Like the undead fleshbags who have populated the last four “Resident Evil” movies, you can’t seem to kill this franchise. Five episodes in the stories have been whittled down to shards of expository dialogue followed by wild action with loads of slo-mo shots of star Milla Jovovich flipping and spinning through the air like a top that’s spun off its axis.
But just because “Resident Evil: Retribution” isn’t Shakespeare doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from it. Here’s what I took away from Jovovich and Company:
1.) The undead have really, really bad aim.
2.) No matter what stunt she has just performed, whether it’s plummeting nineteen stories down an abandoned mine shaft, or battling legions of bad guys, Mila’s hair will, at most, only look slightly tousled, as if Vidal Sassoon had just finished running his magic fingers through her locks.
3.) The amount of rainfall in the future makes Vancouver look arid.
4.) To act in one of these movies you must perfect one of two facial expressions: a.) steely determination, or b.) uncontrolled rage (which can be alternated with a sadistic smile if necessary).
5.) Characters will say, “What the hell is going on here?” when it is quite clear what the heck is going on.
6.) Most of the people to survive the deadly plague that destroyed most of humanity look like Abercrombie & Fitch pinups.
7.) Why take the stairs when you can drive a Rolls Royce down an escalator?
Despite legendary director Jean-Luc Godard’s claim that, “All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl,” both of which are amply on display in “Resident Evil: Retribution,” this sequel still feels more like a videogame projected on a big screen than a movie.