Reporting Luke McKinney
Resident Evil: Retribution opens this Friday, meaning another wave of mindless moaning bodies complaining that the movie isn’t true to the games. But what whiners forget is that there is a Resident Evil movie that’s based on the games, stars the game characters, is absolutely canon, and it sucks like a leech zombie.
Capcom was apparently infected by their own imaginary company’s strategy of misusing technology to do stupid things*, spending millions of dollars to computer animate a movie without Milla Jovovich. A movie which would embarrass a nine year-old’s fan-fiction blog. Degeneration is more tragically pointless than a documentary on terminally bald baby hedgehogs.
*Which makes sense, as infectious stupidity is Umbrella’s entire deal.
In an attempt to reduce its target market to zero it ignores the other movies, preferring to build on the plot of the game*, but then ignores the plot of most of the games. The result is interesting to so few people the scriptwriter doesn’t remember writing it — he thinks he blacked out and that the Capcom paycheck was from medical insurance.
*Even Umbrella wouldn’t build on the plot of Resident Evil 2, and building stupid facilities on terrible ideas is their entire corporate strategy.
Your first look at the CGI makes you think they’re starting with the “zombie attacks the camera” scare tactic, until you realize that’s meant to be a reporter. The evil Umbrella corporation is famous for building subterranean bases, and this time they dug a pit at the bottom of the uncanny valley. The still images don’t do it justice: this movie really does suggest reanimated corpses. They look fine when they’re holding still. It’s when they move that your very soul screams that everything has gone wrong.
The only way to tell the dead eyed humans from the dead-eyed zombies is that the latter sound more intelligent. The dialogue sounds like someone took a head injury from their “Learning English in 30 days” textbook. The conversations stagger so clumsily you’d swear they were zombies too, and that the characters were trying to kill these linguistic-undead by mutilating the English language they were made of.
Except there’s no Umbrella: it was destroyed between games, then immediately replaced by the identically villainous WilPharma for this movie, which is destroyed in this movie and even more immediately replaced by Tricell in time for Resident Evil 5. Because nothing spells plot progression and satisfying story resolution like the bad guys rebranding every time you beat them.
Having given themselves this chance to move forward and ignore the entire tangled nightmare of the past games, the movie decided that the “stupid shoulder-eyeball monster genetically programmed for incest” was the one thing they just had to keep.
Which is why the movie introduces Angela Miller, a brand new character whose sole function is as a sextoy for the horrible throb-monster. And you’d swear she knows it. There is nothing in this movie she won’t try to hug. She has to physically restrained from grabbing the first zombie she sees, her clearly zombified teammate, her brother after he injects the contagious G-virus but before he mutates, and her brother when he’s a gigantic glistening monster of horror trying to kill her after he mutates. They way they created a woman desperate to give physical affection to anything, no matter how brain dead, reveals far more about the scriptwriter than I think they meant to.
She’s also a member of the local special forces team and sister of the bioterrorist, because in Resident Evil insane coincidence is a more powerful force than gravity. And being a touchy-feely special forces member is a worse combination of survival traits than osteoperosis and being born inside a tumble dryer. If she ever saw a landmine she’d rub it like Aladdin’s lamp. And she’s still the smartest soldier in the movie. I don’t know which existential military academy they keep hiring their troopers from, but they’ve really got to cut down on their curiosity.
The movie ends with the base self-destructing, because in Resident Evil even a cup of tea ends with the mug exploding after a painfully slow countdown. The giant monster is literally dropped down a deep dark hole, Leon’s computer-generated hair never moves a micron out of place, and Angela grows noticably bigger computer generated breasts for her final scene. Because the scriptwriters have a sadly different meaning for “happy ending.”
The movie ends with shadowy implications for a sequel. Because a Capcom employee could sell a lung without anaesthetic and still want to do it again for some easy cash. And just like every evil corporation involved in Resident Evil, the awful results of their insane scheme will soon be released upon the world.
Luke McKinney knows booze & video games. His recent attempts to find the hottest food in the world led him to eat Murder Spice, which gave him the ability to melt through porcelain. The next day. In the bathroom. Follow him on Tumblr.
You’d better heal your tortured mind with The Raid: The Most Impossibly Awesome Action Film of All Time. Or go deeper down the hellhole with The Five Worst Monsters in Resident Evil.