Resident Evil Retribution Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Resident Evil Retribution
Reviewed by
Sean Warhurst
on
Resident Evil Retribution Blu-ray Review The plot is near nonexistent and the acting often echoes amateur hour; if you’re not fond of the series than this entry won’t change your opinion, but if you’re looking for a film to switch your brain off to and get bombarded with dazzling eye candy then you could do a lot worse than to pick up Resident Evil: Retribution.
Rating:
3.25

Feature 6.0
Video 9.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 6.5
Total 6.5
Distributor: Sony Universal
Genre: Action
Running Time: 96 mins
Reviewer: Sean Warhurst
Classification
: MA15+

6.5

 
Resident Evil Retribution

The fifth instalment in the inexplicably long running Resident Evil franchise sees Paul W.S Anderson returning as director for the third time.  Although commercially successful, the much maligned franchise has consistently received a critical drubbing. Is Resident Evil: Retribution the film that will prove all the naysayers wrong?

In short? No.

Continuing the story directly from the previous film, Retribution sees returning heroine Alice, played by the gorgeous Milla Jovovich, once again going head to head with the nefarious Umbrella Corporation. This time around Alice must escape from the facility operated by the demented A.I Red Queen, traversing across simulations of viral outbreaks in some of the world’s biggest cities, such as Tokyo and Moscow.

Former antagonist Albert Wesker offers to assist Alice in her escape as the Red Queen no longer recognises him as an authority; under the Red Queens control, Jill Valentine also returns, leading a squadron comprised of clones of deceased characters from previous entries in an attempt to recapture Alice. Throw in a squad of mercenaries featuring fan favourites Leon S. Kennedy and Barry Burton and a whole lot more of the cloning facility hoopla from previous instalments and you have the basic premise of the film.

The Resident Evil films have always been a case of style over substance and Retribution is no exception.  Although quite adept at producing visually stunning scenes, Paul W.S Anderson’s grasp on the basic tenets of storytelling is extremely lacking; the storyline of the film exists for no other reason than to propel our protagonists into another action sequence and consists of some of the worst dialogue I’ve heard outside of “The Room”. 

The acting leaves a lot to be desired for the most part; with the exception of Jovovich, most of the characters are paper thin and, to be fair, don’t offer the actors a lot to work with. Of particular note is the actor who plays Leon S. Kennedy – He makes Daniel Baldwin look like Robert DeNiro.

As mentioned before, Anderson creates some visually exciting scenes and the film has the aesthetic of a video game, with certain scenes resembling cut scenes from the most recent instalment in the game series, Resident Evil 6. The film opens in spectacular fashion, running a hyperkinetic shoot out sequence in reverse. It works incredibly well and draws you into the film – Until immediately afterwards you’re forced to watch the exact same scene play out normally.  From then on it’s a string of action sequences punctuated by a bit of plot exposition to move the characters forward.

It is interesting to see the return of Oded Fehr, Michelle Rodriguez and other familiar faces but it all seems rather superfluous, especially as their presence doesn’t really add much more to the film than “Hey! Remember this guy?” 

Audio/ Visual

As stated before, the film is extremely pleasing to the eye. The transfer is clean and colours are vivid; a film such as this pours most of its money into the visuals and it really shows here. The image quality cannot be faulted at all and the film itself is one fine looking beast.

Audio quality is also exemplary, with the 5.1 DTS-HD sound positively making love to your speakers, a minor gripe is the dialogue levels are a tad soft, so you’ll turn your system up to hear it and then be deafened by the boom of an onscreen explosion.

Special Features

The disc is packed with supplemental features, the best of which are the collection of 7 featurettes delving into the production process. The commentaries are engaging enough, although most of what is covered is already available on the featurettes. Rounding out the package are some deleted scenes and outtakes and an interactive database pertaining to the characters, creatures and mythology of the series.

List of features:

-      Deleted and Extended Scenes

-      Outtakes

-      Filmmakers and Cast Commentaries

-      Previews

-      Project Alice: The Interactive Database

-      Featurettes:

1.    Master of Evil: Directing Resident Evil: Retribution

2.    Evolving Alice

3.    Resident Evil: Reunion

4.    Design and Build: The World of Resident Evil: Retribution

5.    Resident Stuntman

6.    Code: Mika

7.    Drop (Un) Dead: The Creatures of Retribution

Final Thought

Yes, it is a redundant entry in the series, but if you’re a fan of either the franchise or action films you’ll find much to enjoy here.  Personally, I suffered from stimulation overload and found the action scenes boring by the end, the same problem I had with Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch – it’s all sizzle and no steak.

The plot is near nonexistent and the acting often echoes amateur hour; if you’re not fond of the series than this entry won’t change your opinion, but if you’re looking for a film to switch your brain off to and get bombarded with dazzling eye candy then you could do a lot worse than to pick up Resident Evil: Retribution. It’s probably the second best entry in the series after Apocalypse and long time fans will no doubt lap this up.






 
 



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