Resident Evil: Extinction Review

by Stephen Bourne (iamstephenbourne AT gmail DOT com)
September 18th, 2012

Review: Resident Evil: Retribution
Canada/Germany, 95 minutes, Rated 14A (ON) 13+ (QC)
Reviewed 09/12, (c) Stephen Bourne

Milla Jovovich returns for another wildly entertaining round of guns a-blazing butt-kicking as The Umbrella Corporation's fearless rogue enemy Alice in director/screenwriter Paul W.S. Anderson's riotously violent horror actioner that sends Alice even further down the rabbit hole ripping through simulated cities populated by hordes of T-virus zombies while rescuing her hearing impaired daughter Becky (played by British Columbia- born Aryana Engineer) and escaping the Red Queen's deadly underwater testing facility based off Northeastern Russia's frozen Kamchatka Peninsula. Yes, daughter. Maybe.

Resident Evil: Retribution is the fifth live-action installment in what is reportedly considered the most successful film franchise adapted from a video game. All Canadian co-productions, the series began with Resident Evil (2002) - based on the 1996 PlayStation survival horror game of the same name - followed by the Genie Award-winning Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), and Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010). Enjoying the highest earnings in Canada during their box office releases, both Apocalypse and Afterlife were individually awarded the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television's Golden Reel Award.

Holy cripes, this flick is such a great time at the movie theatre. Clever, tight and chock full of amazing stunt work, Resident Evil: Retribution immediately grabs you by the throat and drags you willingly through its relentless meat grinding roller coaster ride of fast-running tentacle-spewing zombies and monstrously blood-thirsty Lickers. This time out, Anderson's script cleverly updates and tilts mildly recognizable elements from Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, throwing Jovovich's Alice into the alternate reality of her familiar Raccoon City suburb, shown along with Tokyo, New York City and Moscow to merely be clone-populated simulations running human tests on The Umbrella Corporation's T-virus. To that, fans will definitely get a kick out of seeing characters from the previous films and the video games appear here. The surprises are also fun throughout. The over-the-top ending is phenomenal.
Jovovich is astounding, effortlessly shouldering the huge fight scenes with infectious grand abandon but still easily injecting character nuances that reinforce your interest in what happens to Alice from beginning to closing credits. Sure, this picture is riddled with contrivances and there's not much left to work with for the supporting cast that includes Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Bingbing Li, and Shawn Roberts as Jill Valentine, Rain Ocampo, Ada Wong, and Albert Wesker respectively. Their comparably awful acting and lame dialogue don't matter much, though. Like all its predecessors, Resident Evil: Retribution is a single shooter experience without a lot needing to happen on the deeper peripheral. Stick with Alice, you'll do fine.

Online, the impressively designed official website offers up a few fun goodies as well. Checking out the Join Umbrella Corporation link takes you to a separate site that cheerfully announces its $500M IPO and lets you print a stock certificate. The Resident Evil film site also serves up two games: Undead Unleashed lets you fight off zombies in Tokyo, New York or Moscow, and Street Invasion invites visitors to plug in an address and "defend your neighborhood from undead invaders!" Awesome. Find it at

Easily the best one yet, Resident Evil: Retribution doesn't try to be anything other than what it is, which is a gleefully gore-gushing guilty pleasure for moviegoers and rabid action horror fans alike. Whether it's in 2D, 3D, realD 3D, or IMAX 3D, fasten your meat hooks and have a blast! Reviewed 09/12, (c) Stephen Bourne

Resident Evil: Retribution is rated 14A by the Ontario Film Review Board for occasional gory/grotesque images, use of expletives, occasional upsetting or disturbing scenes, tobacco use, and violent acts shown in clear, unequivocal and realistic detail with blood and tissue damage, and is rated 13+ by la Regie du Cinema in Quebec.


Resident Evil 2 (2004)


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Tags: Resident Evil Retribution, Milla Jovovich

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