Every couple of years, like clockwork, hack director Paul W.S. Anderson pumps out another terrible sequel to the video-game-based “Resident Evil” movie.
Seemingly each time, the film’s distributor manages to schedule the sequel so that it’s the only film in wide release on its opening weekend — forcing certain unfortunate film reviewers to watch it.
“Resident Evil: Retribution” follows the established pattern and completely lives up to its meager expectations and pedigree.
Anderson’s wife, Milla Jovovich, returns for a fifth zombie slaughtering go-around as Alice, a supercharged human who stands between mankind and its total destruction at the hands of a corporate-created virus.
This time around, Alice awakens in some kind of test facility for the evil Umbrella Corporation. With the help of a few temporary comrades, she has to battle zombies, monsters and gun-toting corporate clones to accomplish … well, I’m not sure.
Even considering the genre, “Retribution” makes virtually no sense. There are lots of slow-motion gunfights and dismemberments and the like, but the performances are poor — though to be fair, the actors don’t have much material to work with — and even some of the obvious computerized images are weak.
Jovovich still looks good in leather, but she seems to be going through the motions at this point. She does, in one scene, get to change roles and play a freaked-out mother at the time of the zombie apocalypse — which is fun — but there aren’t any other memorable moments.
Jovovich doesn’t have to provide all the sex appeal or the violence herself, getting help (or opposition) from Michelle Rodriguez, the wonderfully named Bingbing Li and Sienna Guillory, but the mayhem quickly gets tiresome.
“Retribution” probably isn’t the worst of the “Resident Evil” movies, but that’s not saying much. Sadly, given the ending of the movie — and the good box office on its all-by-itself opening weekend — there are more sequels on the way.
I can’t wait until 2014.
Rental Recommendation: Damning with faint praise: “Event Horizon” is the best film Paul W.S. Anderson has made.
Email Steve Ouellette: email@example.com