'Resident Evil: Retribution' Review By Bryan Yentz

... This zombie should be left out to rot.
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
Once in a while, a film is projected across a silver screen that surpasses the expectation of each and every viewer. It shatters preconceived notions of familiarity and renders us speechless. It pulls at our hearts, opens our minds and forces our jaws to drop. Once in a while, a film comes along and reminds us of the magic, power and influence of the cinematic medium. . .

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is not that film. It's the complete opposite.

It's the sort of film which reminds us of why we hate cinema, Hollywood and big-name directors with celebrity wives. . . It's the type of film that perpetuates every negative element regarding multi-million dollar blockbusters and offers nary a thing the least bit substantial or worthwhile. Its purpose isn't to be remembered; its purpose is to slap you across the face with stupidity--so much in fact--that you'll forget you wasted your hard-earned money on it. . . Until the inevitable sixth installment comes out in a year, that is. Rinse. Repeat.

For whoever's still following this franchise's attempt at storytelling, the broken narrative begins just where the last film left off: on a big-ass cargo ship with Alice (Milla Jovovich) fighting helicopters, Umbrella agents and a brainwashed Jill. From here, the movie jumps to an Alice at home with her "deaf" daughter (more on that later) and her husband. Is it a flashback that breaks continuity? A dream? Bullsh*t? Well if you guessed "bullsh*t" then you're already one step ahead of the entire film. . . Following this divergent plot-point, we witness our main protagonist, Alice, wake inside a new Umbrella complex. From this moment on, she discovers herself in a new training facility for the Umbrella Corporation which is buried beneath the frozen waters of an ocean. Despite the fact that the Earth is nearly extinct of all humanity, we're informed that Umbrella is still testing their biohazards on fake cities modeled after real cities. . . And. . . Well. . . You know what? It's just all so illogical that I won't even bother continuing. The idiotic, hole-ridden, absurd, senseless, infuriating plotline is just an excuse for constant action. So, doing away with the vomit-inducing atrocity that is the narrative, let's pop a cap in the frenetic gunplay and zombie-blasting havoc that punctuates the celluloid.

I'll be honest, during the first literal three minutes of the movie, I dare say I was enthralled. Playing in reverse slow-motion, we watch as Alice fights a losing battle atop the cargo ship. This brief scene consists of snazzy and cheesy visuals (Jill jumping from the helicopter) and a great electronic song scored by Tomandandy (who also scored the last film and other flicks like THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake). These first few minutes contain a trance-like quality to them and display a sci-fi beauty that the previous installment lacked.

And then everything returns to normal speed, we're shown the same scene in chronological order and any potential is tossed into the same ocean Alice's body is blown into. While the film maintains a consistent action-oriented pace, it all works for naught when every scene of carnage is either bland, repetitive or plain-out forgettable. While the environments change (though don't let the "global" tagline fool you), the bullet-blasting, knife-throwing, grenade-chucking havoc just becomes monotonous. It's as if everyone involved knew they were going to make millions so they didn't even try to make anything about the action the least bit memorable. Then again, about the time the Russian zombies came out of the fog firing machine guns and wielding chainsaws, I threw out any hope that the film might try anything the least bit compelling in the action department. The film is so lazy in fact, that it just reuses the same monstrous enemies from the previous films. Remember The Licker from number one (the only good one)? He's back. Remember the Executioners from the last one? They're here too (and yes, they've been completely taken out of context once again, so they make even less sense here than before). Typically, when one goes into a film knowing full-well that it'll be shallow, they can at least expect some decent action to accompany (and make up for) all of the idiocracy. Not the case here. Outside of the beginning and one particular shot near the end which features a character overtaken by zombies under the water, everything about RETRIBUTION reeks of half-assed execution.

And I gotta ask. . . What the hell was up with having a deaf character in the film, if she not only spoke, but stated every word perfectly WHILE she used sign language? Now, had anyone involved with this production actually played through the games, then this little piece of pie could have been used to great effect, let's say. . . During a fight with a Garridor; a blind, blade-armed antagonist from RESIDENT EVIL: 4 that hunts by sound. What if Alice and the little deaf girl had been caught in a chamber with one of these and only had sign language to communicate? There Paul. I just gave you you're best, most intense scene for RESIDENT EVIL 6: WE'RE NOT STOPPING. . . You're welcome.

And as if all of that weren't bad enough, Anderson and co. go as far as tacking on content and shots during an introductory narration that NEVER even occurred in the previous entries!

Seriously, these are the people getting paid the big bucks, people. . .

Even entering the theater with zero expectations, I found RETRIBUTION to be a complete and utter waste of time. If the last film was a nail in the coffin; this attempt sends the franchise six feet under. Shamelessly recycled enemies, ideas and one-liners from previous entries; laughably bad characterization; music-video direction and a plot that serves as a ludicrous footnote rather than a true-to-the-series narrative should have forced this entire endeavor into the delete bin. Even as far as mindless entertainment goes, RETRIBUTION lowers the bracket on that as well. Beyond the first three minutes, a neat-o underwater shot during the final bout and a pulsating soundtrack by Tomandandy, RETIBUTION is a failure of kinetic proportions. This zombie should be left out to rot.

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Comments (46)

  1. Bryan Yentz


    Haha, thanks, man!

    2 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  2. IlikePie202

    What? I loved this movie lol. Nice job

    3 years agoby @Ilikepie202Flag

  3. MovieManiac

    @bryanyentz - Haha, i will definitely stay away from this turd. And no problem man!

    3 years agoby @moviemaniac66Flag


    @bryanyentz Yeah... kind of... especially with the bass drum... what you're missing is the rebound you get when the sticks and bass mallet hit the head of the drum... They actually force people to play with their arms instead of their wrists... I hate those sets... haha

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  5. Bryan Yentz


    Haha, thanks, man! Sure you'd be a groovy teacher too. I should definitely look into one of those kits then... I mean, the most I've tried to use is a Rock Band set... Sad, I know.

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  6. Bryan Yentz


    Haha, awesome! Yeah, I agree, there were some bits that I found uneven too (some continuity with the story, plus the convoluted backstabbing at the end), but I couldn't argue with the action. Glad you liked it too, man!

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  7. Nicholaus XX

    @bryanyentz -- I liked it. Instead of coming up with a different explanation, I'll copy and paste what I said to @mcleve02.

    "The Raid: Redemption", while wildly uneven, is ambitious, violent, and fast-paced. The action(at the beginning) is intense, and will keep you on the edge-of-your-seat. The score perfectly complements the action, and is nothing short of brilliant. The acting is okay, but that's not important, here. The characters are given just enough humanity to make them feel realistic, but that doesn't go without saying others are mere objects, thrown in your path simply to witness carnage.

    If you take the genre, and goal into consideration, "The Raid: Redemption" is a good movie, and ends on an extremely satisfying note.


    Emphasis on the ending statement. It was f*cking awesome!

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag


    @bryanyentz haha get yourself what is called a reel feel drum pad... They are made to feel like you are playing on a real drum, without all the volume! If you lived closer to me I would just teach you! ;P

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  9. Bryan Yentz


    Damn, dude! That's awesome! I REALLY want to learn to play drums at some point... When I have the money... And a place to do it where I'm not annoying anyone...

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag


    @bryanyentz I could send you clips... at the moment my work has consisted of writing Marching Band shows from High Schools in my area and Indoor Percussion lines themes! I also teach at a high school. I teach the percussion and rhythm lab classes and then teach the drumline as well! Needless to say, it's a very fun, very busy career!

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  11. Bryan Yentz


    And you have a music degree? That rocks! Pun utterly intended. Anywhere I can listen to your stuff?

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  12. Bryan Yentz


    Yeah, man, see what I can do!

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag


    @the-movieghost Yeah... just go in knowing he is doing it to help! haha

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  14. the MovieGhost

    @mcleve02 Yeah ha ha, I've got a feeling that'll happen with a couple of mine too!

    3 years agoby @the-movieghostFlag


    @the-movieghost haha except I have my music degree! I can write some mean music, but not words! So yeah I am open to suggestion... even though I know Yentz is going to rip me a new one on a number of my reviews! haha

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  16. the MovieGhost

    @bryanyentz Absolutely man, it's always a pleasure. I'm in the same boat @mcleve02 is, in the way that I'd love to get that "Official" stamp as well. I'eve always loved writing, it's something I've been doing for years, but only recently did I get into writing movie reviews. So when you're free, I'd greatly appreciate some constructive criticism on the reviews I've done so far.

    Oh and in regards to what you said about the game "tie-ins" you hit the nail on the head, I think. From what I've seen there has been nothing else to support those choices other than, "Hey, this would look cool. It doesn't contribute anything, but dammit if it doesn't look cool!"

    3 years agoby @the-movieghostFlag


    @bryanyentz That is what I asked you to do in the first place anyhow! CORRECT practice makes perfect, and I am aware of that! haha

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  18. Bryan Yentz


    Yeah, man, all it takes is time and a passion to write (something I even have to remind myself of frequently), but when I gain some time, I'll check out more of your material and give you honest feedback. I'm going to be honest for you, but I don't want you to take it as negativity, just constructive comments to help hone your skill.

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  19. Bryan Yentz


    Thanks for reading and giving awesome compliments, man! And sure thing, I'll be sure to tag you from here on out. As for RE:5 and the enemies; yes, you're right about the virus name and the weaponed enemies; but the movie's execution of such aspects is terrible. In the game, when an enemy used a weapon--be it melee or gun--it felt sloppy and inaccurate as it should be considering their brains have been consumed by the virus. It made sense and felt realistic. That, and the giant Executioner made sense because of the ritualistic killings and torture the clans were performing in the game's outset. In the film, however, all of these elements were tossed in for a simple "cool" effect; without any reason other than, "Hey, this is in the game, so let's put it in the film without any context". The Executioner's cinematic apperance baffled me since every other enemy in the film is either zombie, human or monster--not gargantuan, tortured, self-wounding and mutilating beast. Paul probably thinks that just "including random sh*t from the source" is what connects two very different forms of the same thing. But without context or cohesion, it's all for naught. But yeah, thanks for reading and for the heads up on Paul's recent quote!

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag


    @bryanyentz Cool deal man! I am looking forward to it! I am definitely trying to improve the way I review! I would like to get that official stamp as well! ;)

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  21. Bryan Yentz


    Hahaha, thanks, man! Glad I could be a positive influence. And I'll check out that review too, especially because I dug that movie. And I have been taking a look at your other material. I'll get back to you on them later.

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  22. Bryan Yentz


    Ah, AWESOME! Dude, you have to let me know what you think of it! I LOVED IT!

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag


    @the-movieghost I actually don't think the majority of the films are even remotely close to the games... they have glimmers here and there... but over all they have made it their own pile of crap!

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  24. the MovieGhost

    @bryanyentz I could've told you this was going to blow when this was announced. It's like you said, the first movie was really the only good one. I enjoyed the second, but it wasn't up there with number one.

    I think I read somewhere that Paul and Co. were trying to stay closer to the games? I don't know because I haven't ever played any of the games. But I do remember in RE5 the "zombies" can fire guns, wield melee weapons and such but they had the "Uroboros" virus, not "Las Plagas". Whatever, it's still bullsh*t.

    Great review! Yours are always refreshing in the way that they don't "follow the crowd" and such. Any way I could get on that Tag List too?

    3 years agoby @the-movieghostFlag


    @bryanyentz haha no worries! I do enjoy your reviews... when I see one come up, I know serious sh*t is about to go down! I will say that you have inspired me to be more brutally honest on my reviews... My review of Bronson is proof of that!

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  26. Nicholaus XX

    @bryanyentz -- That sounds....awful. Any way, I'm watching "The Raid: Redemption" tonight!

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  27. Bryan Yentz


    And thanks for reading, man!

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  28. Bryan Yentz


    I hear ya! Then definitely don't watch this one... With that said, SPOILER! This one ends on yet another cliffhanger! Prepare to be even more upset!

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  29. Bryan Yentz


    Haha, no problem, man. Thanks for reading!

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  30. Bryan Yentz


    Hahaha, thanks, man! Yeah, as a fan of the games I'm disappointed with the movies, but I did like the first one as sheer entertainment. But yeah, agree with you beyond that.

    3 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag