The folk at Sony’s genre label, Screen Gems, know their audience.
We’re not bothered by review embargoes, lousy reviews or any of that stuff. We want genre, we want it made by reasonably competent film makers and, if possible, headlined by actresses who look barely capable of picking up their dry cleaning without an entourage in tow, let alone in kicking the snot out of zombies, were-beasts and toothsome Euro Trash.
Accordingly, Screen Gems have chosen this Friday’s release of “Underworld: Awakening” to debut the trailer for this autumn’s fifth (count ’em) entry in the remarkably resilient “Resident Evil” sequence of action horror movies, “Resident Evil: Retribution”.
And – it’s a doozy.
Beginning with the most absurd piece of product placement since the last Bond movie, the trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson’s latest has nearly thirty seconds of smiling, pretty people speaking to camera for some kind of infomercial, each one of them happily brandishing some piece of Sony home electronics consumer tech which defines their oh-so-photogenic lifestyles.
How very nice and synergistic.
This surreal advertorial abruptly shifts into a scene of utterly razor-toothed mayhem, as Milla Jovovich pops up on top of a besieged White House, and a sizzle reel ensues. Massive mutant creatures chasing a vehicle, a fleet of armed heli-gunships, surprise returning characters, new global locations and lots of the utterly insane action which has become this series’ defining characteristic.
Physics? Plausibility? A pox on ye!
There’s some kind of correlation to be drawn between the reviews for these movies – try to find a critic who likes them – and their ever-increasing success at the global box office. Like the similarly critically reviled “Fast and Furious” movies, the opinions of the critical establishment have no bearing on the audience paying their money to go to see each film, as each film makes a ton of money and begets another sequel in another two years or so, in some strange parody of the way that the movie business is supposed to work.
A movie series based on a video game sequence acting as an agent of unpredictable agitation in a staid entertainment sector and making up new rules on the fly? Stranger things have happened.