Resident Evil: Retribution


Directed by Paul WS Anderson. Starring Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory 15A cert, general release, 96 min

‘RESIDENT EVIL Dysmorphia” is a neurological disorder that affects more than 90 per cent of the general population and almost 99 per cent of professional film critics.

Symptoms include lethargy (“How can this one be even more boring than the previous four?”); amnesia (“Even with that ‘last time on Resident Evil’ recap, I hardly recognise any of these resurrected characters. Was Michelle Rodriguez in the second one?); a sense of disassociation (“I wonder does Argos sell drill bits? If Milla Jovovich doesn’t get out of this white corridor thingy soon I’ll never know”); and confusion (“I get that we’re jumping between Tokyo and a suburban home because it’s Paul WS Anderson’s version of Inception. But I don’t understand why”).

Sufferers of RED typically cannot order the Resident Evil sequence chronologically and may be completely unable to tell them apart (“Isn’t this awfully like the 2002 original with a couple of sequences from RE4VG tacked on?). Associated apraxic symptoms become more pronounced when the subject has watched the films in 3D Murk-o-Vision (“Huh?”).

Retribution’s cerebral plot – Sienna Guillory is evil then good again, Michelle Rodriguez clones are evil and good, Alice regains the superpowers she lost in a previous instalment – poses a particular challenge for those on the RED spectrum. Where a neurotypical profile might praise the director’s approximation of watching console play without actually getting a go, a RED patient is likely to feel distressed by their inability to tell RE4VG’s Las Plagas zombies from a regular T-virus zombie.

Experimental behavioural flooding techniques that expose RED patients to all five films have failed. Trial subjects typically emerged even more delusional than before, with paranoid (“If Christopher Nolan hadn’t parroted so much of Paprika, this stupid fifth film wouldn’t exist”) and borderline violent (“I’m going to track down all the people who’ve spent $675 million on this half-baked franchise”) expressions of revulsion.

A minority of subjects, post- treatment, showed a degree of acceptance. (“At least this one didn’t make my eyes fall out like that fourth one”). There is no known cure.