The home video onslaught can be more than a little overwhelming even at the best of times so keeping up with everything isn’t always as easy as one might think. Available now on DVD & Blu-Ray is the fifth installment of one of the more reliable action franchises in recent years. Get ready for “Resident Evil: Retribution”.
Starring Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory and Michelle Rodriguez
Written & Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
In this latest installment of the “Resident Evil” franchise the Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, Alice (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.
With this next chapter in the “Resident Evil” we unfortunately take a step back as most of the story is setting us up for a final showdown in the inevitable part six as friends become enemies and enemies become friends as she is once again thrust into the belly of the Umbrella Corporation’s operations. With this story writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson unfortunately was treading water as he borrowed from several other horror and genre films including his own to round out the story. The action was lean and mean, but the narrative felt thread bear getting us to the cliff-hanger of the film which unquestionably sets up what looks to be a final chapter in this action/horror saga. Anderson has always been incredibly adept in making films that look great up on the screen but this time around the recycled nature of the overall story felt like they were stretching just to get to a sixth installment by slapping together a good looking but underwhelming visual experience, however he did use some interesting plot devices to bring back some old characters to keep us engaged in the story.
Along with Milla Jovovich many familiar faces returned in some way shape or form and Milla has settled into the role of the iconic Alice quite well and has crafted a genuinely iconic action heroine. While nobody in these films has ever truly been able to shine from an acting standpoint but the addition of Bingbing Li as Ada Wong at least gave Alice another action sidekick to stand alongside her as we don’t have Ali Larter as Claire Redfield along for the ride. Other familiar faces like the returning Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Oded Fehr and Boris Kodjoe return for this go around but as always these films begin and end with Alice killing zombies, something that she does so very well.
The picture and sound quality on the disc were superb and admittedly watching it at home and in 2D somewhat improved upon the theatrical experience. Special features on the Blu-Ray include Outtakes, a creature featurette, commentary tracks from the cast and crew, some deleted and extended scenes as well as 6 additional behind the scenes featurettes and a Project Alice interactive database.
With “Resident Evil: Retribution” we get a bit of drab chapter in this overall story, as we cling to the hope that the next one (and one would have to imagine final one) will end up being as good as looks it could be.
2 out of 5 stars.
“Resident Evil: Retribution” is now available on DVD & Blu-Ray for rent at video stores all across the country as well as on demand via all major providers. You can also find it for purchase at all major retailers like iTunes, HMV or amazon.ca.
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