If you’ve seen any of director Paul W.S. Anderson’s prior four (?!) Resident Evil films, you’re likely well aware of what to expect from the brand new trailer for the upcoming Resident Evil Retribution embedded below. Zombies? Check. Flashy, physics-defying martial arts? Check. Women dressed in overly elaborate cosplay that, while faithful to the Capcom-created survival horror series upon which the films are based, is utterly impractical for anything other than standing in one place and perhaps sipping daintily from a champagne flute? Triple check.
Redundant though it may be, you have to hand it to Anderson for finding a niche an giving it his all. Alongside his favorite actress (and wife) Milla Jovovich, Anderson has made a fortune by crafting films that qualify as solid B-entertainment. They may not live up to the expectations of Capcom fans hoping to see a movie that ties neatly into established Resident Evil canon, but they always offer well-choreographed, CGI-enhanced fight scenes and visually interesting characters — even if said characters are utterly two-dimensional and as disposable as a spent shell casing. The Resident Evil movies will never win Oscar gold, but as a way to kill a few hours in the middle of a dull afternoon, they work flawlessly.
Of special note in this latest movie is the apparent prominence of Albert Wesker. Fans of Capcom’s Resident Evil games will remember him as the shady, dapper gent in the sunglasses with a nasty T-virus infection and dreams of world domination (or as the wildly cheap jerk in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3). In this trailer, he’s the sunglasses-wearing dude seen smugly gloating via computer monitor, which is pretty much pitch-perfect for the character. Likewise, the costume designers on this film should be applauded for avoiding the traditional Hollywood urge to utterly reinvent characters from any other medium. Aesthetically speaking, the film version of Wesker looks exactly like his video game counterpart. That’s kinda silly if you actually think about it, but if you’re spending any amount of time contemplating this film series, you’re utterly missing the point.
As one might expect, Resident Evil Retribution hits theaters in September of this year, just in time to build cross-promotional synergy with Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 6. Not that the two properties will share plot details or anything useful like that, but they’ve got similar titles, so we’re sure that will somehow boost sales of both.