Film Corner: Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

KISSMATE: Today we're continuing the Resident Evil film series! Written and directed by Paul W S Anderson, we're watching "Resident Evil: Retribution" (2012). The last one was fun with cheesy writing, so I'm hoping for something similar. Just a nice popcorn flick. Don't forget this is a double team with Ana Mardoll!

I did notice something interesting last movie. Wesker said he needed Alice's blood to become stable with the T Virus. After she was stabbed in the fight, she stabbed him with the same knife. Meaning she stabbed her blood into his brain. I'm hoping he comes back!

We start with Alice underwater, floating gently to the top. Oooh, it's backwards! Umbrella stormed Arcadia and shot people, and blew it up. Then we get Alice's backstory via clipshow. It feels like her video logs from the last movie, so that's a cool tie-in. She wakes up in... a normal life? Todd (Oliveria?) for a husband, she's blonde, a daughter late for school, even a comfortable bedroom. Dafaq?? Oh! The daughter is deaf and is using sign language! Oh! Oh! Oh! That's so cool!

OH SHIT, ZOMBIES ATE TODD. Alice breaks the ceiling to get Becky (daughter) in the attic. Good ideas are happening here! Sadly, even after escaping and hiding in another house, Alice didn't make it. We don't see what happens to Becky. Odd enough, that whole scene felt like it was Becky's backstory, but with past actors in place of who would actually go there. Becky was the only new actress in that whole flashback. So that's going to be brought up again, and I can't wait to see where it goes!

Alice wakes up as herself on an Umbrella logo, mostly naked. What is it with Umbrella making Alice go with as little on as possible? Jill, taken over by Umbrella, interrogates Alice with robotic questions and ear-bleeding noises. After Alice gives up nothing, a security system reboot gives her a way out and TIGHT leather get-up. She escapes to a simulated room of Tokyo.

All that room lead to was Zoms now attacking and chasing Alice, and a badass fight scene that I hope there's more of later in the film. Alice gets to Umbrella Central Control. All the employees look dead, but she gets a nice little weapon's cache! OH SHIT, ADA WONG IS ATTACKING HER! ADA!!!

Something to note here: Li Bingbing is playing Ada Wong. An Asian woman playing an Asian character is always nice. But she's been dubbed over by Ada's original voice actress, Sally Cahill. PWSA said he wanted more of Ada's feel in the movie, so changed the voice. I listened to a few interviews of Li Bingbing and she's not hard to understand. PWSA didn't dub over Jill or Claire or Chris. I'm surprised that this one POC is dubbed, but not any of the white ones. It feels wrong to know this, but it needs to be known.

Wesker refuses to work for Umbrella anymore (but he was in control of it???). We don't know his reasons, but he and Ada are trying to get Alice out of Umbrella's underwater testing prison in the Russian arctic. Umbrella is amazing. Hundreds of secret underground/water facilities. Impressive cloning tech. Made a secret bio-arms race by selling the T-Virus. Everything made is stylish and Apple white. Money is never an object, yet labor is near impossible to get. How? HOW?

LEON and BARRY show up with Luther! Leon kinda sounds right, but he doesn't have that boyish face I recognize. And Barry looks fresh out of college, not the grizzled veteran I'm used to. I'm giving them a chance, but they're on thin ice. (Get it? Cause Arctic?)

We learn Red Queen has control of Umbrella now, which seems very OOC for her. That and I thought she was destroyed in the first movie. Either way, she's our enemy for this film. I guess it explains away a computer biologically hacking into Jill. Not why, though.

Alice and Ada fight off two Executioners, which is BADASS. We learn the simulations are run on all clones. So there's basic models based on all the Umbrella employees, I'm guessing? But what about Becky? Clones based on a deaf girl? Can I ask why? Clones running around and us wondering if the characters we're watching are clones feels like RE6 to me, and that's not the best one to base your movie off of. But then neither was RE5 and they still based some things off that.

Can I just say the Strike Team (Luther, Barry, Leon) feels just like a RE cutscene? The dialogue, the tonal inflections, the characters. They all feel so familiar. If only we got more of them in awesome fight scenes and not just falling back from a hoard. Jill's team looks a lot like Alice's old friends, especially from the first movie. It doesn't bother Alice too much. Another clone catches up with Alice and Becky, and is now Babysitter Rain.

Alice picks up the Strike Team in a BITCHING fight sequence. Car chases! Finally! It's cool to see Barry and Leon kicking ass. Luther makes for a fun character too! Just... not enough of them, I guess. On the elevator, Becky gets captured by a MegaLicker (not killed why?). Sitter Rain gets 86'd. Barry was almost a Licker sandwich. Luther's been hit. And the elevator lost power. It's up to Alice to save Becky, though not sure what the plan is for the elevator.

Alice kills MegaLicker in the most Ad Wong way possible, finds some grenades, and gets Becky out of there. Barry dies, but with the most Big Dick Energy possible, so a step up from the games, IIRC. Also, Ada is a prisoner of Jill. Wonder how long that will last. Alice finds the clone factory. It's a little unsettling, ngl. Another Ada Wong-esque killing of another Mega Licker (why not given to Ada?). Becky freaks out at the clones and asks if Alice is her mother. "I am now," Alice responds. Honest and heartwrenching.

The bomb explodes up top, flooding the testing chambers. Wait, does that make the Red Queen Glados? No. No, that would be stupid. Alice and Becky make it to the surface with Leon and Luther. They drive off in the snow, but then the ice breaks! Because submarine! Jill, Ada, and Rain2 walk out. Rain2 juices herself up with Las Plagas and can now shit bullets if she gets shot. It's pretty gross AND cool. Jill and Alice fight while Leon and Luther take on Plagas Rain. Let's see how this fight turns out!

Luther's dead. Jill's chest piece got destroyed. Rain2 gets eaten by zoms. Alice is somehow not dead. And Ada was knocked out for all of that. I'm am pissed that Ada was pretty much a hostage and unused throughout the whole movie. Like, one fight and done! Fuck!

Ada was so criminally underused! You got the effing VA to dub the lines for her, and then NEVER USED HER! Fuck me, PWSA, why go through all the trouble if she was only going to be useful for 30 minutes?! Eat me! She wasn't even used in the final effing fight! Alice and Co get to the White House safely and- OMFG, Wesker's in the Oval Office looking like the Big Dick he is! He gives her back her powers so she can fight for him against the Red Queen, to protect humanity for good.

We see how fucked the last of humanity is, surrounded by demonic creatures and the undead prepared to eat the last of the living. "This is the beginning of the end." Thus... the end, for now. All in all, this was kind of fun, but there are some behind-the-scene issues that kill the fun. Barry and Leon grew on me and I ended up liking them for what they were. 6/10, would rather have the first or fourth movie on, but this is easily my third pick.

ANA: Once more into the breach! Today is Resident Evil 5, aka ummm (*hastily googles this*) "Retribution". A subtitle which definitely describes the contents of this film! Probably! Once again as a reminder: I've seen all the movies but not the games; Kissmate has played the games but never seen the movies.

The backwards slow-motion recap! Kissmate is extremely excited about people named Leon and Barry and Ada being credited! Wow, I forgot how effective this opening is at making you upset over the deaths of the white-pajama'd survivors. Kissmate is yelling "UMBRELLA IS GARBAGE" at the screen and I mean, yeah, he's not wrong.

The voice-over trying to sum up the first 4 movies is unfortunately banana-pants because there's just SO MUCH to summarize. And it's weird that Retribution tried to make the Red Queen a villain because (as my friend @chris_the_cynic has many times pointed out to me), she's not? She only went homicidal to *protect* humanity.

I would've cut this voice-over down by quite a bit. The part with her having powers which were then taken away seems a touch... unnecessary. The powers are gone, Alice, stop trying to make powers happen. Then you have Alice waking up in her suburban housewife setting with ODED FEHR as her husband. *heart eyes forever* The little Deaf girl! I love her so much! I love that she just, like, EXISTS in this movie and her Deafness isn't a big Plot Point.

I love how the Suddenly Suburb! setting makes no goddamn sense, but it's terrifying and engaging anyway. Oh gosh, my heart when Becky signs "I love you" before her mom rushes out to distract the zombies, that's fine, I'm fine, I'm not crying.

The torture scenes with Jill suck mightily, but I do like the implication that Umbrella has basically become a disease--replicating itself without cause or intelligence. I do love how they reuse the rain-in-Tokyo opening from Afterlife because it was just too good to not reuse.

Li Bingbing is so amazing in her Ada Wong role and I hate that they redubbed her with a white woman. She deserved better than that.

You have to give it to Umbrella: they have perfect cloning technology and instead of making THAT profitable, they sold a humanity-destroying virus and hoped everyone would use it responsibly. Whoops. Kissmate is delighted that Leon (apparently) sounds just like Leon sounds. Alice and Ada standing back to back as they face off against the Silent Hill Guys is just *chef's kiss* Gooooooowd, the way Alice just holds Becky when she runs up and clings to her "mommy".

Ok, that thing where Ada flips her skirt up to run? That made me queer. I was totally cishet until that happened. (Kissmate: "Were you, though?") I love Alice's answer when Becky asks "Are you my mommy?" She says "I am now" which is honest and about as close to the truth as you can explain given the circumstance. I'm so very gay for Barry and so very gay for Ada, it is a CONUNDRUM.

Oh!! I genuinely forgot Luther died? I thought she brought him back via movie CPR. It still makes NO SENSE that the Red Queen wants to destroy all human life. That's the exact opposite of her entire motivation.


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