The fifth entry in a series as indestructible as Alice (Milla Jovovich), its caffeinated heroine, Resident Evil: Retribution finds her still on the mysterious ship where Resident Evil: Afterlife left her. Almost a decade has passed since the endlessly mutating T-Virus began transforming most of humanity (and zoology) into drooling, pimply cannibals, but Alice — part human, part viral, all airbrushed — is still fighting to save the world. She must be as tired as we are.
Not wearying at all of Jovovich’s eternally moving parts, the director, Paul W. S. Anderson (who wrote all five instalments and has directed three), this time strips his leading lady of her superpowers and, by way of consolation, reunites her with previously terminated characters. (Whether you’ve been sushi-d by a laser or blown up by an atom bomb, Anderson will find a way to resurrect you, usually with even fewer facial expressions than before.)
He also supplies Alice with a daughter — cribbing shamelessly from Aliens — and an alternate suburban reality that ends abruptly when zombie hordes invade her laundry room. Just try explaining that to Sears.
Taking place almost entirely inside computer-simulated global locations, Retribution moves closer than ever to its airless video game roots. Jovovich may possess a limited acting vocabulary, but her body has a language all its own. Perhaps we should say bodies: once again, we have multiple Alices, all in dire need of new wardrobes. A zombie plague may have laid waste the world, but apparently supplies of black leather unitards have yet to be exhausted.
Resident evil: Retribution (u/a)
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory
Running time: 95 minutes