Resident Evil: Retribution 3D, Apocalypse, Afterlife…. When I went to see the latest film in the series, I just asked for “Resident Evil”, as I lose track of the suffix.
All you really need to know is that this is another slice of crash-bang-wallop movie fun with some wonderful use of 3D.
I’ve only seen the previous and the original films in the series, but in Resident Evil: Retribution, after a fantastic shoot-out on a container ship – which also provides us with some engaging opening credits – Alice (Milla Jovovich) thinks she’s now living the life of a suburban housewife, but this illusion is soon shattered as zombies turn up out of nowhere and she’s high-tailing it out of there with her daughter Becky (Aryana Engineer) and friend, Rain (Michelle Rodriguez). Before you know it, Alice is suddenly captured deep in the heart of the Umbrella Corporation’s operations facility and is up against Ada Wong (Li Bingbing), but you just know that when the real baddies turn up, they’re going to have to work together in order to survive it.
For reasons that’ll become clear, Alice finds herself back in the opening scene from Resident Evil: Afterlife, where a man is murdered by vampire in the centre of Tokyo’s pedestrian scramble crossing, but why, and how? Cue some shooting, fighting and lots of action and it’s not long before she’s amongst other environments, which I presume came from the films I haven’t seen and, possibly, the first one, and so I’ve forgotten exactly what happened. There’s even a visit to the Moscow underground, one of the most amazing places I’ve had the pleasure to visit, so as soon as that appeared, I was enraptured.
At the same time, old friends Luther West (Boris Kodjoe), Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb), Sergei (Robin Kasyanov), Barry Burton (Kevin Durand) and more are at the other end of where Alice needs to be, trying to rescue her. And whenever you think you’ve seen the last of Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), you can’t keep a good, grimacing baddie down. Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) is also on hand, but why isn’t she on Alice’s side?
The fact of the matter is that everyone onscreen gives it their all to get across 90+ minutes of mostly relentless action, amongst Alice discovering pertinent information about the T-Virus which she never has before. You can rarely blink because you’ll miss a punch to the face or someone getting dispatched in a grisly manner. And there’s not one, but two Axemen (Ray Olubowale and Kevin Shand) in this installment, and in a scene which gives a perfect example of how Paul WS Anderson can get the 3D thrills across.
Like many people, I thought the 3D movement would just be a fad that would hang around for a year or two, as it did in the ’80s and the ’50s, but now the technology is in place, and improving, to both film and screen such experiences, I can see it staying long-term, and since I only saw ‘Afterlife’ in 2D, I’ll have to watch the 3D version at some point because, in 2D, you’re just not really watching what the director intends.
I’ll also have to catch films 2 and 3, even though those weren’t directed by Anderson (he did have a producer hand in, but they came from Alexander Witt and Russell Mulcahy, respectively), in order to get completely up to date.
The only disappointment about Resident Evil: Retribution 3D is that, despite the promotion for this going back many months – and with a very clever trailer, is that it had been on show at the Trafford Centre Odeon for a mere two weeks before being withdrawn. I ended up watching it at Liverpool One, combining it with a day out, and it’s clear that when Friday comes, it’ll disappear from there, too.
And despite both Liverpool and Manchester Printworks Odeons containing an IMAX screen, neither were showing it once in that format, despite it being available. What a shame.
Now all I can say is – after a film that improved upon No.4, roll on ‘Resident Evil 6’. You know it’ll come, and if Paul WS Anderson can maintain the same sense of fun and keep it up for the majority of the 90-minutes-or-so running time, then I’ll be there. And in its first week of release, before the Odeon ditch it again!
And here’s the trailer I referred to earlier:
Resident Evil: Retribution 3D is released in cinemas now.
Running time: 96 minutes
Released: September 28th 2012
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Redcode RAW (5K) (dual-strip 3-D))
Viewed at: Odeon Cinema, Liverpool One
Director: Paul WS Anderson
Producers: Paul WS Anderson, Jeremy Bolt and Don Carmody
Screenplay: Paul WS Anderson
Alice: Milla Jovovich
Jill Valentine: Sienna Guillory
Rain: Michelle Rodriguez
Becky: Aryana Engineer
Ada Wong: Li Bingbing
Luther West: Boris Kodjoe
Leon S. Kennedy: Johann Urb
Sergei: Robin Kasyanov
Barry Burton: Kevin Durand
Tony: Ofilio Portillo
Todd/Carlos: Oded Fehr
Albert Wesker: Shawn Roberts
The Axe Men: Ray Olubowale and Kevin Shand
James ‘One’ Shade: Colin Salmon
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.