A nine-minute, hand-to-hand battle between “the two best female ass-kickers” on the big screen was the central taste of the “Resident Evil: Retribution” presentation at Comic-Con on Friday, with Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez in the leading, ass-kicking roles.
Alice (Jovovich) returns to continue her fight against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead, the fifth in the series directed by her husband, Paul W. S. Anderson.
“There’s never been a better time to be a woman who wants to kick butt in theaters today,” Jovovich declared at the panel in Hall H. “We all paved the way.” (She’s not wrong, since at least two other films on Friday featured female butt-kickers, including Emily Blunt in “Looper” and Kate Beckinsale in “Total Recall.”)
Jovovich returns as Alice in “Retribution,” but in this franchise she also plays a housewife who fends off the zombies.
In the epic battle of which Anderson showed less than three minutes, Rodriguez injects herself in the neck with a serum attached to what appears to a live scorpion that makes her bulletproof. Literally. She gets shot a dozen times, and her skin expunges the bullets into the snow.
The all-woman battle goes on with pitched acrobatics and lots of sharp, pointed objects. Rodriguez does a full layout body flip to attack her opponent.
In a rollicking panel on Friday, Rodriguez praised Anderson for his open-minded attitude toward women warriors.
“It’s rare that an American man director would have that open-mindedness to have a female lead and pull that off. I give him mad props for that,” she said.
Of course, Jovovich is the director's wife. But a dozen female fans stood up from the massive audience and thanked the actresses for setting an example of fierce female attitude.
Asked if this would be the end of the franchise, Anderson said, “This is the beginning of the end. This has a lot of revelations and an awful lot of death with it.” But he wouldn’t mention how many more were still to come, if any.
Said Rodriguez, “I begged Paul’s ass as soon as I saw they were making a movie.” She turned to the director and said, ‘I’m just so glad you shot me in the head and brought me back."