STARRING: Milla Jovovich, Michelle
Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Kevin Durand, Shawn Roberts, Colin Salmon, Johann
Urb, Boris Kodjoe, Li Bingbing
2012, 95 Minutes, Directed by:
Paul W.S. Anderson
this fifth installment of the Resident Evil series,
Alice (Milla Jovovich) has an existential crisis where she has to explore the
meaning of life. She goes on a religious quest seeking the answers to life’s
greatest mysteries before finally having an epiphany that will leave audiences
moved to tears. This is the most serious and philosophical film of the series.
Nah, I was just pulling your
leg. Alice is back kicking butt and taking names, fighting villains and zombies
and monsters. Within the first fifteen minutes you’ll lose track of the body
count, and for all the cleverness in repurposing characters who have been killed
off in earlier installments, it doesn’t really change anything. You either enjoy
an hour and a half of buff female and male characters in tight, form-fitting
outfits shooting at zombies and each other, or you don’t. It’s really that
At one point Alice’s daughter,
or perhaps it’s a clone, needs to be rescued, or perhaps Alice is the clone. In
a scene reminiscent of the door warehouse in Monsters, Inc. we see just how many
backups Umbrella has for all the main characters. A new addition to the cast is
Bingbing Li who takes over the role of Ada Wong. Instead of a tight leather
outfit she gets a red dress slit up one leg, but it’s okay. She also looks
smashing and she also can handle herself in a fight.
"No one goes to these movies for insights into the human condition."
Heading up the rescue team is
Luther West (Boris Kodjoe), returning for more, while firmly on the side of
Umbrella now is Rain (Michelle Rodriguez), whom we haven’t seen for the first
film. So in many ways this is a reunion with writer/director Paul W. S. Anderson
bringing in actors from across the series for Alice to either fight alongside or
Don’t worry if you haven’t seen
all the other films or even any of them. A cameo by Oded Fehr isn’t explained
very much beyond some photos, but veterans of the series will get a kick out of
seeing him. This is not one of those movies that is heavily dependent on viewers
knowing what’s gone on previously.
It’s pointless to talk about
the acting, as the characters lack any depth or real development. Indeed, the
biggest acting job here may be their having to deliver the lines – or pretend
they’re battling a zombie Russian army – with straight faces. While on screen
the cast all look like they believe in the material, which is no small
After all, what’s at stake?
Well, let’s not give anything away, but it’s clear that Resident Evil 6
is in the works for what might be the final showdown of the series. Or not. No
one goes to these movies for the plots, depth of characterization or insights
into the human condition. It’s about the eye candy: the CGI action, the
monsters, and the babes and the beefcake strutting their stuff. If you were
expecting anything else then check your ticket stub. You’ve probably walked into
the wrong theater . . .