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"Resident Evil: Retribution" Review

After the craptastic Resident Evil: Afterlife stunk to high heaven, I can't believe there was any demand for more of this series, but apparently there is and thus Hollywood begat Resident Evil: Retribution, the penultimate chapter (meaning there's another on the way; oh joy) of the saga of Alice (Milla Jovovich) vs. the Umbrella Corporation. Please, make it stop!

The hook this time is that a whole bunch of characters who died in previous films return, but the manner they come back - as clones and simulations or something - renders all the noisy action meaningless. I had to look up a synopsis this afternoon to refresh me what I watch last night (from this writing) and now I can't recall what was what. Something about Alice having to escape from an elaborate undersea complex that Umbrella converted from post-Cold War Soviet submarine pens where they have massive virtual environments like The Truman Show recreating Moscow, Tokyo, Times Square and a generic suburban neighborhood. The mechanics of the simulation never make any sense even by the loose standards of realism of this series and it's just noise, action, boom-boom, blah-blah-woof-woof.

In my RE:A review, I slagged hacky writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson, saying, "It's a testament to his hackitude that Anderson makes wet and dirty Milla and Ali kicking ass both not hot and not entertaining." In this regard he outdoes himself by making Milla, the back-from-the-dead-Michelle Rodriguez (who also pulled a Lazarus in Furious 6), series newcomer Bingbing Li as game character Ada Wong, and Sienna Guillory (back for the 3rd time as Jill Valentine) not hot as they shoot guns and cat fight. Some of the action choreography is flashy, but it has no heft or consequence. It's just action that causes no reaction.

Milla Jovovich has a bad habit of marrying her directors, but at least Luc Besson has Le Femme Nikita, Léon: The Professional and The Fifth Element on his CV. Anderson has a mostly mediocre to average genre stuff; when the first (and ONLY the first) Resident Evil and the flawed Event Horizon are your acmes, well, you hit the jackpot, Tiger. Too bad she's wasting her career making crappy movies with her hubs.

Score: 3/10. Skip it.


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