299) Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) Dir: Paul W.S. Anderson Date Released: September 14, 2012 Date Seen: September 16, 2012 Rating: 2/5
What happened to the trashy-fun but not particularly good Paul W.S. Anderson I used to know? And who is this imaginary Paul W.S. Anderson whose work is so daring and clean and visionary and whatever-the-fuck? I don't see that guy in any of the Resident Evil movies or The Three Musketeers, and I really wish I did. I don't even see the guy that's slavishly replicating video game choreography in his fight scenes. I see a guy that really likes the Matrix movies, particularly their "bullet time" style but forgot to get somebody like Wo-Ping Yuen to actually CHOREOGRAPH HIS FUCKING FIGHT SCENES. This drives me nuts because it makes me feel like I'm not giving Anderson a fair shot. But I am and have been following his work slavishly trying to see what so many vulgar auteurists have excavated from thin air: Paul W.S. Anderson, visionary/misunderstood filmmaker. Sorry, but this guy films bodies in motion like dancing sacks of meat. These are not people fighting each other but rather objects that happen to be people. I can't think of a single action scene in Resident Evil: Retribution that impressed me with a basic attention to detail or presence of mind. And no, I don't think the opening scene, where Alice (Milla Jovovich, still not acting in these films), falls from the sky in backwards slow-mo, is especially clever or even that cool-to-look-at. I just don't see it. Make mine Soldier, Event Horizon and Mortal Kombat.