Saturday, September 22, 2012

Project Alice, who do you work for?

I used to have time to play video games. Now, I have just enough time to buy them. But, before I was a father, and before I was a husband, I had time. Crazy amounts of it, too. And a game I remember playing endlessly was Resident Evil 4 for the Nintendo Gamecube (of all things). I loved that game. The series had always been good, but part 4 was the pinnacle of survival horror. I might even tell you that it's my favorite game of all time.

Whatever goodwill I have for the games, I feel the exact opposite for the movies. I think I've only seen the first two (of five!), but they've all run together in my head. I do, however, specifically remember Milla Jovovich jump kicking a zombie dog, which is clearly great, but outside of that? It's all a giant ball of who gives a shit?

Maybe that's not entirely fair, but as I sat down to watch Resident Evil: Retribution I can honestly tell you that I wasn't very excited. I'm not sure how the other four people in theater one felt, but I'll bet it wasn't giddy with anticipation.

Despite my initial indifference, once things finally got rolling, I suppose I was entertained enough. I expected nothing and got a little more than that, so I'm calling it a win. Oh, and for the record, I only paid a buck (and that was for the 3D upgrade, naturally), keep that in mind.

Four paragraphs in, might as well lay some plot on you, huh? After we are provided with a much-obliged rundown of the first four flicks, the fifth flick begins and is basically a rescue mission. Alice has found herself knee-deep in shit down in the underground headquarters of Umbrella (Oh, and if any of my facts are wrong, feel free to correct them. Also, feel free to go f--k yourself, nerd). A crew of strong dudes must extract her, then blow the whole place to Hell. Inside, the facility is laid out in super generic video game levels, I mean detailed recreations of Tokyo, Russia and New York. There's also a Neighborhood level, most of which you've seen if you caught the relatively kickass trailer. That said, it was still kind of cool, despite being 900% ridiculous.
After being chased by the undead, here come the Yays and Boos. And yeah, they're wearing skin tight clothes, boobs rather prominently displayed.

What advantage do the crotch straps provide?
  • The opening scene played in reverse slo-motion was pretty cool. 
  • Some of these zombie pricks actually scared me. Everything's super quiet until they appear out of nowhere, snarling. Three inches from your face.
  • Though eerily similar to the best part of the Dawn of the Dead remake, Neighborhood Level ruled.
  • Speaking of levels, Tokyo was also fun. Lots of violence there. It was pretty much buy one, get one on head shots.
  • For some reason, I remember liking the score at times. Heavy on the bass.
  • There was a pretty sweet chase scene, too. Made all the more awesome in that it I didn't think we were going to ever get one. Most action games don't really have a car level anymore.
  • Breast Jewel! Even though it's impossibly big, I didn't really notice it. Kind of like the Iron Man's power core thing, but totally goes with cleavage.
  • Water Zombies. They're like dolphins, except flesh hungry and angry. Oh, and dead. 
  • And finally, even though it looked like a bad cutscene from Resident Evil 17, the final shot was rad.
I figured Undead Jackie Chan would have put up more of an effort.
  • Hope you like slo motion. And weather. And especially slo motion weather.
  • Who decided that test subjects would be granted two sheets of paper to fashion an outfit out of? I mean, guys, if we're going f--king paper, we might as well go plastic. Clear plastic.
  • Oh shit, LASER GRID! It can't be stopped! Oh wait, mild jog defeats it. Easily.
  • One guy gets downed when Alice kicks an empty clip into his face. Now, that's cool. But imagine the poor kid who has to tell that story to his girlfriend one day. Oh my God, you lost your dad. I'm so sorry. How'd it happen? Almost as bad as wWell, he was standing next to an explosive barrel when...
  • Leon Kennedy was a badass in the game. So what's with Keith Urban's Extraction Crew? Lame.
  • If I ever hand my wife a gun and she says that she can't use it, I'm going to use steal the same line they did: It's like a camera.[badass pause]. Point. And shoot. And then I'll hope she shoots me for saying that.
  • Oh, random side hatch to safety/victory. I hate you so.
  • And finally, the Clone Factory. It is honestly set up like the biggest dry cleaners ever. This is the best you can do, Umbrella? Really?
While I think these movies are vastly inferior to the games, I will end this by giving some credit to Milla Jovovich. In the three-ish that I've seen, she has certainly appeared to be giving it her all. And while I still can't believe that they've made five of these, at least she never left the franchise Vin Diesel-style, only to come crawling back at some point. It's not much, but it's something. 

Kind of like owning a Gamecube.


  1. Not a fan of the films but I do associate Milla Jovovich's name with Alice and Resident Evil now. I'm sure they'll be plenty more movies from the franchise, but Milla will probably be the Sean Connery of Resident Evil.

    1. I'm with you, for the most part. I guess I had a little bit more fun than I expected, so it wasn't a completely dreadful time at the movies.

      The 'Sean Connery of Resident Evil' sounds just about right. And awesome...

  2. I saw all of those movies apart from this part - I must say they are quite fun, lots of cool action and I agree that Jovovich is pretty good in those, well as good as you can be in flicks like that. I'm gonna check this one out when it's on DVD, that level thing sounds awesome!

    "Also, feel free to go f--k yourself, nerd" - you don't take any shit either! Well done! :)

    1. You consistently surprise me with your movie tastes...which is great. My gut would have said you'd loathe these movies. Suck on that, my gut.

  3. I was huge into all the games up until Resident Evil 5. The way the game forced CO-OP on its players was a turnoff. I won't pick up the 6th game in the franchise either. As for the films...the first film had little of what I loved about the games so I've never seen it. I don't intend to see them, but I guess they have their audience though right?

    1. You know, I have part 5 but I only played it for about an hour or so and never went back. It's beautiful, but I did hate the forced co-op thing. My partner always seemed to be in trouble or just an annoying a-hole.

      Regarding the movies, I completely AGREE! The games are legitimately scary...the movies are just silly. And anytime it veers into serious mode, it becomes laughable. But, as you mentioned, they have their audience and I guess there's nothing wrong with just seems like a wasted opportunity if you ask me. Or, five of them....