who pointlessly holds a gun to Alice’s back. Why?
We get about two minutes of horrible, horrible acting by the Ada, Jill and Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts). I really shouldn’t pick on the Albert character, because he’s just playing the same melodramatic persona he has in the previous incarnations, so he is actually perfectly in character. It’s just that combined with the other two performances, it stands out even worse.
“Alice, how nice to see you again.”
“We have a traitor….in this facility.”
“Why don’t you just see for yourself?”
“No one has ever escaped from this facility!”
“You’ll need all the help you can get.”
I feel like we should have a drum-roll to dramatize almost every line of dialogue.
They give us some more back story and explain how and why Alice is being broken out of the facility this time around. The dialogue tries to hide the fact that Ada’s character takes out between 7 and 10 agents sitting at desks, who barely even move while she shoots every one of them in the head. First of all, how did she get into the center of the room since she was an enemy? Secondly, the room has a very substantial arsenal of weapons one of the pillars. Why did none of them attempt to defend themselves?
We now get 2 great panorama shots and the entrance of the extraction team. Why do these teams always stop, get out of their vehicles and stare at their objective dramatically before getting back into said vehicles and entering the facility? This always makes me shake my head.
The rehashed dialogue here is so bad, it’s almost every line.
“There they are!” Oh no! Except, they’re talking about intake vents. Um, okay. That was a letdown.
“That’s what they want you to think. Let’s move!”
“Running a bypass.” Obligatory hacking sequence.
“These are the access codes.”
“Do you trust her?”
“Just enter the numbers.” Cheesy hero grin. This guy is a great Dolph Lundgren wannabe.
“Let’s go do this!”
“Alright, hold on ladies!”
“Synchronize watches…in 3, 2, 1. Mark.” Take your shirt off gents and try to look tough.
Switch back to Ada and Alice. Ada, quick! Take two dramatic steps forward and stand there, looking tough! Now Jill, look at the camera with the sexy, “I’m going to kill you” stare.
“I’ve plotted an escape route for you.”
“You’re all going to die down here.”
“I’ve heard that before.”
Back to the extraction team, “Defensive formation … Fire at will.”
Useless guards get shot and again, never move, despite their friends being shot all around them.
Whistle. “Now that’s some hardware.”
“Let’s pick up the pace.”
Back to Alice and Ada, “Let’s move!”
“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.”
Another great action scene that ends with an exploding taxi. A taxi that somehow blows up and flips to the left killing 2 giant zombies, but doesn’t harm Ada and Alice who are less than 5 feet away. That was really poorly done. At least Alice gets to deliver the incredibly original line, “Hey boys, bad idea.”
“Let’s move. We’re behind schedule.”
Back to the evacuation team, “What’s going on?”
“Keep your eyes open.”
“What the hell are those things?” So, apparently he’s never seen a zombie before? What sense does that make?
“Fall back! Everyone, fall back!”
Why do the Russian zombies look more like WWII Nazis?
Back to Alice who freezes and says “There’s someone in the house behind you” trying not to let on that she’s seen them, but then they immediately walk right into that same house. So, what was the point of the secrecy, in the first place?
A zombie silently hides in a closet. Why? They haven’t exactly been subtle before.
Back to the extraction team, “We’re running out of time!”
“Almost there.” Of course, the hacker character dies by chainsaw, because, sure, why the hell not.
Alice and Ada meet the Security Chief and her team.
“Surrender or die.”
Gun fight! I love it when they make Swiss cheese of a suburban house, because again, why the hell not. The constantly changing James Bond like action theme music is fun, but what the hell was the point of the grappling gun that Ada uses and only once?
Once again we get an impossibly timed scene. Ada stands solo against Rain (Michelle Rodriquez) who grabs a missile bazooka thingy and fires it. Now, these mini missiles move in slow motion, but Ada somehow moves in normal time, runs to the kitchen, grabs an automatic rifle, shoots the floor under her feet rather than running out of the wide open door right behind her, and does the whole, let’s make a circle of bullet holes, so that I can fall into the basement routine. She succeeds just as the mini missiles blow up the house. Bad, very bad.
Alice has been hit, but the point of this never becomes apparent, because it never slows her down. It appears to be just filler, which they reference at least twice, throughout the film.
Subway scene, “Congratulations. You’re officially a bad-ass.”
Here we also get a bunch of “I love you” and “Trust me” lines.
Back to the extraction team, “This way.”
“Let’s move!” and he dies by one of those giant brain exposed, dog like creatures; not very practical.
Alice finds the team. “Sweet ride.” More gun fights and I must give credit to these Russian zombies, because not only did they attend then bad guy school of Learn How To Shoot At The Hero And Never Hit Anyone, but they’ve mastered it. They manage to obliterate the luxury car from no less than 10 feet away, with over 1000 bullets and never once hit a single hero. That’s impressive, even by action movie standards.
Obligatory bazooka. Obligatory jump your car through a blown up van, despite there being nothing to raise the vehicle off the ground to make the jump scene, twice. Flaming zombie and “Heads up.”
Pointlessly exploding motorcycle and “Our little friend is back.” Car ollies an escalator into the subway. Cool, but completely ridiculous.
Reunion, including a very poorly acted “I’m on it” scene with Alice putting on very non-bad-ass looking red reading glasses that of course, are a hi-tech map.
“Let’s go!” Pan back to the brain exposed monster to show he’s still alive.
“Come on. Move!”
“We’re going to be okay.”
“Everyone get on board. Hold on. Next stop, men’s wear and sporting goods.” Yeah, I didn’t see that elevator reference coming.
“Can you get it back online?”
“Not without the access codes.”
“Looks like we’re going with plan B.” There’s always a plan B.
Brain monster makes a surprise appearance, steals Becky and hurts one of the extraction team who groans and says “I feel like shit.”
“This is a mistake.”
“Get out of my way.”
Gun fight. The Security Chief catches up to Alice and the team. A hero fires at them and says, “You like that?! Huh?!” This gives Alice a few minutes to find Becky while the remaining team members hold off the attacking team.
For some reason Alice climbs up the ridiculously long elevator shaft rather than using the grappling gun which we will see her use in the next scene. I’m not sure why.
Cut back to the extraction team and a hero sacrificing himself for the rest of the team “Besides, I’m kind of enjoying myself.”
How is it that the Valentine character stands in the middle of an open hallway, firing endlessly and the heroes never target her? Instead, they take out dozens of Russian zombies and never fire a single shot at the easiest and most important target. Did they attend the supporting characters’ school of Always Let The Hero Take On The Main Villain? There’s a surprisingly large number of very specific action movie schools, isn’t there?
Back to Alice and now she uses the grappling gun. For some reason, she manages to take out the monster this time, by targeting his openly exposed brain. I could be wrong, but I thought they had already tried that like every other time they fought it. Nope. I just checked. They did.
Alice finds and rescues Becky.
Back to the team fighting Jill, “Bring out the prisoner.”
“Step out or she dies!”
Hero sacrifice, but not in vain, because he smokes a cigar and any hero that smokes a cigar always gets a cool death scene. So, he miraculously also has mastered, the throw your gun in the air and make it stay airborne for 7 seconds move. I’m not sure how he did this, because it’s obvious that he only drops the gun, but somehow he falls to the ground, opens his eyes and sees the gun free falling, slower than he managed to collapse to the ground. Logically, this should be impossible, but he’s a hero, so he gets to do it and with his last breath he shoots the Security Chief’s lieutenant. Awesome! Impossible, but awesome!
Alice has rescued Becky and they get to see the clone facility, where she uses a grenade belt to finally take out the brain monster. Oh and she uses the grappling gun to escape, again.
Time’s up, the bomb detonates and the facility is flooded, so that we get treated to great explosions and destruction sequences. Of course, the remaining team members get out alive. I’m not sure why, but they inexplicably stop the elevator short of the facility exit. I guess it’s more dramatic that way.
They meet back up with Alice and drive away in their vehicle. Or do they? Surprise! The villain’s last stand!
As they drive through the ship graveyard and try to sleep, the villains appear below them in one of the Russian subs. “What the hell is it?!” Right, because they could still be easily surprised at this point.
The vehicle is flipped on its side and they climb out to see the sub. Dramatic entrance for Jill, Rain and their prisoner, Ada.
This next scene really bothers me. Ada infects herself with the parasite, which we can see, is a creature with an exoskeleton and is about an inch long. Somehow, she manages to inject herself with this creature through a needle. Say what?!
Of course, the good guys shoot her, but she’s immortal now and expels the bullets through her fingertips. Why? Um, I have no idea, but she does. Vampires usually spit bullets out, but not zombie hybrids, apparently. Nope, they force the bullets to rip through their body tissues, tearing apart the muscles and tendons in their arms and hands so that they can spit them out through their fingertips. Yes, that makes much more sense.
Fight scene! This one is a lot of fun, with Alice getting the crap kicked out of her and Rain taking out most of the extraction team. We do get treated to some special effects where they show bones being broken internally, by switching to green animations. Why? Well, why not.
Game over, Alice is unconscious, Jill lifts her up by her throat and uses some form of telekinetic powers to make the vehicle, which is still on its side, start running again, so that she can grind Alice’s head off with it. Sure. You know, snapping her neck would be so much easier, but then you wouldn’t have given Alice the time she needed to pull the Blue Beatle type mind control gadget from her chest. That’s the end of Jill. That was ridiculously easy.
Now Alice moves onto Rain. “You can’t kill me.”
“I don’t need to” and she shoots the ice below her feet so that hundreds of the normal Russian zombies make a meal out of her.
“I’m coming for you!”
“Good luck with that.”
Alice collapses from exhaustion, only to wake up in the helicopter, with the rest of the survivors. They are transported to the White House, where Wesker has taken over the Oval Office. He moves at lightning speed to infect Alice with the T virus, so that she gets her powers back. “What have you done to me?!”
Then he proceeds to give her a speech about how she’s the only person to successfully meld with the T virus. Um, didn’t he just move at lightning speed? I would assume he did that because of the T virus. “Well, now I have need of you” and “You are the weapon.”
“I’m going to kill you.”
“Perhaps.” They walk out onto the roof where he shows that they’re completely surrounded. “This is humanity’s last stand; the beginning of the end.”
Zoom out to show millions of zombies, fires, flying monsters, explosions and for some reason, the Washington Monument is still standing. How? Why? That is usually the first thing to fall and given the complete level of destruction we see, it should have been flattened long ago.