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Resident Evil: Retribution(2012)
Alice (Milla Jovovich), the world's foremost zombie slayer is back in the fifth film of the Resident Evil franchise. When she's captured by the evil Umbrella Corporation, Alice wakes up in the heart of one of their operation facilities and must find a way to escape. As she navigates deeper through the complex, her past is revealed, taking her on an international mission that spans Tokyo, New York and Moscow. However, when she finally uncovers the truth behind the outbreak, Alice must re-think everything that led her to this moment.
For more about Resident Evil: Retribution and the Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray release, see Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 18, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Li Bingbing, Kevin Durand
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
» See full cast & crew
Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray Review
All looks and no substance.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 18, 2012
Once again we found ourselves fighting for our lives.
What's the movie with multi-million dollar production values, a ten-cent script, and no brains? That would be Resident Evil: Retribution, the worst Action movie of the year and probably the least appealing of the entire Resident Evil franchise, a franchise that's had some good and entertaining pictures, one midlevel effort, and a single clunker. Retribution may as well be called Redistribution, because that's all it does. It takes old characters and old story lines and tries to make them new all over again (occasionally and briefly to halfway interesting result, admittedly) and fills in whatever gaps remain with a mindless barrage of gunfire and slow-motion acrobatics that looked cool years ago but have worn extremely thin now. Resident Evil: Retribution is everything that can be wrong with Hollywood today, a shame considering the quality source material and interesting premise. The franchise has officially worn out its welcome, and a gold star to anyone who can sit through this rubbish without even once feeling bored, experiencing déjà vu, lamenting the coming sixth film in the franchise, wishing they were playing the video game instead, or drowning the drivel with copious amount of pop and candy.
Alice (Milla Jovovich) has successfully fought off the pursuing goons on board the Arcadia. But no sooner is the battle complete does she find herself in suburbia, with longer hair, a husband, and a daughter. It seems she's suddenly in a picture-perfect world...until the zombies shatter her existence. She barely escapes but suddenly finds herself elsewhere, again, this time in a North Russia Umbrella virtual reality station in which she's forced to battle hordes of enemies in recreated corners of the world. Alice discovers that Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) is working alongside the vaunted "Red Queen," the real force behind her incarceration. Alice is aided by an old nemesis as well as a heavily-armed group of mercenaries, including Leon Kennedy (Johann Urb), that will help her escape the supposedly inescapable Umbrella facility to fight another day and discover the truth of what's happening in the real world rather than partake in any more of the Queen's violent and deadly simulations.
Indeed, the Resident Evil schtick is wearing quite thin. There's only so much audiences can take of Mila and friends slow-motion jumping through the air, slow-motion dodging big weapons, and slow-motion firing their guns, all the while fending off the same bad guys in various locations around the world (the end of Retribution promises yet another iconic setting for the coming film). At the end of the day, however, audiences continue to eat it up, this time to the tune of $220,000,000 in box office returns. Obviously, not everyone agrees that this thing has run its course, but maybe this film will be the breaking point, as well it might should. It's mind-numbingly awful, a largely plotless and brain dead ninety-minute sludge through a world (or worlds, better said, both artificial and real) populated by cardboard characters, acting that starts and stops at the physical aspect of the craft, and that is absolutely shredded by an endless string of gunfire that proves briefly entertaining but becomes so repetitive that whatever net positive effect it might have in terms of dazzling audiences with loud noises and incessant motion is lost to the destruction of brain cells and ringing ears. This is the ultimate in thoughtless entertainment, the opposite of smart Action movies like Die Hard, and it doesn't even have the charm of something like Commando. It's a movie that has become its own enemy, a digital zombie that only goes through the motions, no more and no less.
From a technical perspective, Resident Evil: Retribution does shine as a striking modern example of slicked-up digital filmmaking. The picture enjoys top-quality craftsmanship in every area of concern, from computerized visuals seamlessly integrating with real actors to the every-last-stitch-in-place costumes. Of course, it's sometimes easy to look past the production values when hordes of zombified Soviet-style troops are being mowed down, when an endless stream of ammunition is being expended to blast away any and every obstacle that lands in the characters' paths, when nearly every object on screen is blown into oblivion for the sake of blowing it into oblivion. For all the excess, though, there's not a ton of gore; the movie is plenty bloody with countless zombies blasted in the head, but this isn't a true blood-and-guts experience. The film is at its best in those few sequences that take place in the "suburbia" program, where bright, pink-accented little girls' bedrooms become battle zones for Mila versus the undead and their digital tentacles that come pouring from their mouths. This is straightforward escapism at its most basic but also its most polished and most generic; audiences determined to watch will have to decide if smooth-as-silk filmmaking and repetitive action is more important than plot and strong characters.
Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray, Video Quality
Resident Evil: Retribution's 1080p transfer exceeds even high expectations. This is a stunning image that boasts unbeatable clarity and visual precision across every inch of its digital construct. The image, captured on the Red Epic camera system, is remarkably crisp and incredibly well-defined right down to the slightest facial feature, clothing fabric, or digital readout, resulting in consistently striking details across the board. Colors are brilliant and many, and the palette remains accurate whether under the brightest lights in the Umbrella facility or under the cover of darkness. Black levels are perfect and flesh tones accurate. There's no sign of noise, banding, blocking, or other unwanted negatives. There's very little else to say about this one. It's perfect through and through, one of the best Blu-ray transfers of the year, if not across the format's entire history.
Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Resident Evil: Retribution blasts onto Blu-ray with a potent and exhilarating DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Even as the movie trudges through its repetitive action scenes, Sony's soundtrack delivers a consistent and absorbing full-fledged surround sound extravaganza. Listeners will enjoy the track even as the studio logos appear on-screen; they're accompanied by screams, the pops of distant gunfire, and aerial vehicles buzzing around the stage. The surround implementation is evident immediately, as is the track's dedication to clarity and precision sound placement. The track's aggressive nature does not equal an absence of clarity. On the contrary, every gunshot, explosion, and other action-oriented sound effect enjoys the sort of natural presence and stage dominance that defines the finest of Blu-ray audio tracks. It's a fully engaging and immersive sound presentation that works even in its delivery of the smallest background elements, such as light natural ambience or the random beeps and bloops around the Umbrella testing facility. Musical delivery is smooth as silk and naturally spaced around the listening area. Dialogue enjoys pinpoint clarity and remains grounded in the center channel. This is a reference-level track from beginning to end; they just don't come a whole lot better than this.
Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Resident Evil: Retribution contains a fine assortment of extra features, including two commentaries, extended scenes, and several featurettes. A UV Digital Copy voucher is also included.
Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Sigh. Resident Evil: Retribution is a completely derivative and unnecessary sequel to a franchise that's just dragging its heels and hiding an absence of story behind a barrage of gunfire and smooth production values. This one is the worst yet, a film completely devoid of original thought and content, made only to once again show Mila and company doing their thing in slow motion. Maybe the next one will be better; chances are it can't be any worse. Sony's 2D Blu-ray release of Resident Evil: Retribution features dazzling video and audio. Plenty of supplemental content is included. Fans will want to pick this one up, while others are strongly encouraged to rent first.
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Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Resident Evil: Retribution Blu-ray - November 5, 2012
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced and detailed its upcoming 2D and 3D Blu-ray editions of Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), starring Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory and Michelle Rodriguez. Street date is December 2 ...
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