(Canada/Germany - 2012)
Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Cast: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Boris Kodjoe, Li Bingbing, Kevin Durand, Shawn Roberts, Oded Fehr, Johann Urb, Aryana Engineer, Colin Salmon, Mika Nakashima. (R, 96 mins)
The fifth entry in the RESIDENT EVIL series functions as both a franchise victory lap/class reunion and as an olive branch to die-hard fans of the Capcom video game series who feel the films weren't on the level of the games. Joining RESIDENT EVIL mainstay Milla Jovovich are numerous veterans from previous entries, including Michelle Rodriguez and Colin Salmon (the 2002 original), Sienna Guillory (2004's RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE and a cameo in 2010's RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE), Boris Kodjoe and Shawn Roberts (AFTERLIFE), and Oded Fehr (APOCALYPSE and 2007's RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION), plus several characters from the video games who haven't made it into the live-action franchise (there's a separate CGI-animated franchise that stays more faithful to Capcom) until now: Ada Wong (Li Bingbing), Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), and Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb). I've seen all of the films leading up to RETRIBUTION, and it's still confusing as hell, but writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson has such a marvelous eye for action sequences and colorful, eye-candy imagery and perhaps a better grasp of RealD 3D than any other working filmmaker, that even though RETRIBUTION pales in comparison to AFTERLIFE (probably my favorite of the series other than the 2002 original), it's still a dazzling triumph of style. Style over substance, yes, but if you're looking for 90 minutes of brainless entertainment with gun battles, martial arts, chase scenes, monsters, zombies, and other stunning visuals, you've come to the right place.
|Michelle Rodriguez returns as an evil clone of Rain|
|Alice and Ada Wong (Li Bingbing)|
in the Suburbia simulation