Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Leeloo vs. Jill Valentine vs. Ada Wong, or Thoughts on Resident Evil: Retribution

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) is in many ways my favorite film of the franchise because of the kick-ass opening sequence: we start with a silhouette of Leeloo Dallas Multipass, I mean Alice, floating in darkness.  There’s a hypnotic techno soundtrack as we quickly surmise that she’s underwater.  She drifts upwards, towards the light, and bursts backwards in dreamy, surreal slow motion, back onto the deck of the Arcadia from the ending of Resident Evil: Extinction (2007). 
Alice runs backwards from an exploding helicopter in reverse, she turns and fires her twin sawed-off shotguns full of quarter buckshot at the pilot, we see the quarters fly away from the smashed windscreen, as the quarters are sucked back into her shotguns, she holsters them, spreads her arms wide and catches her Sig Sauer P226’s and fires them at Jill Valentine in a purple cat suit.  Jill Valentine (ok, Sienna Guillory but I can’t stop writing Jill Valentine) does a combat roll, fires her Yugoslavian Skorpion Model 61’s and is zip-lined up into her helicopter.  Alice fires up at her, a shot of Jill shooting back, you can see the Umbrella scarab embedded in her chest (conveniently above her cleavage), and she’s pulled back into her helicopter.  Arcadia survivors in white run backwards as bullets fly out of their backs.  Black leather Umbrella storm troopers zip line upwards as fireballs explode in reverse and finally those choppers fly away.  It’s a four-minute segment in a 90-minute movie, and it is glorious. 
I could watch that scene over and over (I watched it three times for this post).  Alice does her recap and repeats the now sentimental and familiar line; “a lot of people died, the trouble was, they didn’t stay dead…”; and then director Paul W. S. Anderson zooms in on Milla Jovovich’s eye and shows you that scene again in real time.  It’s 45 seconds of gunfire and explosions that somehow seem more dramatic now that we’ve previously seen it in reverse slow motion.
Somehow, Michelle Rodriguez’s character Rain Ocampo returns.  What do you want, there’s clones of everybody in this universe.  In addition to Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr is back as Carlos Olivera, in addition to Shawn Robert’s Albert Wesker.  The new video game character introduced in this film is Chinese superstar Li Bingbing as Ada Wong, another Umbrella security operative.  Watch out for Kevin Durand, Martin Keamy from Lost and Vasily Fet in The Strain as Barry Burton (バリー・バートン Barī Bāton), a STARS Alpha Team Weapons Specialist.  Full disclosure, I have no idea what a STARS Alpha Team Weapons Specialist is, I don’t play the game, I just love the movies.

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).