Movie Review: Resident Evil – Retribution (2012)

Resident Evil: Retribution (dir. Paul W.S. Anderson, 2012) – Project Alice massacres zombies. Again.


A mass of visual barf, as mindless and barren as it sounds.


Review Open Letter to Paul W.S. Anderson

Dear Paul W.S. Anderson,

Two years ago, I wrote a critical review of Resident Evil: Afterlife. Back then, you directed your weapon of mass disappointment at us fans as we sigh in collective frustration. Had it been too harsh? Was it uncalled for? Perhaps so, and this Resident Evil sequel is the retribution I deserve.

A lengthy recap of the brilliant beginning and its three regressing sequels greets us… except it doesn’t. Instead, we get a few more false starts along the way. An average feature film takes… 90 minutes, I cannot help but think as the lights flicker on slowly… panel by panel.

Resident Evil: Retribution
Credit: Davis Films / Impact Pictures / Rafy

I wake in time for Alice’s zombie massacre action. While I appreciate the the 3D visual gimmick, watching bullets fly in excessive slow motion wears me out even more.

The locations are just as tiring to look at. If going global means three studio sets that seem suspiciously tiny and alike, you have truly brought us around the world. Extending to Tokyo, New York City or Moscow fails to matter, when they all look like the same white-washed zombie-killing facilities.

As zombies crawl in masses, it is surprising that the danger never feels real at any point. After all, our beloved superhuman heroine has taken “survival” out of  the “survival horror” genre long ago. Which is perhaps why we get to see some new faces. But why bother, when their sole purpose for existence is to be part of the death pool?

One empty sequence after the next, my brain feels numb. So thank you actors, for explaining everything at length. In fact, Ada shares her observations with such enthusiasm that Legolas may soon lose his crown as Captain Obvious.

Dear Mr Anderson, you’re better than this. I love the first Resident Evil. I obsess over Event Horizon. Hell, I once watched Mortal Kombat daily on VHS. Now, you’re not even trying anymore. This is retribution to fans who expressed disappointment, as if to tell us, “Hey, I can do worse”. This is your permit that tells us, “I can do what I want”.

But would it be too much to ask if we want the old you back?

Yours sincerely,

A fan who is still holding out hope.

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