China Unimpressed By Resident Evil: Retribution

Resident Evil: Retribution was released late last year. The movie, shot completely in 3D and in 4K resolution, had some pretty awesome special effects. It made a decent amount of money in most of its release markets, but despite all the money it made, Chinese moviegoers seem to be unhappy with the movie. They were unhappy with the movie's special effects and, most importantly, Ada Wong.

While the fifth instalment in the Resident Evil movie franchise hit movie theatres in Australia last year around September, it only just released in China. Part of the reason for the delay in the release had to do with China's policies about foreign films. Currently China's foreign film quota is at 25 (Chinese co-productions do not count as foreign films, such as Looper).

From it's opening weekend to now, the movie has made $3.5 million in China according to Box Office Mojo. Being released six months after it's initial release (on top of pirated DVD's being available) didn't hurt the movie in the Chinese box office, according to the Chinese press the special effects hurt the movie.

According to Chinese websites such as SoHu, Voice of China and People's Daily, many Chinese moviegoers were unhappy with the movie because the effects made the movie too much like a "video game". However, there was another reason that the movie drew the ire of Chinese fans. They were unhappy with Chinese actress Li Bingbing's role as Ada Wong.

Many in the Chinese movie industry saw Li's role, as Ada Wong early on as an example of Chinese actors expanding past China. Now that the movie has been released, Chinese fans of Li aren't very happy with her participation in the movie. To many Chinese, Li, as well as other actors, spread out of China is a point of odd nationalistic pride. That China is on the rise. However, the pride in Li might be short lived. According to one reviewer, Li's turn as Ada Wong was impressive but lacking.

"Being able to do all those stunts and run around in a high-cut dress and high heels is hard work," said People's Daily's critic Xiao Mei(小美). "This role didn't give Li any chance to 'act', all she's doing is being pretty on screen, just filling in space."

Last year, Li's participation in the movie created a strange situation, particularly with the Japanese release of the film. Last year, tensions between China and Japan were at all-time highs, and Li didn't show up to the Japanese premiere. According to Li's agent, at the time, Li was busy, but missing the Tokyo leg of the premiere was also politically influenced.

It appears plot issues and wooden acting was OK for Chinese viewers.

[观众看生化危机5连称后悔 感觉是在看电游] [People's Daily] [生化危机5:惩罚》:打不完的渣游戏] [SoHu] [《生化危机5》:李冰冰就是来打酱油的] [SoHu]


    What can I say, I can't disagree with them. Movie was a complete turd on all fronts...

      I didn't even bother. They've all been crap. First one had some moments, just, and it was all downhill from there.

        I've seen part 1, around 10 minutes of 2, bits of part 3. Part 4 was watchable but by no means a good movie *at all*. One of those 'so terrible you can't look away', like a buscrash. Part 5 I started watching and just couldn't continue. I skipped through it, saw motorcycle riding zombies with machineguns and just rolled my eyes.

        I pirated them *all* beyond part 1 I'm more than HAPPY to say. I did not contribute a cent beyond part 1.

          I liked number 1, 2 was ok, 3 was shit and I haven't bothered with the rest, not even through piracy.

            I realy liked the first one, I seemed to have purged 2, 3, and 4 from my memory (but have a vague memory of them being crap) and only remember Retribution as I only just got round to watching it... I thought it was OK, not great. (I am a sucker and have bought them all, I am not a RE zealot, so don't know the plot of the games well enough to complain - last one I played was RE2) the only thing I found that bugged me was the infected riding motorbikes and being well armed...

              the virus was initially created as a form of bio weapon which went wrong in the later games they fine tune it so they can control the infected which is why those zombies have higher motor skills

              One afternoon I sat down and watched them all, one after another. I was impressed at how rapidly they became worse. I even watched some random CG thing, which was probably better than all the live action films. Sometimes my attention span impressess even me.

    Of course it did badly, did anyone expect that piece of self indulgent rubbish to do well?
    Hollywood has been driving so many franchises in to the dirt of late it's become a guarantee rather than an expectation.
    Every time I hear a Director/Producer say "We think this film will appeal to fans and newcomers" I cringe and ready another aspect of my childhood to be shattered

      Actually they're extremely successful films. They've all made a lot of money. That's means we'll definitely get another sequel. No problem for me because I won't watch it.

      But extremely successful doesn't mean good. I honestly wonder who the people are who keep lining up to see this kind of thing.

        Avatar was extremely successful...

          I loved Avatar!

          But it's surprising how many really shit movies do really well at making money. Which means they make more of them.

            You know all these shit movies actually bank role the better movies. Good movies tend to do HORRIBLY at the box office (not to mention all the marketing costs and extra junkets that are needed when Oscar and award season comes around) so films like Resident Evil and the Paranormal Activity and Saw films are released to recoup all the costs studios lose on the critically acclaimed films. Because the unintelligent masses would rather watch another Die Hard or Resident Evil or Saw than some new IP.

    The Chinese as a whole are smarter than the Americans.

    Go figure

    the effects made the movie too much like a “video game”.

    Too much like a video game? Imagine that...

    “This role didn’t give Li any chance to ‘act’, all she’s doing is being pretty on screen, just filling in space.”

    Just like in Resident Evil games. Imagine that...

    Last edited 26/03/13 11:13 pm

    I watched this at the cinema, too. I would've gladly left after the first three minutes of that crap, had I not been with others.

    While I wouldn't say it was a good movie I still thought it was ok, but I haven't minded the series as a hole.

      Like preparation-H :P

    This role didn’t give Li any chance to ‘act’, all she’s doing is being pretty on screen, just filling in space

    Didn't realise there was more to a Resident Evil movie actors/actresses than that, go figure.

      The previous ones at least made some pretense at plot. That last one was by far the worst. It was nothing but tits and guns. I'm a big fan of both but even I expect more from a movie. I've seen uwe boll movies I enjoyed more.

    Its a Resident Evil movie, the term 'acting' doesn't apply - not sure why the chinese would think otherwise

    Can hollywood stop raping my childhood now?

    *sees that Michael Bay is doing TMNT*

    Well f**k.

      "Mutant Ninja Turtles," you mean :/

      The title says it all...

        I thought it was just Ninja Turtles, since they're aliens now.

          They'll actually probably call it "Turtles," or maybe just "tles" :P

    Resident Evil movies are from the Devil.

    In movies in the "so bad it's good" category, actors don't really "act". Unrealistic expectations, China! :P

    I have no idea why, but I like the films. And I'm normally a purveyor of good films. I guess its ok to watch a film sometimes and switch off, as long as you keep it in context.

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