I think the last video game I played (around the age of 15, before I realized they were a huge waste of time), was the third Resident Evil game for PlayStation, which was pretty cool — you get to play a foxy, bone-white and kinda Japanese-looking army woman (or was that Dino Crisis?) who runs around and shoots zombies.
There have been a number of entries in the series since, all of which, I’m sure, are exactly the same. When the film adaptation was announced, way back in 2001, video game and horror movie nerds alike had a bag of kittens — this was some seriously exciting news indeed. And this was long before the trolls took to the Internet, spending hours upon hours arguing about who should direct the Halo movie. (If and when it arrives, it’ll be like every other video game adaptation — depressing and deadly dull, boring, fodder for basement-dwelling bloggers.)
First, Resident Evil fans were told that zombie maestro George Romero (Night of the Living Dead) was set to direct the flick, which I remember was totally depressing — it meant his long-rumoured zombie rock flick, Diamond Dead, would be put on hiatus yet again. Second, Milla Jovovich was to play the gun-toting, zombie-blasting hero. It’s hard to believe now, but back then Jovovich fuelled many a heated nerdgasm, after her breakout role as Leeloo, the brain-damaged, baby-talking alien in Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element. (George Lucas totally reincarnated her as Jar Jar Binks.) Then she blew it by taking on Joan of Arc in The Messenger (also directed by Besson), where she mistook “depth” for “weepy peasant with a choppy lesbian haircut.”
Romero didn’t end up directing the flick. That honour went to Paul W.S. Anderson, who also directed the dire AVP: Alien vs. Predator, the worst movie ever featuring Aliens or Predators. Which is absolutely true — haters wanna say Alien: Resurrection or Predator 2, but the latter had a nightmarishly sweaty Danny Glover capping gang-banging cholos. He was too old for that shit, but it was marvelous.
On the other hand… Anderson also directed Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon, the latter of which — let’s be honest — kinda rules. Event Horizon is a solid flick, with ample scares, gore and spaceships. Mortal Kombat is the shitty and cheap ’90s action epic Cannon Pictures never made. I’d be proud as fuck.
All of which brings us to the fifth instalment in the video game-inspired movie series, Resident Evil: Retribution. The poster teases you with the tagline “Evil Goes Global.” Um, doesn’t the world pretty much end after the first one? I’ve only seen the first film, but recall sequel trailers showing some post-apocalyptic desert nightmare with zombies, flying critters, cyborgs and some other bullshit.
The new flick finds Alice (Jovovich) still fighting against the evil Umbrella Corporation, which really, by this point, has nothing left to prove — the world is destroyed, there are zombies everywhere, etc. Michelle Rodriguez, who was chopped to bits in part 1, returns somehow to join in the fight. Rodriguez always looks like she just woke up from a nap, and tries to make it look all badass. She sucks.
If you really have to see something new this week, there’s Stolen, featuring Nicolas Cage in a plot that looks a lot like the Liam Neeson revenge vehicle Taken. Except this one looks like it takes place in a cab, and Cage doesn’t look nearly as nutty as required for you to shell out 15 bucks. For the whiny kiddies, see Pixar’s delightful Finding Nemo for the umpteenth time, now in soul-sucking 3D.