mrsadisticnight: (BOOM)
Hikaru Yuy Maxwell ([personal profile] mrsadisticnight) wrote on October 1st, 2014 at 07:34 pm
I EXPECTED DISAPPOINTMENT BUT HOLY SHIT
Originally posted on my Good Reads right here if you want to read a summarised version there.

Yes I elaborate a bit more here.

(Also hello, it's been a while, hasn't it?)

[personal profile] thenicochan might be interested to know that I still fucking hate the Resident Evil movies with a burning passion, so it would only make sense that I pick up the movie adaption for Retribution which I saw I think half of before I turned it off because why do I watch these things when all I do is turn into Michael Jones from Achievement Hunter/Rooster Teeth's Rage Quit series and scream obscenities (which I do enough of anyway because I'm from Jersey just like he is) and scream things like WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING YOU FHSIDGHDGJK

This is going to be long. You know it's going to be long. It's under the cut to spare you. Enjoy, everyone.



THE COVER which looks like your typical action sci-fi crap I don't expect much from this movie franchise because it's all about Mary fucking Sue Alice and all the important Resident Evil characters play at least third fiddle to her amazingness.

I hate the Resident Evil movies like I hate Frozen Teardrop and let's not get started on Frozen Teardrop and my good buddy Nico has probably heard me screaming about them plenty of times and I'm sure we've had many discussions about it. To put it simply, Resident Evil is a series near and dear to my heart. I grew up with it, watching my brother play it on his Playstation, watching in amazement as he'd meticulously comb through everything like a master carving a goddamn sculpture. He knew where every item was. He knew every enemy. He knew how to get each ending, each ranking. Resident Evil was his goddamn Bible. He turned it into some kind of art. Most of the time he'd play as Jill, but sometimes he played as Chris to switch it up for higher difficulty. My brother's favourite series quickly became mine because the story was awesome and though I was pretty sure Jill was banging Chris I was also sure Chris and Wesker were banging at some point because wow look at all that sexual tension and anger.

Also Jill Valentine was one of the three video game heroines girls had, really. You had Jill Valentine, you had Samus Aran, and then there was Lara Croft with her strangely shaped chest because someone fucked up majorly. Jill could kick ass and take names and though Barry helped save her from becoming a sandwich and shit at some points she wasn't locked in a tower needing Chris's strong arms to save her considering she could probably pistol whip anyone into submission.

ENOUGH ABOUT JILL THOUGH for now and back to this.

THE FIRST RESIDENT EVIL MOVIE in case you've avoided them entirely had nothing to do with Resident Evil except that there were zombies. The second movie was loosely based off of the third game. It had Jill in it but she was all ~impressed~ over Alice and her badass. Wesker doesn't show up until at least the third movie and he's the main antagonist. The movies have Wesker and Chris as complete strangers, thus rendering the entire main storyline of the games useless because why the fuck would Chris give a shit otherwise if he doesn't know Jill and Wesker and all these other people?

SO HERE WE HAVE RESIDENT EVIL RETRIBUTION.

The summary: Resident Evil: Retribution in will be released in 3D on September 14, 2012. It is the fifth installment in the massively successful Resident Evil film series, based on the hugely popular Capcom survival horror video game series Resident Evil.
The movie stars Milla Jovovitch and Wentworth Miller and is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.

In this official novelization, Alice fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead.

There is your summary from Good Reads, but there's more to it really. The back of the book has this:
EVIL GOES GLOBAL
Just as she finds a safe haven, free from the Undead, Alice is kidnapped by her former employers--the Umbrella Corporation. Regaining consciousness, she finds herself trapped in the most terrifying scenario imaginable.

The T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the world's populartion into legions of flesh-eating monsters. Reunited with friends and foes alike--Rain Ocampo, Carlos Olivera, Jill Valentine, Ada Wong, Leon Kennedy, and even Albert Wesker--she must fight her way back to reality in order to survive.

The countdown has begun, and the fate of the human race rests on her shoulders.

"Undead". Just fucking call them "zombies" it's not a copyrighted or trademarked word ffs. That should also be "T-Virus". I thought Rain died in the first movie since she got turned into a zombie and shit? That's supposed to be "Oliviera" goddammit, not "Olivera" and I thought Carlos died too in one of the movies and Alice was all sad and shit? Claire is in this novel btw and there's no mention of her on the back cover so I guess fuck you Claire Redfield. I guess Chris Redfield isn't important either despite being the fucking main character in a few RE games including one where he launches Wesker into a goddamn volcano but WHO CARES ABOUT THAT THAT'S THE GAME CANON THESE ARE THE MOVIES. Jill's in this piece of shit too (she was in the second movie as well) but she's "darker blond haired" (when in RE5 her hair was pretty fucking light blonde--yes with an 'e' because Jill is female and 'blonde' is feminine--or doth mine eyes deceive me when it comes to contrast?) and Umbrella's bitch and her tits are mentioned a lot. (Sorry. "Bosoms".) Ada is too cool for this shit. Leon's too cool for this shit. All of these people are too cool for this shit. I thought Wesker was dead?! WHY ISN'T HE DEAD?!

*deep breath*

I haven't even gotten into the book yet.

Now. I don't know if this is the fault of the screenplay (because this is a movie novelisation) or just terrible writing but there were a LOT of problems with this book okay and I don't necessarily want to blame the author, but maybe I need to definitely blame an editor. Was this even proofread? I DON'T THINK IT WAS FUCKING PROOFREAD.

Let's start with the prologue, which there was nothing wrong with. Hell, I liked how the prologue. It was formatted into short little "chapters" that recapped previous movies/events without making it seem like a boring recap because if it's one thing I hate it's "previously on..." recaps and filler episodes that summarise shit--those are the episodes I always skip on DVDs for instance because I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THE PAST TEN EPISODES OF GUNDAM WING I JUST WATCHED THEM WHY SHOULD I WATCH A RECAP EPISODE WHERE HEERO TALKS ABOUT WHAT I JUST WATCHED and those scenes are even more boring to read about. In a way though this is fabulous, because it's been a while since I've seen any of them and often I've forgotten them because they fucking suck and I get enraged just thinking about them. I liked the prologue chapters, probably because I forgot for a second I was reading a fucking Resident Evil movie novel.

My ire starts when the actual story starts. Or is it a flashback? I don't even fucking know. We're on a boat. Or is it a converted tanker? Sea vessel? Ship? I don't know, because the author uses different words every two seconds to describe it every other sentence and I hate it when, as a reader, I'm constantly being beaten over the head with the same goddamn details. I get it--the Arcadia is a converted tanker. It's a vessel out on sea. It's a ship. It's a boat. It floats on water. I don't need to be reminded of this constantly--I can remember things, my short term memory is fine, and I'm sure other readers' have perfectly working short term memories.

Another thing repeated over the course of at least a page: Wesker being dead. (Supposedly.) We get it. She riddled him with bullets (so says the text) and he's fish food. Supposedly. Stop telling us this and get on with everything! BUT DID YOU KNOW WESKER IS DEAD? MAYBE? BY BULLETS NO LESS. No, bitch, I don't think so, because I doubt bullets could stop someone who fucking injected shit into his veins in the effort to become a deity and rise above humanity like did you forget the whole point of why Wesker did shit and why Chris and Jill wanted to bring him and Umbrella and all those assholes down? Oh right, I forgot, of course you forgot, because it's not even in the fucking movie canon, that's just the games. In the first game Wesker was beheaded by a tyrant and look he's fucking still alive because Capcom retconned it because he took some drugs and it wasn't even T-Virus OH AND BY THE WAY RESIDENT EVIL HAS DIFFERENT VIRUSES IT'S NOT ALL THE FAULT OF T-VIRUS. You have T-Veronica. You have Las Plagas. You have that shit in RE5. You have Progenitor. IT'S NOT ALL T-VIRUS.

Anyway. Chris didn't fucking riddle Wesker with bullets and then ride off with Jill into the setting sun on their deus ex machina helicopter that comes at the end of every RE game with a rocket launcher of some kind. He used an RPG and fucking blasted his ass into a volcano. All the while Wesker screamed about Chris and how he wanted to murder him in a voice that betrayed all the sexual desire he had for him to the point where my brother (who has no slash goggles) was telling them to bone already. So unless Alice chucked Wesker into a volcano, he's not dead. We're not dumb. You constantly saying WESKER IS DEAD OR IS HE is just cheap, very shitty foreshadowing to say that no no he isn't dead and there's no suspense because we see the plot twist before the plot even twisted itself.

THIS IS WITHIN THE FIRST FIVE OR SO PAGES.

Alice ponders if she'll eventually be able to settle down and have a family, and hey, that Chris Redfield is pretty good looking in a rugged sort of way, maybe he'd like to bone and father a few kids on some island somewhere with her and live happily ever after in a post-apocalyptic world. Never mind that Chris should be with fucking Jill Valentine but she's evil and her hair is darker than it should be at this point because Jill has light blonde hair in RE5 you assholes are you even trying anymore? But even Chris has no personality or anything. No one has a personality in this except maybe Alice. Then she's flung off the ship by helicopters and supposedly drowns.

Then for the next five chapters (I'm not even kidding) we are treated to Alice waking up in bed reminiscient of the first movie except it's not Spence and we're not in Spencer Mansion in the Arklay Mountains. We have some asshole named Todd. He has no last name. It's not important because I don't care. He has a couple of lines of dialogue and I don't care about him because he's some generic movie husband who I know is going to die. And they supposedly have a daughter named Becky, who has some congenital defect that left her with most of the inner workings of her ears missing, so she's deaf. The author includes a line about how both her parents can hear and that it must be recessive and if they have another kid they'll get genetic testing or maybe find donated sperm and egg and what the fuck does this have to do with anything and why should I give a fuck? Becky also has no personality to her, she's just there because if this were a Resident Evil game she'd be like Ashley Graham--a liability who would probably more than likely frustrate the shit out of you as you try to shoot the zombies carrying her ass off. In other words, she'd be part of an annoying escort mission.

So they're all in the kitchen now and Todd the Soon to Be Dead Husband spills coffee on his pristinely white shirt. He says, "Shit!" and both Alice and Becky look at him. We have a mention of a Tom laughing because Todd said "shit" and his daughter Becky can read lips. Who the hell is Tom? He's never mentioned again. Was that supposed to be Todd? How do you confuse those names for each other? Did you have an editor? WHO THE FUCK IS TOM?!

So her husband gets bitten by some random zombie asshole who just busts through the front door and lo and behold he gets bitten. Alice and Becky run from a horde of zombies that bust through the windows and can operate doors but have no idea what ladders are or how to use them. I get that zombies are dumb unless they're Crimson Heads but if they can do basic shit like OPEN DOORS and RUN AFTER YOU and GO UP AND DOWN STAIRS then I think they can fucking use ladders but that's probably a screenplay issue which was also shittily written. All of these movies are. They fucking suck and I hate them and Capcom said I can ignore them because they're in an alternate universe entirely so just like how Frozen Teardrop isn't canon and I can ignore the fact that Duo cut his hair off for no reason at all and Quatre suddenly has a sister younger than him when he's the youngest in his family, I can ignore the Resident Evil movies because they're not canon except in their own piece of shit universe I can ignore.

So they escape the house after whacking some zombies over the head with a baseball bat and people get eaten and shit and she runs into Rain in a Prius. Rain ends up dead after her car gets t-boned by a garbage truck and she dies from her brains splattering on the windshield. And then she gets eaten. Alice and Becky take refuge in some house but that's not safe so there's more zombies and whatever. Alice is apparently blonde in this and that's a crisis that confuses her and I'm wondering why the hell I should give a shit about any of this.

Then she apparently gets eaten by her zombie husband. Oops. AND THEN SHE WAKES UP and she's in some Umbrella cell thing where dog whistles hurt her and Jill is just repeating the same two lines like a broken record which I suspect is what she is is a goddamn robot with nice bosoms that have a mechanical looking scarab on them what a shame that is WHERE IS MY JILL GODDAMMIT EVEN UNDER MIND CONTROL SHE WASN'T USELESS IN 99 PERCENT OF EVERYTHING.

LET ME COMMENT ON THE GRAMMAR IN THIS BOOK OKAY.

So we have shit like this:
[Alice thought she caught a glimpse of one of the mechanical scarabs, on Jill's bosom.]

and another example:
[Alice wondered, aloud.]

Why is there a comma there? That sentence looks fine without one, so why is it there? What do you need a momentary pause for? Nothing is being explained as an aside.

The author seems to love using two words over and over again: "rapacious" and "milky". Everything does something in a "rapacious" way and everything is some kind of "milky" something--milky white, milky coloured, milky substance. There are other words you can use! Cloudy, murky, foggy, filmy...to name a few.

This was used to describe people coming back from the dead as zombies:
[It was a kind of inverted, diabolic mockery of the resurrection of Christ.]

I am not entirely sure why you would use that as a simile to describe the zombie apocalypse. Where the hell did this comparison even come from?

This is the description we get of Rain:
[A young Latino woman...]

Now I don't know much Spanish but "Latino" is masculine and "Latina" is feminine. You don't say "a young Latina woman" either, because it has the feminine ending. You'd say either "a young Latina" or "a young Hispanic woman". I think anyone with a basic grasp of word endings in Spanish would realise that "Latino woman" is incorrect.

AND THEN we move on to blatant contradictions that could have easily been fixed with even the most basic of proofreading (of which I am convinced there was none). Consider the case of Alice's boots, which we get when Alice wakes up and Jill, for once, is off doing absolutely nothing in "standby mode" because Jill is a robot dontcha know. Someone left a drawer of crap open in the room Alice is in. There's an energy drink meal thing in there that she takes after two pages of the most lackluster and boring torture sequence ever (maybe it was better in the movie, idk). Here's what's in the drawer (from page 66):
[In it she found a black Umbrella Corporation combat outfit, neatly folded, as well as a pair of boots. Her size.]
Why is that bolded? Because here's what's on page 67:
[...then pulled on the black outfit. It fit perfectly, of course. But there were no shoes--she was left barefoot.]
Despite apparently having boots that would fit her, she apparently...doesn't have shoes and must go barefoot. Okay.

She manages to escape and ends up at the Shibuya Scramble and it's empty of everything which is weird. Then suddenly it's raining, she steals shit from a cop car, and then people appear from nowhere. There's numerous descriptions of teen girls dressed in "J-pop style" or who "look like J-pop" and one teen girl who ends up becoming a zombie is dressed in "J-pop and kawaii styles". Whether this is a screenplay issue or an author not doing research (or a screenwriter not doing research), listen to me closely, okay? Not all teenage Japanese girls dress in street fashion. I get that Shibuya is loaded with street fashion things. So is Harajuku. Shinjuku as well. They're all huge fashion areas. But there are SO MANY STREET FASHION STYLES and none of them are called "J-pop style". What does J-pop even look like? J-pop is an incredibly diverse music genre and not all J-pop idols are female and NOT ALL GIRLS DRESS LIKE J-POP STARRS OR IN STREET FASHION this isn't a Gwen Stefani music video with her Harajuku girls and shittily pronounced Japanese okay.

CHAOS HAPPENS and so does more confusion over footwear for Alice. Consider page 70, wherein Alice discovers Shibuya is devoid of any kind of life and she questions if it's real or just a dream (or drugs):
[Her bare feet felt the rough, cold concrete beneath them.]

But then after getting in a fight with several zombies created via a chain reaction because holy fuck Shibuya is filled with people who would've thought, we have ON PAGE 76 (six pages later remember):
[Something grabbed Alice's ankle, and she looked down to see the kogal gnashing at her leg. At that moment she was grateful for the boots.]

DOES SHE HAVE BOOTS OR DOES SHE NOT HAVE BOOTS? MAKE UP YOUR MIND! Also if you don't know what a "kogal" is the author helpfully informs you that it's a young woman who wears sexified schoolgirl style uniforms. "Ko-gyaru" is what I'm familiar with. (It's the "innocent but sexy schoolgirl" look basically.)

And this is where I stopped because I was screaming on Plurk about this and screaming on Good Reads about it and apparently I have Good Reads set to post to my Facebook so that was getting all my Michael Jones' Rage Quit worthy rage about this. This book is like 340 pages and I made it 76 before I said FUCK THIS PIECE OF SHIT WITH A RAKE and then spent ten minutes writing a scathing review on Good Reads that I posted here...with a lot more elaboration because I don't go screaming in my Good Reads reviews it's bad form. SO I'M DOING IT HERE because I need to express my rage properly.

So then I was wondering: is this book worth it to finish? Is the movie like this? Because if the movie was contradicting itself every two minutes to the point where I'd be rewinding scenes to see if maybe I missed something, then that's a crappy movie, but you can at least FORGIVE movie goofs--scenes are done in multiple takes so some things are slightly out of place sometimes. But in the written word, when it's so easy to change things, so easy to look back and realised you goofed--and change it so it's correct--these things are less forgivable.

This book is a fast read, I will give it that. And if it didn't have all these problems--problems I found WITHIN THE FIRST 76 PAGES--it'd be a campy, enjoyable read. But when I'm running into all sorts of contradictions and errors and whatnot every five or so pages, I end up getting frustrated and feeling let down. I intern at a goddamn newsletter and my shit goes through two editors - the managing editor and then the copyeditor. And that's just a newsletter that maybe a few thousand people read every month. This is a book that millions potentially could read and supposedly this went through an editor who was paid to look shit over and make sure it made some semblance of sense so WHO THE FUCK DIDN'T DO THEIR JOB?! Was this the fault of the screenplay from which this was adapted, in which case, should I blame the screenwriter? Or is it just bad writing on the adapting author's part?

For now I'm marking this as read--and something I will probably not attempt to reread or finish in the future.

Overall rating: 0.5 Stars out of 5

Things Karu would rather read instead of this: Frozen Teardrop. No actually, I'd rather read Twilight again than Frozen Teardrop because that's a bigger piece of shit than the Resident Evil movies and their novelisations.

My icon on Dreamwidth expresses my thoughts nicely.
 
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