Highly confounding and senselessly on a constant overdrive, the fifth theatrical sequel based upon Capcom's Resident Evil supports an eventual full stop to the franchise. Delivering over-the-top fights and action sequences, the film clearly loses itself (and its audience) quickly over a pointless and self-indulging screenplay. As the saying goes, story is king, but Retribution feels like a subordinate of cinematic capitalism.
The wildly successful film franchise adaptation that has grossed nearly $700 million worldwide to the popular video game series, Resident Evil, returns in its highly anticipated fifth installment, RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION in state-of-the art 3D. The Umbrella Corporations deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human races last and only hope, ALICE (Milla Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella's most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.
Without any sound screenplay intention towards credible sequential story development, the fifth installment is a questionable attempt at reviving and sustaining the film franchise. Paul W.S. Anderson takes a blatant approach towards all things visual and loud. Setting up a number of relentless action scenes that are independent of one another, Anderson seems to be trying too hard at packing genre deliverable.
The entire 96 minutes ensue almost entirely within a simulated environment test facility, providing the excuse for the characters to be "globetrotting" from Tokyo city centre to Moscow Red Square. This allows the production to feature "production values" while overstretching the simple plot over too much celluloid. Anderson takes the opportunity to reprise new characters while injecting new ones at the same time, diluting most's screen presence and role participation to drive down character development.
Poor character detailing aside, visuals and sound effects are still worthy to behold. This includes the film's native third dimension, further enhancing the experience of specially devised moments such as splattering of an undead's brain matters upon the audience. Soundtrack by tomandandy combines electro and orchestra music this time as part of a differentiating strategy, which is acceptable yet nothing exceptional.
The only consistency observed is Milla Jovovich's ability to maintain the constant look of dire and anxiety, despite having a linear scripted character in the form of Alice. If you're one of those with any traces of hope towards seeing Alice's back-story in this film, you'll be disappointed.
Anderson has reportedly intended to shoot the fifth and sixth installment at a go, but decided to split them into two shoots to allow the later to be justified by the former's box office success. On the contrary, Retribution concludes with a seemingly opening ending that hints at an imminent sequel to come. While uncertain of the majority's consensus, this opinion feels that the film franchise has arrived at the end of its life cycle and should probably leave the undead at rest.