Resident Evil: Retribution
At the end of “Afterlife” Alice is on the ship Arcadia and that’s exactly where we find her back at the start of Retribution. The Umbrella Corporation is attacking the ship and in the opening scene we see how an explosion throws Alice into the water unconscious. Little later Alice wakes up in an Umbrella building and we find out the Red Queen (the AI from the first movie) has taken over the corporation and is planning to make humanity extinct.
Former Umbrella director Albert Wesker is aware of the Queen’s plans and sends out Ada Wong, Luther West, Leon Kennedy, Sergei and Barry Burton to rescue Alice as he’s convinced she’s the key to the ultimate weapon to save mankind. The Red Queen, however, has an army of zombies and clones to stop them, with as ultimate opponent a brainwashed Jill Valentine.
The plot of Resident Evil: Retribution is thinner than paper and nothing more than a vehicle to have the action scenes take place. As such we see this happening more in action movies, but director Paul W.S. Anderson (who previously also did parts 1 and 4) gets this given to a new low. The few dialogues make no sense, the characters have zero comma zero depth, and even the average videogame has a more interesting plot. Simply said Resident Evil: Retribution is little more than a bad third person shooter in which the player needs to shoot himself through a number of levels to reach the surface.
As said, the stories isn’t worth much, but also the acting is below standard and the action scenes aren’t all so fantastic either. To again make the link with videogames: the enemy AI is stupid and Anderson has played too many videogames from the 90s where you duck behind a wall to sometimes look up and shoot someone. This was fun for games in that era, but even the videogame industry has understood that such gameplay is outdated. And on the big screen this is just completely annoying. Take away the 3D effects and part 5 from the Resident Evil series barely manages to rise up to the level of an average B-movie made for Syfy Channel.
It’s clear a lot of time and money is spent on special effects and you do notice that. Even though some scenes and effects are quite bad, it does look great at times and the transfer is done splendidly on a technicaly level. Skin tones vary from natural for humans to sickening for zombies, and you can check out easily count each pore on Leon’s face. The Blu-ray is hair sharp, has no compression errors, and the only negative thing we can say is that the quality is so high that certain scenes become completely unnatural and look like a videogame due to the CGI and special effects (the shootout with Jill Valentine being a prime example).
The sound is also very detailed, has good and plenty of placing of effects and more than enough use of the subwoofer for some additional bass. As only minor negative we can say that the track isn’t as aggressive as we had expected so you need to pump up the volume to truly enjoy it. But once you do, you do get value for money. In the sound department that is.
Sony also delivers some extras with this release and they start with some bloopers, audio commentary, and a seven minute during feature on the different creatures that pass by. The Blu-ray also has some deleted and extended scenes, a few background features and an interactive database in which you can check out the background of different characters and see short clips of them in action.