Film: “Resident Evil: Retribution”; cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez; Director: Paul W.S. Anderson; Rating: **
The rise of globalization has truly made the world into a global village. And like in every village, it isn’t too tough for a powerful entity, be it a nation or a corporation, to establish dominance. What if this domination and the strength of this corporation, came at the cost of the world as we know it?
This is the basic premise of the “Resident Evil” film franchisee and a very pertinent point for our time of global corporation. It is hence pitiable to see each newer film in the franchisee getting progressively worse than the previous ones.
What is worse is that each new version ends up making more money than the previous version, making it the most successful film franchise based on a video game.
Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up to find that she is now a prisoner of the Umbrella corporation that she has been fighting against and had sworn to destroy. However, she manages to escape only to realize that she is not really in the outside world, but a world of live simulations.
Even as a team sent to rescue her makes its way towards her, Alice is confounded with the gravity of the strength of Umbrella corporation and that of the computer ‘Red Queen’.
Like you’d expect from any franchisee that has run for this long, this fifth instalment of the franchisee has got almost everything thrown in. Thus you have Alice as a young, innocent mother being attacked by zombies, you have Alice the confused, half-naked prisoner and Alice the street fighter who punches and kicks zombies to pulp among others.
Yet, in trying to create these situations, it forgets its very soul which is a criticism of corny capitalism. Thus, while it’s well conceived action sequences works, overall the film is a huge disappointment becoming nothing but a collection of mutated zombie monsters, many gunfights and few hand-to-hand combat.
For kids these days addicted to violent video games with excellent effects, this is staple diet. Indeed, the construct of the film’s universe, is that of a video game where our protagonists have to go through different environments, with each section having its own ferocious monsters, before emerging victorious.
For a discerning viewer, watching a beautiful woman pack a mean zombie punch isn’t worth it. Not with the innumerable plot inconsistencies, corny dialogues and some extremely lazy and at times insipid writing.
If you thought this was reason enough to sound the death knell of the series, you’re wrong. For like the zombies in the film that are shot but refuse to die, the series will rise again, in another film, in less than two years.
Money, no matter where it came from, is too hard to resist, be it for the Umbrella corporation or the producers of this franchisee and its director.