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Sunday, September 30, 2012

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(Published in City Express, The New Indian Express, on 29 September 2012, retrieved from

Cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Aryana Engineer, Bingbing Li, Johann Urb, Oded Fehr
Director: Paul W S Anderson
Rating: 3 stars
I’ve never figured some things out. One is, why on earth are people scared of zombies? I mean, you could run out to your car, drive to the airport, and leave the country before a zombie makes it across your bedroom, right? Hell, you could even get your US visa processed if you’re from another country, provided there are no protests outside the American embassy at the time. Another thing I’ve never understood is, how does a video game spawn, what, five, six movies?
Apparently, Resident Evil: Retribution takes up from where the previous instalment left off. I wouldn’t know, because I’ve only seen parts of the previous instalments, and that too while switching channels. I have no patience for zombies. These ones don’t even do the Thrillerdance, ya. They just crawl out of rooms and cupboards and go on killing sprees. Meh.
The most room for contemplation I had in the film was when I recognised Oded Fehr and thought sadly that he’s aged rather a lot since the Mummy series. Or maybe men just look better riding horses and wearing robes and beards.
Anyway, back to Retribution. Apparently, the film took two months to shoot, and nine months of studio work to look the way it does. Obviously, this means the draw lies in the special effects.
Most of the film is spent on a series of simulations that reminded me of Jonny Quest.  And there are shootouts, and heavy breathing, and debris from expensive metal and plenty of zombies – which look quite funny, most of the time. Of course, given that all this is in 3D, random things are being flung at us all the time.
I suppose those of you who’ve followed the series will know what the Umbrella Corporation is, and what the fuss over the T-Virus is all about. And you’ll probably figure out why Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) sees fit to rescue Alice (Milla Jovovich) and her daughter from some suburban dream home invaded by zombies. Or what Alice’s complicated relationship with Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) involves. I got there at some point, but I confess I was distracted by this Umbrella Corporation’s mishandling of its electricity supply. You’d think they were Indian politicians, I tell ya.
Now, I suspect the people who’ve caused the franchise to stay alive are the hormone-driven teen boys who first salivated over Milla Jovovich ten years ago, and are in all likelihood respectable working men now. I suppose they will retain their fancy for her, and for theResident Evil series. I can relate to neither. But I guess those people will like this edition too, because it doesn’t appear any different from most films featuring outlandish creatures that our protagonists must fight. The White House obligingly features towards the end, and we’re left with the promise of more sequels.
Verdict: The film is probably best left to fans of the video game, Milla Jovovich and/or zombies.


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