Director:Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast:Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Colin Salmon, Boris Kodjoe, Shawn Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez, Johann Urb, Oded Fehr, Li Bingbing, Kevin Durand
I started out as a fan of the RE movies, despite the chessiness of the first two sequels. Then came the fourth entry, which also marked the return of Paul W.S. Anderson to the director's chair--a film that I wanted to like, but just couldn't look past its many faults, specifically its poor script and blatant overuse of slow-mo. Just when I thought the sequels couldn't get any worse, enters the fifth chapter in this tired no-brainer franchise. This poorly-written addition is more like its video game predecessors not because of its excessive appearances of game characters, but because the whole flick literally plays out like they're going from one stage to the next, until reaching the "final boss fight."
Paul W.S. Anderson returns once again, this time seemingly acknowledging the convoluted storylines of years past and starts the flick off with a cheesy 3-minute recap of the story thus far. In this chapter we follow a captured Alice, who barely survived the Arcadia attack in the previous pic and is now held captive where she's questioned and tortured by a mind-controlled Jill. She's suddenly set free and meets the mysterious Ada Wong, who reveals that they're in an underground Umbrella facility that houses several large city-wide scenarios to test and demonstrate the various viruses that the nefarious company has created.
It's further revealed that she works for Wesker, whose no longer associated with Umbrella and is apparently the last hope for the remainder of the human race as he leads the stand against the corporation. Naturally he needs Alice's assistance in accomplishing this daunting task, so he sends in a group of freelance operatives consisting of Leon Kennedy, Barry Burton and Luther West to aid her escape. Unfortunately they all have to travel through the numerous silly game-esque scenarios before actually getting anywhere plot-wise.
Looking past all the pointless visuals that Anderson likes to drown us in, the story is actually pretty decent: Making a final stand against Umbrella? Teaming up with Wesker? Hell yeah! Sadly, none of that really matters here, because the whole movie is essentially just a setup to yet another sequel, as this one seemed to just chew up the running time by playing out like a video game and have these characters go from one level/scenario to another. One setup has Alice fighting off zombies in Japan, while another has her facing against two giant axe-wielding maniacs in New York, then we have Leon Kennedy and crew in a Moscow stage with a bunch of Las Plagas that love to ride vehicles and use automatic weapons.
Using clones and scenarios as the story's central theme gave Anderson a great excuse to bring back a lot of old actors/characters to appease the fanfare, like Michelle Rodriguez (Rain from the first movie) as a friend to suburban housewife Alice or Oded Fehr (Carlos from Apocalypse) as one of Umbrella's lackeys, along with randomly throwing in various other creatures we've seen from the series. The lack of story gave the filmmakers enough reason to deliver a bunch of arbitrary action scenes to keep us entertained, which I suppose it accomplished (especially towards the end), so I'll give it that. Unfortunately, I can't help but shake off the fact that the entire pic seemed like nothing more than meaningless filler and a segue into the next installment.
While there's a decent story behind all the arbitrary action, none of it really matters, as the entire flick seemed nothing more than filler leading into the next sequel. Though fans of the movie series will expectedly dig this entry, everyone else will likely find this to be yet another lacking installment in the seemingly never-ending franchise.
|Posted on December 11, 2012 - 8:38pm | FrighT MasteR|