Oh, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel on Resident Evil Sequel Month here at B-Movie Enema!
Admittedly, it really was only the first two entries of this series that I struggled with the most. The last two haven’t been as bad. Afterlife did have some really goofy action sequences but they were fun to watch. But, here we are, the FIFTH movie in the series – Resident Evil: Retribution. This movie came out in what would ultimately be the 10th anniversary of the first film.
Interestingly, Afterlife had a huge box office take. After watching it, I kind of understand why. Again, over the top action, but fun and kind of accessible to people who want to see a little bit of gore, a little bit of action, and both Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter lighting the screen on fire with their feisty sexiness. This movie didn’t perform quite as well, but it’s kind of like saying that Scottie Pippen didn’t perform as well as Michael Jordan. This movie still made a shit ton of money ($240 million on a $65 million budget – the most expensive movie of the series).
So, let’s take a look back at what’s happened before we press forward, yes?
Alice (Jovovich) was a security employee for the Umbrella Corporation. Umbrella got into some nefarious shit, created zombies and other monsters, and it led to basically the extinction of the world population. They have harvested humans on a boat called the Arcadia which was a lure to bring people to a place they thought was a physical location in Alaska that was infection free, but it was a ship that sailed up and down the Pacific coast line. Alice and her allies Claire (Ali Larter) and Chris (Wentworth Miller) Redfield liberated the ship, seemingly blew up Umbrella CEO Wesker, and planned to turn the ship into what everyone believes it really is – a safe haven from the zombie controlled world. But uh-oh spaghettios, Umbrella is gonna attack the boat with lots of planes and soldiers being led by brainwashed former ally of Alice’s, Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory).
Got it? Good. Now, let’s rock and roll and start diving into this 5th entry of the series!
I do have to wonder as this fifth installment starts loading up on my DVD machine… Have I ruined my life? Okay, wait, that might be a bit much. Have I made choices in life that have led me down the path toward ruination? That is also a little harsh, but, still, I must ask. What’s the score here? Are my brain cells going to be able to handle this many Resident Evil movies? Will I start to think I can do, like, maybe half of the bad ass things that Milla Jovovich and everyone else in these damn movies can do?
I mean… I can do at least half the things Milla Jovovich can do in these movies because I’m a legit bad ass motherfucker, but I digress.
Will these movies warp my brain to the point that I can’t think like a mature, regularly adjusted, man of 44 years old? You can almost ask the same thing of the Fast and Furious movies, but here’s the thing – those are a natural progression of Hal Needham style car movies from the 70s and 80s. Resident Evil? Is this the natural progression of Night of the Living Dead? Is this what comes from that? What’s the natural progression of, say, Pride and Prejudice…
This whole concept of “Just throw zombies in it. It will make it cool and modern!” kind of sucks. I like orange flavored Starbursts. I don’t go around saying, “Just throw some orange Starbursts in there and it will be so much better!” when someone asks how to spruce up their broccoli and cheddar soup. Granted, broccoli and cheddar soup is also tasty, especially out of a bread bowl, but it ain’t gonna be better with those orange Starbursts. I’m not sure what I’m even talking about anymore. I guess I should get back to the movie?
You know what I do like, though, that this movie does in spades? Sexy babes with serious gun face and guns.
This is a cool little opening here. It is moving backwards. Basically, the last movie ended with Jill Valentine leading Umbrella Corporation troops into position to fuck up the Arcadia. It starts with Milla Jovovich in the ocean floating, then it makes her fly out of the water, back onto the ship and it’s rewinding all the way back to what’s basically the very end of Afterlife. Cool. You’re starting strong, movie. We then go into the sequel standard of Alice reminding everyone what’s going on. I’m going to assume all this stuff is for the unfortunate girlfriends being dragged to this movie by the guys they just started dating a few weeks ago after a hardcore night of drinking and settling.
There is one problem here. The opening credits was a fairly solid five or so minutes of resetting the action, in reverse. Now, we have Alice resetting the story is longer this time around than before. So we’re spinning our wheels a bit. Show me what’s going on with Alice in the water. Show me what’s going on with Jill Valentine and her scarab thing. Did that get knocked off? If so, is she still those army dudes’ boss? Can she boss me around? Better yet, show me what’s going on with Chris, Claire, and K-Mart? I’m always up for wanting to know what’s going on with Cla…
What’s that? Those three aren’t in this movie? Why? Don’t know? Well, fuck. I like Ali Larter.
Alright, so check it out. We saw the opening action in reverse and slow motion, then Alice’s opening diatribe about the history of these movies we’ve all seen (yes, we ALL saw these movies because they made too much money), then the opening action scene in regular speed. The movie effectively wastes nearly eight minutes of time. Great job, stupid!
At least we are rewarded at the 8 minute mark with Gun Mommy in bed and in her undies. Suddenly, Alice is living a lovely suburban life with Oded Fehr, but not in the life they once had as Alice and Carlos, but as these jerks. They have a deaf daughter. It’s a normal day, but all of a sudden he’s attacked by a zombie, and he’s bitten. Alice and the little girl escape to the attic where they are able to use the regular attic access point to sneak out of the house.
When they get out of the house, Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake is happening. They are picked up by another familiar face – Michelle Rodriguez. Now… I’m a fan of Michelle Rodriguez in the Fast and Furious series. In the Resident Evil movie, she was this bad ass army chick. So to see her in a Prius with a bunch of vegan, alpha female, environmentalist stickers all over it, is hilarious.
Michelle Rodrigues probably wishes she had one of her Fast and Furious cars because she’s not bookin’ it fast enough to avoid being smashed by a garbage truck. So, Alice and her little kid are on foot again. She gets to a house and tries to find a place to hide from the ravenous zombies. Meanwhile, I guess Michelle Rodriguez is just utterly fucked back in the wrecked car, but whatever. They hide in a closet from a scary tentacle mouth zombie. Then Oded Fehr shows up and kills Alice with his tentacle face.
Alice wakes up again. And again, it’s eye candy.
Is that what we have here in this movie? Is this the formula? Action scene followed by waking up scantily clad? Did I make this movie? Did Paul W.S. Anderson scan my brain for a movie that I would like to see and only found action scenes and scantily clad Milla Jovoviches?
Anyway, here in this well-branded corporate torture room, Jill begins interrogating Alice. When she refuses to answer satisfactorily, Umbrella gives Alice a loud noise that messes her up good. This continues several times. Suddenly, the security system conveniently goes offline. In doing so, drawers open up to provide Alice with some sweet BDSM action clothes. So she leaves. In the Bad Guy Central room, the power outage has apparently gotten the army dudes and Jill shut down too. When the system comes back up, so does the army guys and Jill. She realizes that Alice is gone, so she decides to use the laser hallways.
She escapes through a door conveniently opening for her that leads out to the streets of Tokyo. No one is anywhere. She gets the biggest fucking handgun you ever did see out of a cop car’s glove compartment. It begins raining like nuts as Magic Voice says that the sequence is initializing. We basically see the very opening to the last movie playout again where a sick looking Japanese girl becomes a zombie and starts attacking. Suddenly more and more zombies start attacking people in this world. Another door opens for Alice to escape through and some zombies follow her, but she kung fus the shit out of them.
I’m glad this movie isn’t breaking with series tradition of giving us much in the line of exposition in favor of fighting and dumb shit because I don’t know if I could handle knowing what the fuck is happening in any of this.
I do have a question about these zombies. Well, I have lots of questions, but we’ll see about that in a bit. My primary question is what’s going on with these tentacle mouth zombie monsters? Are these just the standard form of zombie now? Alice mentioned something about how the T-virus does mutate people beyond making them flesh-hungry zombies. Okay. I can get behind that. Sure. Was the tentacle mouth monsters the general form of zombie in one of the games? I’m guessing so. Is it possible they would have done tentacle mouth zombies in the first movie if they knew how to do the effect? I dunno.
Were there tentacle mouth zombies in the first movie and the sequels have damaged vital parts of my memory?
Anyway, Alice makes her way to a control room where all the Umbrella dudes are all dead with their brains blown out. Alice finds an armory of sorts and gets real excited. Suddenly, she’s jumped by a sexy ass lady named Ada Wong. She’s so sexy, she fights in a traditional-esque Chinese dress and heels. Ada was one of Umbrella CEO Albert Wesker’s top bodyguards and maybe just as competent at being a sexy Fight Mommy as Alice is my Gun Mommy? Anyway, Wesker and Wong have been helping Alice get to this point away from the Umbrella goons that want her interrogated and/or dead. It appears Wesker is no longer the CEO of Umbrella.
Wesker explains there are detailed simulations in these underground bubbles. Alice thought she was really outside in Tokyo, but that’s all climate control. Alice is curious why Umbrella set up such an elaborate simulation. Wesker says they are in the business of selling high grade weaponry (read: zombie monsters). They can’t test this shit in the real world. So they create clones and set up these bubble cities of a few square blocks. Cool.
Who are you selling high grade weaponry (read: zombie monsters) to? The world is, like, gone? There are no governments. There are no petty wars between said governments. There is no economy anymore. Remember just two movies ago when the world was a whole big desert and people are barely able to steer clear of zombies let alone T-virus infected crows? I know that was almost immediately retconned by the next movie, but seriously, folks. Are you really telling me that an evil corporation (read: every corporation on Earth) would be so frozen in their regular routine that even after the world crumbled, they are STILL trying to pay minimum wage and create things that would ultimately murder the world and sell it to the highest bidder? Umbrella knows nothing else other than to continue to do the things they do despite there being no business left?
Capitalism is dead at this point. It’s Communism from sea to shining sea, baby! There ain’t no more capital to gain. You did it, Umbrella! You won the Corporation Wars! You are literally the Taco Bell of the future for, well, EVERY single industry in the world! It might be time to pack it in and retire while you’re still on top!
Okay, so Wesker simulated an outbreak in New York City and showed Moscow. Moscow bought it then Umbrella simulated it in Moscow and sold it to the US. Tokyo’s simulation convinced China to buy the virus. The simulation for China is what got Japan to buy. Wait… Who started this whole series’ thing then? I thought it was a little espionage turned into a pandemic. Is that not the case? Do any of these movies actually connect aside from the final minutes of one into the first few minutes of the next? What is this? What is life? Is this exactly what I’m going to see tonight when I dream a sexy dream?
We are already one-third of the way through this movie and the plot hasn’t even kicked in for this entry. All we know is that Umbrella sold the T-virus to countries to promote a new Cold War. Speaking of Cold War, we’re in northeast Russia. Wesker has sent an outside team of snow army guys to break into the Umbrella facility and break Alice and Ada out. There’s also a “test floor” that no one as survived ever. Wesker continues to tell Alice and Ada their objectives as if this is literally a video game. One of the guys sent by Wesker is Luther from the last movie. He was apparently picked up by some guys. I guess. Don’t ask me who these people are who picked up Luther – It was just some guys.
So Wesker is no longer with Umbrella. Sure. Fine. Ada works for him still. Okay. I guess. We never met her before so you could sell me on anything with her I guess. Wesker still has some guys that can do all this army shit for him. Fine. As for who is running Umbrella now that Wesker no longer is? Well, that’s the Red Queen – the computer girl from the first movie. Fine. Whatever. So I guess Jill Valentine and the bad Umbrella army are essentially borgs being controlled by more of a centralized computer program and not, like, a guy…?
These are all things. This, a plot does not make. We’re more than a third of the way through this movie and we’ve only been given objectives. Go through the various zones and fight your way through the different terrains and cities and meet with the guys on the other end to get into the elevator and get out of the facility. Sure. Fine. If there’s one thing I can say about this shit fuck of a movie with no plot is that it moves like greased lightning. This movie hasn’t slowed down one bit. Even when you have people just talking, particularly Jill or Wesker, each line is delivered with such direct, pointed overacting it’s insane. You know how video game characters speak their lines with over-emphasis and ultra seriousness? It’s like that. But this is a movie. It’s something that changes the context of that style of acting. It makes this movie laughable at best and cringeworthy and embarrassing at worst.
The Red Queen knows everything that Ada and Alice are going to do because she can see them. So in New York, she sends a couple of those hammer axe bros after the ladies. These are the nigh invincible types of monsters that suddenly showed up in Los Angeles last movie. These guys are really cool looking because they are giants who carry monster weapons. Those are awesome, but what I really like about them are the nails that stick out of their heads. It’s a cool design. It’s a design that works very well in their design for their video game versions, but, in a movie, it’s kind of weird for them to just show up like the one did in the last movie. In this movie? Sure. However, last movie, it was total fan service. It isn’t terrible to do that, but context and any kind of back story helps.
So the ladies get rid of this pair of stage bosses by having them axe open a fuel truck and then blowing up a car with machine guns, hence, blowing them up. They move on toward the Suburbia section while Wesker’s guys have to deal with some throwback Communist zombies. Alice and Ada arrive in Suburbia to find that the guys who they are supposed to meet are late – you know, due to the Commie zombies… Combies? Eh.
Alice finds the version of her that was killed by her suburban husband. Ada explains that they have to pump out clones for the simulations. Alice was one of the “50 basic models” used to do this. After blowing away a zombie cop, the little girl, Becky, finds Alice and believes her to be her real mom. Alice seems plenty okay with this and just kind of starts calming the kid down even though Ada is fairly cold to the idea because she’s just a clone and a new one is made every day for simulations and how her memories and affection for Alice are not real. They run into some problems when they leave the house, though. We have Rain (Rodriguez), Oded Fehr (Fehr), and “One” (the leader of the team that went into the compound way back in the first movie – played by Colin Salmon).
Most importantly, we have Scarab Mommy.
In order to prevent Becky, the little girl (I don’t remember if I mentioned that earlier and I’m too lazy to scroll up and look), Alice plans to quietly and peacefully comply, but Ada’s all like, “Fuck that!” and starts shooting people. To help Alice escape, Ada gives her some glasses that will show her the way she has to go to get out with the other dudes in Moscow. Alice and Becky escape as Ada makes a sneaky escape before the whole house they were in explodes. While the team in Moscow starts having a harder time against the Combies and one of the dudes dies by way of Combie chainsaw massacre and another dies by way of licker monster death..
Having just gotten into the Moscow zone, Becky and Alice meet the nice liberal version of Rain from the early part of the movie. While Rain and Becky go to hide, Alice meets up with the three remaining dudes from the Wesker gang. They get chased by more Combies.
Here’s the thing about Resident Evil: Retribution… There’s something here that I can understand why people like this movie. First, there are neat monsters. This series never came up short in that way. You like zombies? You got it. You like tentacle mouth monsters? You betcha we got that. You like zombie commies? Oh, we got that shit. You like the licker monsters from the games? They get a chance to play. Those hammer axe bros? Got it. You have lots of funtime happy monsters to play with. You want army guys blowing up monsters? How about sexy babes fighting in sexy ways? Oh, baby, you better hold your horses because there are four sexy babes in this movie.
But while you got all that stuff, this movie has no complete narrative. You just have action things. One action set piece opens the movie, then replays itself in correct order, and then it never stops from there. It’s just action set piece after action action set piece. Outside of Alice giving us our recap, we have no more than 30 seconds of dialog and exposition before it dives headfirst into action all over again.
Speaking of, just when the good guys are about to escape, the licker comes back and nabs Becky and kills good Rain. It also harms one of the Wesker dudes. Alice goes to find Becky and, I suppose, fight the licker by herself, while Jill and her team of evil clones show up to fight the good guys. The injured good guy kind of sacrifices himself so the other good guys can escape. Alice finds where the licker has taken Becky, which is basically to put her into a weird membrane-y sac on the wall. So she uses her little grappling hook thing to fly up and flip over the monster, shoot it many times in the brain, and then does a bad ass action pose.
Alright, final good guy hanging back to let the others escape is presented with a conundrum – stop shooting or they will execute Ada. So, he complies. Bad guy “One” shoots final good guy, but he doesn’t die until he some how tosses his gun up, catches it and kills “One” and then he finally gets killed by Oded Fehr. Meanwhile, the charges set to blow up the facility go off which begins flooding the whole place. Alice and Becky reunite with main Wesker dude, who is named Leon S. Kennedy who apparently is a character in the game or something, and Luther. They leave the compound and head toward the chopper to safety.
However, their escape is interrupted by a submarine breaking through the ice below them (what a coincidence!). The sub is apparently Jill’s. She’s arrived with Ada and evil Rain. Rain injects herself with the same strain of virus that the Combies had in Moscow. Luther and Leon have to deal with Rain while Alice and Jill have a sexy fight. It’s just fighting and kung fu and I think Jill cuntpunches Alice at least once. It’s madness. Eventually, Gun Mommy gets the upper hand and she removes Scarab Mommy’s scarab controlling her and she goes back to normal, but not before basically getting brained by a flying elbow from Scarab Mommy and nearly ground up by a turbine of some sort.
Over in the 2 guys and 1 girl video, the dudes are in bad shape against Rain. In fact, Rain punches Luther so damn hard in the chest, his heart stops and he dies. She does the same thing to Alice and it almost works, but Alice realizes that there’s a whole sea of zombies under the ice. Clearly, Rain is too hard to fight as is, so Alice blows up the ice under Rain and the sea zombies get her and drag her under to her doom.
I guess Michelle Rodriguez is just not meant to survive these goddamn movies.
Leon, Ada, Alice, and Jill get picked up by the chopper, but Alice, tired of all she’s been through, the fighting, the sudden motherhood, and just everything with these goddamn movies, collapses. She dies with friends around her thanking her for all she’s done for this series. It’s a tender and sweet moment.
Nah, I’m yankin’ your chain. She wakes up on the chopper. Leon gets handsy with Ada, but she’s not having it. Jill is all happy to be back among the good guys. The chopper flies all the way from Kamchatka to Washington, D.C. Here, she meets with Wesker in the Oval Office. He injects Alice with a version of the virus that will give her back the powers she had. He tells her that the Red Queen is out to destroy all humans. All that’s left of the human race find themselves sheltered in Washington against the oncoming hordes of monsters, zombies, and what have you from Umbrella.
Jesus Christ… There still one more movie left in this series.
I greatly appreciate the fact that there are 10 minutes worth of credits because that really cut down the runtime, but still… This doesn’t feel like a complete movie. It feels like a half sequel. Like this is Resident Evil 4.5 and not Resident Evil 5. I appreciate the long credits making this movie very short. I appreciate the break neck pace which keeps this movie rolling at all times. I really don’t appreciate the lack of actual plot. This is literally a collection of things that happen. this works for the video games, but it doesn’t suit a movie. Rearrange most of the action scenes in this and you do not change the actual movie in ho wit plays out. It’s not great. While I can’t say I disliked this movie as much as the either of the first two entries, Resident Evil: Retribution is easily the worst of the Extinction-Afterlife-Retribution trio.
Okay, sure, you might say this is exactly what you want. Fine. I’ll give it to you that you’re getting what you’re paying for because you’re getting babes doing foxy fighting and, if you’re into the other side of the equation, there’s not an ugly dude in the main cast. Okay, fine. I’m beginning to think that Ali Larter’s Claire makes the whole thing work for me. Well… She makes things work for me if you catch my drift. Good news, she’s back in the next movie!
And speaking of, there is one last entry in Resident Evil Sequels Month here at B-Movie Enema. Come back next week for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Does this movie truly live by its subtitle or is this a Friday the 13th or Angel sort of scenario of the movie outright lying to us? We’ll find out! If you want to be sure to stay on top of when that happens and when it is released, you can follow the blog by clicking the little button at the end of this article or over there on the side of the screen. You can also follow B-Movie Enema on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll see when new stuff happens.
But before we can put the Resident Evil series to bed next Friday, come back tomorrow to watch the next episode of B-Movie Enema: The Series – Alison’s Birthday! So it’s some good ol’ fashioned Ozploitation as we continue to march toward the high holy holiday of Halloween! Subscribe to the B-Movie Enema YouTube channel so you can be notified of when that hits and see all the other stuff that I use in articles when I drop clips into the weekly reviews!
Until next week, I’m gonna head out to Kamchatka and dress like a bad ass, not wear anything to shield me from extreme cold, and get myself into a foxy fight with babes who will immediately dominate me.
Oh. Oh, that was way too much revealed.