Video Game Adaptations: Resident Evil Retribution


Clever title, this. In that I want retribution on everyone involved in this atrocity. I’m going to go out on a limb here and nail my colours to the mast: Resident Evil 5 is the worst film of 2012, the worst PWSAnderson film (that’s going some), and the worst Video Game Adaptation ever made. In terms of how bad it actually is, I think it’s in the same league of iniquity that houses the likes of Sucker Punch and Alien v Predator: Rectum. The failures here are so manifold that this isn’t so much a review as a shopping list of what not to do if you want to make a film, and the series now bears no resemblance at all to Resident Evil the video game. But what’s getting me down most about it, is that 5 films in it is now obvious that nobody involved gave a fuck on any level. They just took the cash and phoned in a dispiriting, repetitive, boring half-arsed movie that could only be worse if…

Actually, scratch that, I don’t think it could be worse. Even if it had been made by blind people with no opposible thumbs, this film could not be worse. As such, it’s drawn this series out of retirement for one last Hurrah.

Contains an actress actually looking embarrassed and massive spoilers below. 

Backwards? Forwards? Doesn't matter, as it's terrible either way

Backwards? Forwards? Doesn’t matter, as it’s terrible either way

Remember the end of Afterlife? Well, Alice (Milla Jovovich), Claire (Ali Larter) and Chris (thingy from Prison Break) were on a tanker facing being borded by an invasion of loyal Umbrella troops being commanded by one Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory). That they did this to Jill’s character actively angers me, but I’ll come on to this in a minute. Retribution opens with the invasion played in reverse and slow motion, because Anderson clearly thinks that’s cool, before it then plays forwards again. Yay, that’s great. Thanks for that. Claire and Chris disappear from the film at this point (probably the actors insisted on it), and Alice is captured. Incidentally, Guillory now has long blond hair, rather than Jill’s short brunette look. It’s good to know she could get her hair dyed while piloting a helicopter. Oh, and she’s also changed into a purple jumpsuit. This is actually indicative of how fucking lazy the film is, because were you to watch them back to back, and I’d rather have them smashed up and inserted into my eye cavities than do that, then it would be totally and completely jarring. It’s just so god damned slapdash.

Anyway, Alice (who remember has absolutely no superpowers whatsoever) is captured. This is Anderwank’s cue to give us the “greatest hits” of Resident Evil, otherwise known as Milla addressing the camera directly in a listless tone for about 10 minutes. She even reconfirms that she has no superpowers whatsoever, but the images they show when talking about her powers frequently come from Afterlife after she’s allegedly depowered. Again, this is hugely lazy, not to mention almost aneurysm inducingly boring.

She's only running away because she has no superpowers whatsoever

She’s only running away because she has no superpowers whatsoever

So far, so lame. She then wakes up in a house in suburbia (eh?) which comes complete with Carlos from RE2 and Extinction as her husband and an adorable little deaf kid. Shit you not. A deaf kid. Next thing you know, she’s fighting off a home invasion from a slavering zombie horde, only to be rescued by Michelle Rodriguez’s’ Rain (eh? thought she was dead too). Eventually she succumbs to the monsters, a proto-sacrifice to save the adorable little blond moppet. And then wakes up in the middle of a cell being lamely interrogated by Jill. Next thing you know, and someone has shut down Umbrella’s computer allowing Alice to bust out into what looks like the middle of Tokyo, unfortunately about to suffer an attack from a zombie horde, thus forcing Alice to retreat into the corridor. Armed only with a spiky ball on a chain and a gun she, despite having no superpowers whatsoever, manages to slaughter about 20 zombies. I keep going on about how she has no superpowers at all because the fucking films go to such great lengths to remind us that she has no superpowers whatsoever while the evidence before our eyes is the exact fucking opposite.

Anyway, for some reason or another she’s in Umbrella’s control room and introduced to Agent Ada Wong (a highly highly embarrassed Bingbing Li) who does at least look like the character from the games. She’s, apparently, working for Wesker, who if you remember Alice killed in the last film. This makes it about 8 times and counting that she’s offed him. Anyhoo, he reveals that they’re in the Straits of Kamchatka, and exposits back and forth with Alice for ages explaining the layout of the facility they’re in. Basically, it’s set up in a series of Arenas- New York, China, Suburbia and Moscow with a helpful submarine port at the end. He’s sent in a strike team consisting of Leon (Johann Urb), Luther (Boris Kodjoe- yes, I thought he was dead too), Barry (Kevin Durand- easily the best performance in the film), and some cannon fodder.

Jumpy jumpy! poor lass. No wonder she looks embarrassed for lots of the film.

Jumpy jumpy! Poor lass. No wonder she looks embarrassed for much of this terrible film. Wouldn’t you?

Basically Alice and Ada have to make it to the submarine port to meet the Strike team and get rescued. Apparently, as if this pudding isn’t overegged enough, the Red Queen (evil homicidal computer from the first film, except it wasn’t evil and was in fact trying to contain the outbreak- Anderwank can’t even remember his own fucking work) has taken over and is trying to make humanity extinct. So, Alice and Ada move to Suburbia where they’re ambushed by Jill, Rain and Colin Salmon from the first film (I’ve just discovered his character is called “One” Shade. How racist is that?) all of whom were previously thought to be dead. So, there’s a bit more exposition, and it’s revealed that these are all clones. As is Alice. Not that this stops her hooking up with little deaf kid and displaying maternal instincts. Because that would be character consistency.

Jesus this film is shit.

Anyhoo, Ada sacrifices herself, for unknown reasons, and Alice and Moppet escape. Only to be met by ANOTHER Michelle Rodriguez. Alice rescues the strike team from a group of evil gun wielding zombies (don’t ask), and they make it to the surface. Where there’s a big fight between Alice and Jill and Leon and Luthor and an infected Rain. Eventually Alice twigs to remove Jill’s chest thing, and drops Rain into the Ocean. This allows Wesker to rescue them, take them to the white house, re-infect Alice and give her all her superpowers back for an Apocalyptic type ending that leads into the inevitable sequel- which should be the last one looking at it.

See- Look at her face. Embarrassed to be there.

See- Look at her face. Embarrassed to be there.

This isn’t a film. Well, it is obviously in the medium of cinema, but on any level it’s not constructed like a film. It is, in fact, constructed like a video game- and I don’t mean that in a good way. Anderson has basically gone out of his way to throw all logic out of the window to allow him free rein for what passes for his imagination. So, he thought it would be cool to have a zombie horde in Moscow and found a way to do it. What’s irritating, though, is that before each segment begins he stops the action, the Red Queen interjects and says something like “loading Las Plagas”. This then cues the next extended, unimaginative and monstrously repetitive actions scene.

As for the action scenes themselves, this is a good indicator of how little of a fuck was given by all involved. The monsters are all reused from the series, and thus totally BLAH as we’ve seen them all already. Furthermore, there’s no weight or dramatic tension to them. We already know that Alice is practically indestructible by this stage (despite having no superpowers whatsoever), and once we’ve got long-dead characters popping up as clones left right and center, well, who gives a fuck? The final fist-fight (yay, what a climax) is particularly bad. Anderson steals the X-Ray device I first saw in a Jet Li film (I think it’s Romeo Must Die, but I stand to be corrected on this) whereby you “see” the skeleton actually break when punched. What Anderson has forgotten is that a blow to the solar plexus that’s so hard it shatters the rib cage and stops the heart is not something you get up from to continue fighting with no obvious sign of movement being impeded. It’s just such lazy fucking hackery.

It's well known that the only thing scarier than an undead horde is a SMILING undead horde.

It’s well known that the only thing scarier than an undead horde is a SMILING undead horde.

As to how its shot, well, a plague on fucking 3D. It allows Anderwank to get away with shooting a film in the style of a retard doing a painting made of poo. I can only assume that those IMDB reviews praising it for its great action all saw it at the cinema and were bedazzled by the abundance of shit flying at the screen. Which, incidentally, includes Guillory and Jovovich running like they’ve spent 4 days in the saddle. It’s not quite as ridiculously OTT as Afterlife was, which is surprising, albeit not as surprising as the fact that Afterlife, a platinum stinker of a film, is miles better than this.

Then there’s the script. It’s execrable. Horrible, actually. There’s a sheer abundance of really cheesy lines, but not good cheesy, cringeworthy cheesy. Then the characters are both ill-thought out and lazily drawn. Wesker has pulled practically a 180 from previous films, Alice is still a boring cypher, Jill is (aside from not being Jill Valentine in any way, shape or form) cursed with tedious and shameful faux-badass dialogue and worst of all it recycles whole chunks of the scripts from previous films. The Red Queen in particular is guilty of reusing her lines verbatim from the first film. This may be because the actress that played her has grown up, but really, fuck off.

Didn't you die about 5 films ago?

Didn’t you die about 5 films ago?

Given the hideous script and disjointed concept, it’s no wonder the actors struggle. Li actually looks embarrassed on more then one occasion, Guillory is totally miscast for this role (although funnily enough not to play Jill Valentine), Rodrigues bored and confused, Jovovich bored and confused, and the dickhead playing Wesker sporting an inexplicable accent. The only positive I can say regarding the acting is that Durand blows everyone else off the screen in his supporting role, but given that we know they’re all clones, his competent performance can’t raise a glimmer of emotion at his noble sacrifice. This plagues the film, actually, because when the “good” Rain is killed, we just don’t give a fuck. We know she’s a clone, and we know she’s disposable because we’ve seen the “bad” Rain hunting Alice, Ada and the deaf kid.

Incidentally, this reminds me, why is the kid deaf? What does this actually add to proceedings? In fact, I’d say it was a mistake because only heinously mean-spirited films kill kids at the best of times, and I’ve never seen a film kill an adorable handicapped kid. Just shaving away another layer of potential danger, frankly.

Help! Run from the monster that Alice already killed a few films ago without really trying hard.

Help! Run from the monster that Alice already killed a few films ago without really trying hard.

Overall, Resident Evil Retribution is a fucking abysmal film. We had a debate a while back about which series was better RE or Underworld- 2 of the most rancid franchises out there. I argued for Underworld, based on that the only film from either series that I’ve actually enjoyed was Underworld 4. I’d now like to nail this down as fact, because while Underworld is pretty dreadful all in all, it simply doesn’t contain a film as inept, painful, and embarrassing as Resident Evil Retribution. Have an Orangutan of Doom and very well deserved it is too.

Orangutan of Doom

Resident Evil Retribution is a horrible adaptation of the RE games, in that it basically isn’t an adaptation of the property any more, but worse than that, is a film rivaling Sucker Punch for shittest effort of the last 4 years. As far as video game adaptations go, this is the only film I’ve seen that I can unequivocally say is worse than Super Mario Brothers. It’s so bad that even Uwe Boll would be embarrassed about it, and represents the crowning glory in Anderson’s continuing embarrassment of a career. And the fucker made money too.

Not to mention that the music is shit as well, by the way.



Video Games

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

51 responses to “Video Game Adaptations: Resident Evil Retribution”

  1. Jarv says :

    Embarrassingly bad on every level, this.

  2. Judge Droid says :

    I think it’s Romeo Must Die, but I stand to be corrected on this

    It is from Romeo Must Die. It’s also more recently used in the latest Mortal Kombat game.

    only heinously mean-spirited films kill kids at the best of times

    Mimic killed 2 kids, and I don’t think that film is mean-spirited overall. Sometimes it can be used effectively.

    • Jarv says :

      Forgot about Mimic. I should have been specific= of this type of film.

      It’s meant to be a “fun” actioner rather than a zombie film. The Kid is just indicative because as soon as she appears that’s it- each fight becomes completely worthless as you know that nobody is going to be hurt.

  3. Jarv says :

    What gets to me about the Resident Evil films is how is it so hard to make one that bears resemblance to the game.

    SWAT team trapped in what is effectively a haunted house. Fending off zombies bit by bit, before eventually finding the root of the infections (the lab) beneath. The first film blew this by opening in “The Hive” and then turning it into a brainless explosion fest. Main Characters= Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield

    The second should have been even easier- if you’re following Jill then you jump to Nemesis, which is her escaping from Raccoon City. There’s umpteen films with a post-apocalyptic cityscape that you can use.

    Instead, Anderson fell in love with the idea of Umbrella as an all-powerful villain, and “Alice” as a character so they became increasingly stupid and divorced from the games. Umbrella, in this instance, effectively doesn’t even exist any more as it’s being run by the computer from the first film that’s turned genocidal (which doesn’t make sense because it was trying to contain infection in the first film).

    I wish someone would reboot this series and do it properly. It should be an open goal.

    • Jarv says :

      So why do I keep watching them?

      In all honesty, I haven’t a clue. I don’t seem to be able to ignore them. It’s infuriating because I know that they’re getting progressively worse every time, but there’s a weird car crash rubbernecking thing going on. I’m genuinely wondering how bad they can actually get- and if at some point that’s going to pass into “So bad its good” land.

      Oh, and that’s me back up to 100% Anderson. Yay! me! or not.

      • Judge Droid says :

        This seems to be the same thing as my experience with Fast and Furious. Although they were never as shit as the best RE film, after 4 of them I seriously wondered why the hell I kept watching them. 1 was shit, and while I didn’t hate 2-4, they weren’t very good. There’s no chance whatsoever of a Fast Five quality RE film while Anderwank is in charge though.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Basically, there is absolutely no way anyone could make a good RE film in the “universe” that Anderwank has created. You’d definitely have to reboot it and take it back to it’s survival horror roots.

      • Jarv says :

        I honestly think Tokyo Drift is as shit as RE Extinction is good. But the rest of the F&F films are miles better. Hell, Underworld is miles better and that’s terrible.

        Is Anderwank the worst mainstream director working (Boll doesn’t count). He must be surely.

        But what gets me is that he keeps pissing in the genre pond, and crap like this crushed Dredd and continues to crush whatever usually better film is up against whatever RE atrocity it is.

      • Jarv says :

        You’d definitely have to reboot it and take it back to it’s survival horror roots.

        That’s going to have to happen. Honestly, you have to see the last shot of this film to see why.

        It’s Wesker, Alice, Leon, Ada, Jill (notably not the Redfields) standing on the roof of the White House facing down a zombie horde (includes flying demon zombie things, by the by).

        The dialogue before is how Wesker has made Alice into the “weapon I need” to save humanity and it’s “The Last Stand”.

        The next film is the last in Anderson’s painful vision of Resident Evil. After that it has to be reboot as there’s literally nowhere else the series can go.

      • Jarv says :

        The other thing that annoys me about RE is that the games are 18 rated. Furthermore, it has an in-built audience, decent budgets and good casts.

        Even taking into the account the massive drag factor that is the writer and director (that’ll be Anderson), it should be an absolute fucking gimme to produce decent RE films.

      • Judge Droid says :

        And fairly cheap as well. RE films don’t need massive set piece ‘splosions and shit. The first film especially. You can always introduce the more monstrous baddies in the sequel(s). The first one should just be survival horror against zombies and uncovering the conspiracy or whatever.

      • Jarv says :

        The zombies are enough of a threat in the first film, totally agree. If they want they can bring in the hunters.

        The “big” monsters really start appearing from RE2 onwards.

      • Judge Droid says :

        I don’t think Tokyo Drift is that bad. However, I have not seen it since the cinema. Not seen any of 2-4 twice. I’ve been meaning to watch them all again.

        Anderwank, that cock who just apes other more successful directors (he did Eagle Eye), Oliver Megaton (or whatever his name is). These are some of the worst that spring to mind.

        People are morons.

      • Jarv says :

        Tokyo Drift is complete shit. Actually, it might be worse than Extinction, which climbs to the dizzy heights of “almost meh”.

        “DK Kryptonite” etc. Embarrassing.

        Having said that, though, it is the only one that I would rate that low. Whereas I did give at least 3 OoD’s to RE films (Afterlife, Apocalypse and this).

        Out of 5, that’s appalling and I genuinely don’t think these are controversial Orangutans.

        Anderwank is worse than both D.J. Caruso (although he does suck) and Megaton.

      • Judge Droid says :

        heh. I wouldn’t go anywhere near an OoD for any of the F&F series. Lowest would probably be 1 chang for the first one. Because although it is shit, it’s also amusing in its macho posturing and some of the car stunts etc are pretty good.

      • Judge Droid says :

        I hate DJ Caruso with the fire of a thousand suns, but yes, I concede that Anderwank is worse.

      • Jarv says :

        On a quick 3 film series comparison, the order would be for me:

        F5- easily the best from all 3.
        F4=F2=Underworld Awakening- Mildly amusing, a bit poo and not classics, but I’ve enjoyed them.
        RE:Extinction: Mehness
        F1: I did like this when it was called point break
        Tokyo Drift: Shit
        Underworld 1= RE 1: getting worse
        Underworld 3: Boring
        Underowrld 2: Absolute honk
        RE 4
        RE 2
        RE 5

        Everything from RE Extinction down is a bad film though.

      • Judge Droid says :

        If you’d asked me 10 years ago, I might have considered an OoD for the first one. But I’ve seen it again fairly recently, and it’s more entertaining than I gave it credit for. Not in the way that it’s intended though. It’s essentially film made by a nerd who is desperately trying to be cool. So it fetishizes all the crappy toy car shit like the neon lights and decal paint jobs, onboard computers and NOS. And it’s all so hilariously lame. I can’t hate a film that pathetic.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s not hateful. No. Just a big rip off

      • Judge Droid says :

        Aye. That’s partly why I really hated it when I saw it. It’s such a blatant rip off of a film I really like.

      • Jarv says :

        It also doesn’t make me actively angry. Walker is friggin’ awful in it though, as I recall.

      • Judge Droid says :

        He is. But he’s never been particularly good. He has improved slightly as the series has gone on. Really, his best performance is probably Running Scared. Or that dog sled movie (which I saw on a plane BTW).

      • Jarv says :

        Nah. It’s monster in the closet when he was 8.

        This is what the monkey said about Anderson back in the day:

        Seems to me, what’s annoying about Anderson is he’s making films people like us should like – mid-to-low budget genre films with space and monsters and shooting and fighting and whatnot – and he somehow manages to let us down every single time. There aren’t a huge number of directors who specialize in genre stuff like he does, and time after time all he turns in are lazy, boring, derivative films. It’s such a waste.

      • Judge Droid says :

        I haven’t seen that one.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s troma.

        Also stars Fergie at that age. About a gay monster ruthless murdered by corporate America.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Who’s Fergie? Sir Alex?

      • Jarv says :

        Black Eyed Peas chick.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Ah. That’s why I had no idea.

      • Jarv says :

        It would probably be better if it was Sir Alex of Wrigley.

        ‘cept I don’t think he’d pass as an 8 year old girl.

      • Judge Droid says :

        Well, he’s got the strawberries and cream flushed cheeks of a kid.

    • Judge Droid says :

      Jovovich is married to Anderwank. As long as he’s making them they’ll always star her. And be shit.

    • Jarv says :

      Yup. Wretched.

      Nothing good to say about it at all.

      • Tim The Film Guy says :

        Somebody said on my review it wasn’t that bad but it really was! 😀

      • Jarv says :

        It was. It was worse. It’s just NOT a film- it’s a video game- and one the actors are embarrassed to be associated with.

        The look Li throws at the end when Leon touches her leg sums it up. She’s horrified and totally shamed.

      • Jarv says :

        Where did you get 65% for the visuals from? It’s an exercise in 3D prodding at the camera and is flat out badly filmed on more than one occasion.

      • Jarv says :

        Also, that DLC comment is clever.

        Never thought of that. If I’d got it thrown in with more maps from the Playstation Store or something then that’s about the level of quality the film is.

        That’s not to say it’s good, because it’s shit and even at that level it would be shit, but I kind of get where it’s going. It’s like the Dead Space movies.

  4. kloipy says :

    This makes the whole series worth it

    • Jarv says :

      That is funny Kloipy. When he blurts out “The whole film has been leading up to this?”

      • kloipy says :

        they watched the whole series back to back and this was apparently the point where their brains broke down

      • Jarv says :


        Actually, that’s not impossible. The first one just washes along. The second is horrible, but the third is so much better than the second that it will lift you up.

        I don’t think you can do it now there’s 5 of them and 5 is the worst/

      • ThereWolf says :

        That’s top. “What’s happening?”

        Myself, I was just speechless. Well, apart from a solitary “Fuck off” when the credits rolled that is.

  5. ThereWolf says :

    On the strength of that review, I have elevated Retribution to ‘high’ priority on Lovefilm.

    Didn’t mind 1, didn’t like 2, didn’t like 3 & severely disliked 4.

    I too cannot fathom how nobody can turn Cinema-Resi into anything approximating Videogame-Resi, the same conundrum afflicting Silent Hill. And Tomb Raider. Erm, hold on, there’s a pattern forming…

    • Jarv says :

      It’s weird isn’t it Wolf- you’d think it would be a doddle, but it’s impossible apparently. Anderwank has gone so far down a rabbit hole of sheer fucking stupidity that I think the series is irredeemable now.

  6. coltighfighter says :

    The one Resident Evil film even I didnt finish.

    I like 1 and 2. 3 was getting worse, 4 barely registered. And 5 I could not finish.


    • Jarv says :

      Almost totally unwatchable. Genuinely one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

      3 is miles better than 1 and 2, 4 is unspeakable.

  7. ThereWolf says :

    Well… I should’ve listened to Jarv…

    And to think I didn’t think it could get any worse than 4.

    Worse. Much, much worse. I feel like washing my eyes out with turps.

    Despicable shite. Anderson should be horse-whupped with the tail of a stegosaurus.

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