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September 14th, 2012

Movie Review - Resident Evil: Retribution

Resident Evil: Retribution

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Aryana Engineer, Bingbing Li, Boris Kodjoe, Johann Urb, Robin Kasyanov, Kevin Durand, Ofilio Portillo, Oded Fehr, Colin Salmon, Shawn Roberts, and more.

Directed by: Paul W S Anderson Writing Credits: Paul W S Anderson Cinematography by: Glen MacPherson Original Music by: tomandandy (Tom Hadju and Andy Milburn)

Premise: Captured after the unexpected attack by a brainwashed Jill at the end of "Resident Evil: Afterlife," Alice finds help from an unexpected source - her sworn enemy, Albert Wesker. His agent Ada and a small team of men have been tasked with setting Alice free and destroying Umbrella's underwater Siberian base. The Red Queen, Umbrella's AI, who has now taken over the facility, will not make the task easy. (Rated R)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: The film gives unexpected avenues for the stars to show their acting acumen. Milla Jovovich has always done well in her action film roles, but we get to see another side of her talents in the early Suburbia section of the movie as a suburban housewife fighting for her life and reacting from it. Michelle Rodriguez also gets to show a different side as she too has multiple roles in the film. Aryana Engineer gave a good and layered performance despite her young years. The fact her character was handicapped and used voice and sign to communicate allowed for deeper layers for the character of Becky. 

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: As with each of the preceding "Resident Evil" film, the budget for this one was high, and they made great use of it. Some true hard work went into the film and it showed.

They did a great job integrating the zones of the base with computer simulations and tracking systems used by the Red Queen. They made great visuals and also kept the audience informed on who was where. The attention to detail was high and really came through as the groups traveled through the different zones.

There were fights and explosions galore. And in a nice reversal, we even got chainsaw wielding zombies! The amount of flying bullet casings was quite impressive as well. Dumb zombies, hungry zombies, Russian smart zombies,  even armed and rocket launcher wielding zombies, it was a veritable smorgasbord of 'zombiness', which was a lot of fun. 

There were the occasional segments of infinite bullet syndrome, but they did make the attempt to stay realistic on occasion. 

The opening sequence was both unusual and attention grabbing. The franchise has always been very good with their openings - this one was one of the best. 

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: In previous reviews of the franchise I'd made the statement that as the budget went up, the story quality went down. I am rather pleased to say that in this instance, they broke the pattern. Of a whole, they kept the story simple and strait forward, which helped to keep it from careening into plot holes or other issues the "Resident Evil" films have shown in the past. 

For those who've not watched the previous films, they have a quick recap picking up some of the most important details to share with the audience so they know what's what. For those who've watched them all, you'll get the added treat of seeing many of the characters from some of the previous films brought back, though not exactly as you've met them before. Made for some fun contrast and also gave some of the actors a chance to shine in a different line from the usual action personas.

A definite fun bit was the recreation of the opening sequence where the virus first showed up in Tokyo, Japan in "Resident Evil: Afterlife." They even got the same Japanese Business Man (Takato Yamashita) and the J Pop Girl (Mika Nakashima) to reprise their roles. Nice!

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The choreography during the fights were 'top notch.' Combine them with the great special effects, and it made for a fabulous viewing experience. The fight with Alice, the chain, the gun, and the Japanese zombies will stay with me for a long time - it was a work of art. Everyone gave their best and then some.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The panning scene where you see exactly where Alice is when she escapes part of her prison was utterly breathtaking. Water was a recurring theme and used in some very imaginative ways. Loved the visual with Michelle Rodriguez towards the end.

The recreations of New York, Moscow, Tokyo, and American suburbia were exquisite. It made the contrast even better when the illusion would occasionally crack and show the facility beneath. There were several rooms in the base proper that had great impact due to the use of light. Loved the lighting up sequence at the central hub. Lots and lots of visuals to keep the eyes occupied.

Conclusion: A lot more fun than I was expecting. Definitely one to check out. Just the high doses of action will keep the audience's adrenaline pumping to high levels throughout. And yes, we get left in a cliff hanger - AGAIN. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price to See Again)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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