First of all a confession. I have been a long-time fan of the Resident Evil movie series with its mix of action, zombies, mutations and corrupt big business.
I’m no video gamer so the Capcom shoot-’em-up franchise the films have been based on has passed me by.
It’s now ten years ago that Milla Jovovich starred as Alice, fighting against the Umbrella Corporation whose base became infected after one of their viruses was let loose.
Since then we have had three more movies (Apocalypse ‘04, Extinction ‘07, Afterlife ‘10) and now Retribution, plus three totally separate CGI films from Capcom.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson has kept his project ticking along nicely until now, but this latest chapter did seem like a film too far.
The success of the previous four has been the ability to move the plot on and introduce some interesting new characters along the way.
However, Retribution feels like it is trying to be the best by just having much more of the same features we’ve already encountered.
So, instead of one axe-wielding colossus in Afterlife we have have two and even some of the zombies are now armed and can ride motorbikes.
Anderson’s wife Jovovich can still cut it with the action sequences but for some reason while she’s being interrogated she’s wearing what amounts to two large hankies to hide her embarrassment.
Clad in tight leather and she’s back to what she knows best, leaping, fighting and shooting.
The series has never been in with a shout for any acting plaudits but Anderson has a good eye for filming fights and rakes up the tension well.
As with each movie the the plot follows on from previous film and this one sees Alice captured by the Umbrella Corporation following the battle in Afterlife.
She’s trapped in an experimental facility in Russia and has to get out... and that’s about it really.
Along the way she encounters all manner of nastiness, though, in large areas of the facility that have been recreated to look like major cities.
Making things a bit more confusing, some of the characters who were diced and sliced in earlier films turn up again, such as Michelle Rodriguez as Rain and Colin Salmon as James ‘One’ Shade.
Oh, and the very annoying baddy Albert Wesker (now a parody of all villains) is back yet again.
The ending certainly suggests we are destined to see another in the franchise and there is a hint this may be the final one.
Let’s hope the series gets back to basics and goes out on a high.
Movie details: Resident Evil: Retribution (15) 96mins
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Bingbing Li
Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley