As always, the central figure in the gritty and gripping fifth “Resident Evil” movie “Resident Evil: Retribution” is Alice, played once again with implacable ferocity by Milla Jovovich.
|Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures|
“Milla is a huge factor in the success of the films,” says producer Jeremy Bolt. “One of the things that makes Resident Evil interesting is that we present a woman as a convincing action hero. She’s tough as hell. She’s a leader; she’s determined. If anybody’s going to beat the evil corporation Umbrella, it’s Alice.”
Alice has evolved with each chapter of the ongoing saga, transforming from naïve amnesiac to superhumanly gifted warrior and, now, a battered foot soldier in the ongoing war against the ultimate evil. After playing the character for a decade, Jovovich has come to know her more intimately and care more deeply about her action-hero alter ego.
“Doing this series has been such an adventure,” the actress says. “It’s always amazing to come back to this incredible, fantastical, magical world and to Alice. I know her so well now. I know how she will react, what she will and won’t do. She’s become a huge part of my life, and as I grow, she grows. I’m always excited to see where she’s going next.”
“Milla as Alice is a force to be reckoned with,” says producer Don Carmody. “She is not only beautiful, she’s also genuine and funny. People think of her as ‘Milla Jovovich, the Russian supermodel,’ but she’s very down-to-earth, very accomplished and very dedicated. And nobody knows Alice better than she does.”
Alice was stripped of her superpowers in “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” a move that Jovovich believes was critical to the development of the character. “We’ve moved closer to the original Alice, who was a little more vulnerable,” she says. “When she’s in danger, the audience can be scared for her because she can’t just make everything explode. She’s still a badass, just not a superhero badass.”
As Alice becomes acclimated to being human again, she has to learn to trust and depend on those around her, adds Jovovich. “Without her superpowers, she doesn’t feel as isolated. She feels more in touch with other people, and she has to be much more of a team player. And she has been able to acquire bit of a sense of humor about it all. If all you do is go around killing zombies and being chased by Umbrella storm troopers, you may as well take it with a wink and a smile.”
When director Paul W.S. Anderson talks about the actress, who is also his wife, it’s clear she is his muse for the film series. “Over the last ten years, as this character has developed, we’ve had the opportunity to see her grow as Milla has,” he says. “Alice was a blank slate in the first film because she had memory loss and knew nothing about herself. She has slowly gathered around her this family made up of other survivors of the apocalypse.
“This is a big step for her,” he adds. “You see a lot of conflict come out of that because she is a hardened warrior who has sacrificed for the battle she’s chosen to fight. She has given up family, friends and a future. Now, she is a slightly more complex character.”