Milla Jovovich & Paul W.S. Anderson Interview For ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’
Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, ‘Resident Evil: Retribution,’ the fifth installment in the game-to-film franchise stars Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Kevin Durand, Shawn Roberts, Colin Salmon, Johann Urb, Boris Kodjoe and Li Bingbing. The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, Alice (Milla Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’ opens in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D on September 14th in the US and September 28th in the UK. My previous interviews for the film can be read here: Milla Jovovich, Paul W.S. Anderson and Michelle Rodriguez.
Do you feel like this one is a lot more action-packed than the previous ‘Resident Evil’ films? The fights seemed more elaborate, and with the “suburban” Alice the stakes are heightened?
Milla Jovovich: Oh this is definitely the most action-packed so far. I mean, literally one of our smallest fights had over 100 choreographed moves (laughs). It was pretty intense! But you know, the one thing that I was really happy about when Paul wrote the script was….we watch a lot of action films together, and to see especially what not to do, and sometimes what we love and wanna exemplify. But, one thing we were on agreement on was that we watched quite a few movies where there was a lot of great action, but you didn’t really care because you had no empathy for the character who was in the midst of this danger. So I thought it was really great how Paul wrote the “suburban” Alice character with the child, because suddenly it really brings it home to people, it becomes much more relatable and the stakes have risen now. So you have a lot more empathy for Alice having to deal with protecting this child on top of everything else that is going on. So I thought that was great because suddenly the action sequences become that much more powerful because you care about the people in them.
You reconceive a number of things we saw in the first ‘Resident Evil’ film, so we hadn’t seen a lot of these characters in a while. What was it like fine-tuning them for ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’?
Paul W.S. Anderson: It was a fantastic challenge and also a lot of fun to kind of bring back characters, especially from the first movie. And I felt like the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise is kind of going full circle and back around to that very first film, so it was fun to feed in those characters. And also I think structurally, the structure of this movie is a lot more like the first ‘Resident Evil’ film. I think the first movie is a very interesting structure where you didn’t really know what was going on for the first 20/25 minutes of the film, and that was both a challenge for an audience, but also I think it intrigued people. Then the movies after that became more linear and straight ahead. With ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’ I wanted to return to that kind of challenging structure. So I think for the first 20/25 minutes of this movie, I think you can guess what’s going on, but it’s not laid out there for you.
Alice is a sort of a wounded Cowboy or wounded Samurai in some respects in ‘Resident Evil: Retribution,’ you have this wound that you keep checking throughout the movie….
Milla Jovovich: Yeah, in this movie Alice is almost at the end. She’s one step away from above and beyond (laughs). This one is the hardest one for her because in this one she is really willing to sacrifice everything to save this child and it could very well be the end of her – especially the last fight sequence. It was hard doing the fights like that.
I detected a lot more humour with Alice in ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’….
Milla Jovovich: Definitely. I think, when people live in traumatic situations for years and years, at some point it becomes normal and so you start laughing at things normal people would be horrified by. But it’s the only way to keep your sanity. So yeah, in some sense, now she is kind of used to this world. And also, the situations get kind of insane when she sees Michelle Rodriguez’s Rain in a pair of stiletto heels – what’s that (laughs)? It’s so wild the whole thing, you’re going, “Where is Umbrella going now?!” It’s confusing.
With the added humour, introduction sequence and action, was it more fun for you behind the camera working on this one compared to your previous ‘Resident Evil’ films?
Paul W.S. Anderson: I was working my ass off on this one (laughs). I enjoy making these movies and I had a great cast to work with. I loved people like Michelle Rodriguez coming back, it was really…Milla called it, “Camp Evil,” because it felt like everyone was going to camp every day. So there was a lot of fun involved in making the movie, but it’s an epic movie, it was a complicated film to make so it was a combination of having fun but also it was probably the hardest work of any of the ‘Resident Evil’ films.
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