Studio: Sony Pictures
Director(s): Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast: Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory
Run Time: 117 minutes
Theatrical Release: 09/14/2012
MPAA Rating: R
MPAA Explanation: for sequences of strong violence throughout
Common Sense Says: Plenty of gore -- and more 3-D -- in fifth RE installment.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Resident Evil: Retribution is the fifth in the Resident Evil series of video game-based sci-fi/action/horror movies. Like the others, this one has strong sci-fi violence and gore (zombie and monster attacks), as well as guns and shooting and martial arts fighting. Many zombies expire, some humans die, and some blood is shown. There are a few scary and/or jump-shock moments as well. Language is less of an issue, with only a few uses of "s--t," and there's not much in the way of sexual content, though female characters do wear tight and/or skimpy clothes, and in one scene, the lead character wears a strange outfit that leaves very little to the imagination. Note: Watching the movie in 3-D increases the intensity of the viewing experience.
- Families can talk about Resident Evil: Retribution's violence. How did it make you feel? Were you scared? Were you grossed out?
- Is Alice a strong female role model, or is she a stereotype?
- How do the Resident Evil movies compare to the video games they're based on? Which is more entertaining -- the interactive zombie-killing experience, or the passive one?
- Do you feel the need to see the latest Resident Evil movie just because you've seen the others? How does the latest one compare?
What's the story?
Following the events of Resident Evil: Afterlife -- and a recap of all the movies so far -- Alice (Milla Jovovich) finds herself a prisoner of the Red Queen (a computer program bent on wiping out humankind). Unexpectedly, she's freed, aided by a tough, gun-toting beauty (Li Bingbing) and a crack rescue team. Unfortunately, to escape, they must make their way past a series of "test environments," arenas designed to look like Moscow, Tokyo, and New York, all full of zombies. And they only have two hours. To add to the trouble, Alice decides to rescue the clone of a little girl, and the mind-controlled Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) is hot on their trail. But the question remains: Why was Alice freed, and what's the master plan behind it all?
Is it any good?
Writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson once again returns to the helm of this series, as he did for the first and fourth entries. And, like Afterlife, RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is also presented in 3-D. But while the last movie felt clean and more character-focused, this one seems a good deal lazier, both in the writing and directing departments. For instance, Anderson comes up with a couple of potentially great martial arts fight scenes but edits them too quickly and lowers the emotional stakes.Though several characters band together here, the movie doesn't seem to care about any of them, and none of them gets much more than a couple of tough-guy line readings. They never develop any personalities. Indeed, when characters start dying, it's hard to remember who's gone. The 3-D isn't used quite as well this time, either, and it often goes unnoticed. The visual effects are pretty much business as usual. As horror, it's not very spooky, except for a couple of typical jump-scares, and as sci-fi, it's not very brainy.
The Good Stuff
Messages: Alice seems colder and more callous in this entry in the movie series, except for one thing: She decides to rescue a little "clone" girl who's deaf and has been programmed to believe that Alice is her mother. Alice risks her life to protect the girl. There's also an attempt to show her working with others, but the characters aren't very interesting, and so this attempt doesn't come across clearly.
Role Models: Although Alice's life isn't very admirable -- it's filled with fighting, violence, and killing and very little joy -- she is a strong, commanding, confident female character with incredible skills and instincts. She often stops to help others, even at the risk of her own life. The movie also shows Alice and the girl communicating via American Sign Language.
What to watch out for
Violence Very strong sci-fi/fantasy violence. Almost constant shooting, with countless zombies blowing up. Some human characters die. Blood is shown. In one brief sequence, a zombie chainsaws a man, and (fake-looking) blood spatters everywhere. There's some martial arts fighting; in one scene, a character swings a chain and padlock to bash zombies in the face. A baseball bat is used on zombies in another scene. A giant monster goes on the rampage, kidnapping a little girl. Viewers see bones breaking and hearts stopping in X-ray close-ups. Zombies have scary mutated tentacles shooting out of their mouths. Car crashes and explosions.
Sex: No one is thinking about sex here, but in one scene, Alice wakes up and finds herself almost naked, wearing two white sheets that cover her back and front. Nothing sensitive is shown, but at the same time, not much is left to the imagination. Women wear tight, sexy leather/vinyl outfits throughout. In one early scene, a husband and wife display affection for each other (including a butt slap).
Language: Infrequent language includes a few uses of "s--t," plus "hell," "badass," etc.
Consumerism: A couple of scenes take place in a fake model of New York City. This contains a replica of Times Square, complete with billboards. Reebok, Levi's, and other brands are briefly visible.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue