Plot: What’s it about?
A decade ago, the first Resident Evil movie hit theaters and, wouldn’t you know it – it’s now 2012 and they’re still making them. To its credit, the Resident Evil movies don’t take themselves too seriously, yet they continue to make them and they continue to make money. Case in point, this latest installment had a budget of $65 million dollars and it raked in over $220 million worldwide. I think it’s safe to say that we’ll see Alice and company in at least one more film. And I will say that for a movie that’s based on a video game, it has done a pretty good job at being successful. Well that and having Milla Jovovich in the lead doesn’t hurt. With vampires and zombies all the rage, the Resident Evil movies play right into the pop culture phenomenon. While these movies won’t exactly make you think, I have to admit that they are mindless entertainment (pun fully intended).
This time around we meet Alice (Milla Jovovich) as she once again awakens in a foreign environment, only the events of what’s happened are being played in reverse and in super slow motion. Want to see what a bullet looks like coming out of a body? Your wait is over. Alice is now in one of the Umbrella Corporation’s underwater facilities located in Russia. Each “pod” is set to look like New York, Moscow or Surburbia. Alice is attempting to stop the spread of a T-Virus that ‘s turned the world into a mass of flesh-eating zombies and now it’s up to her and her scantily, leather-clad ensemble to make it happen. She’ not entirely alone, though, as she’s got some help from a special ops team. This begs the question…will Alice manage to once again thwart the Umbrella corporation or will she be eaten alive?
If you’ve seen all, or let’s face it, any of the previous chapters of this franchise then you know the answer to the question. Alice is a clone and even if she “dies” she’ll re-emerge. I don’t know if I was thinking too much or too little, but the more I watch the movies, the more like a video game they are. Each movie is like a new chapter in a game and, wouldn’t you know it, the Resident Evil line of video games is still going strong. We also see some familiar faces from some past movies. I don’t really know what else I can say that hasn’t been said already. The one good thing about these films is they pretty much deliver what they promise – zombies, bullets and a lot of leather (or is it latex). You’ve been warned.
Video: How does it look?
Admittedly I will say that Resident Evil: Retribution does look pretty darn good. The 2.40:1 AVC HD image is nearly all computer-generated (the film, of course) and detail is amazing. The super slow motion opening sequence is pretty interesting to look at, the lighting covers the full spectrum and just about everything in the movie looks razor sharp. Black levels and contrast seem to be on the mark as well and I’d be lying if I said that I was expecting this to look good. I actually did watch the first Resident Evil movie a few months back and it was plagued with some artifacting and color imbalance. While the plot might not blow you away, this image will. Top notch.
Audio: How does it sound?
As I stated above, the movie has a very limited amount of things that it delivers on and this robust DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is certainly one of them. Literally from the opening scenes to the closing ones, there’s something always going on in the speakers. Dialogue is crisp and clear, but what really impressed me were the surrounds that added something to nearly every scene. Plenty of things blow up and the LFE give the soundtrack that extra “oomph” to really make you feel what’s going on. While the movie might not win any awards for acting (or writing), it’s a damn good soundtrack that’s sure to please.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As with some of the other Resident Evil movies, there are enough supplements to warrant a purchase, but nothing too much of substance here. We get some outtakes and and, admittedly, Paul W.S. Anderson is still pretty passionate about this franchise as he remarks in the commentary track. With the Blu-ray exclusives we find half a dozen behind the scenes segments as well as an interactive database with plenty of information on Alice. Some deleted and extended scenes are also included and an UltraViolet version of the movie is included if you feel the need to watch it on a portable device.