New Resident Evil: Retribution trailer — Who sold out?

You may have thought that the Morgan Spurlock documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was the first “all-product-placement film” ever made. But I don’t think a movie whose sole purpose is to sarcastically point out the proliferation of product advertising in society can really hold that title. I think that distinction needs to go to Sony Pictures upcoming Resident Evil: Retribution.

I was excited to see the first Resident Evil: Retribution trailer had posted online and eagerly clicked the link, expecting to see a scantily clad Milla Jovovich whipping up on a slew of monsters in new and unique ways, but typically I first had to sit through a 30-second commercial for some sort of new phone-tablet-camera-multimedia device thingy, set to the tune of The Who’s classic Baba O’Riley song.

Huh?

My first thought was that not only has another classic rock anthem been sold out, but some idiot is using a song that comments on teenage drug use/abuse to sell cell phones… and then I suddenly realized that this commercial was in fact the movie trailer.

Resident Evil: RetributionSo what we have here is Sony Pictures using the first 30 seconds of a trailer for one of its film franchises, to sell and promote Sony multimedia devices, and it is all seamlessly blended together as one product. Most product placement in movies is done subtlety — usually — but the trailer for Resident Evil: Retribution hits you in the head with it, like Milla smacking down a zombie. After the in-your-face advertisement, what follows of the actual trailer is mediocre yawn-worthy action sequences that didn’t make up for, or distract from, the affront of the first 30 seconds.

Movie trailers are commercials for movies, and even though films, for the most part, are considered art, in the end they are products being sold by movie studios. Movie fans have become used to having to watch product commercials before the movie trailers online, and even in the theaters.  So yes, we are now watching commercials for commercials. But has Sony Pictures crossed the line to where we are now watching a film trailer that is a commercial?

Maybe Pete Townshend was right and it’s all just a wasteland (teenage or otherwise). And maybe it’s all just another sign of the coming apocalypse. Oh, and if you want to see a commercial for that, check out this trailer!

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

14 Comments

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  • Ok, I’m just going to say that those commercials before the teasers have been done before, with resident evil 2 and 3. In Retribution it was great, sure they were Sony products, but WHO? Cares? It’s a Sony film! Plus those action scenes that only lasted about 30sec were fantastic and blended greatly with daft punk. Cya!!

  • Ok, I’m just going to say that those commercials before the teasers have been done before, with resident evil 2 and 3. In Retribution it was great, sure they were Sony products, but WHO? Cares? It’s a Sony film! Plus those action scenes that only lasted about 30sec were fantastic and blended greatly with daft punk. Cya!!

  • You are making this a bigger deal than it is. I agree with Liam that it is a Sony film so naturally Sony products can make their way into the movie. And it was an awesome beginning to the trailer. As a huge resident Evil fan of the game and movies….the movie looks horrible. But that beginning with the products and Alice coming in with “her World” was great.

    Its no different than the show Parenthood showing the Apple product sign every second they can or iCarly showing the Pear electronic sign (Apple).

  • You are making this a bigger deal than it is. I agree with Liam that it is a Sony film so naturally Sony products can make their way into the movie. And it was an awesome beginning to the trailer. As a huge resident Evil fan of the game and movies….the movie looks horrible. But that beginning with the products and Alice coming in with “her World” was great.

    Its no different than the show Parenthood showing the Apple product sign every second they can or iCarly showing the Pear electronic sign (Apple).

  • This “journalist” criticizes the teaser for having a commercial at the beginning, obviously being unaware that this has been a tradition in resident evil teasers in the past.

    Also, he criticizes the trailer for using Baba O’Riley, obviously being unaware that this song was used in a major Cisco campaign a few years ago, which is why it makes sense to use it in this faux commercial that begins the teaser.

    Yet, with no background knowledge of what he writes about he suggests this is the worst use of product placement in history. Personally, I think Sony showed a sense of humor by adding their products because there is a bit of irony or sarcasm in that it suggests that technology like Sony’s will bring about the end of the world. And while Sony’s logo is shown, the fake commercial spends no time selling the products it just serves to help fool the audience that this is a real commercial before it twists into resident evil.

    Do a little homework before your write your next review.

  • This “journalist” criticizes the teaser for having a commercial at the beginning, obviously being unaware that this has been a tradition in resident evil teasers in the past.

    Also, he criticizes the trailer for using Baba O’Riley, obviously being unaware that this song was used in a major Cisco campaign a few years ago, which is why it makes sense to use it in this faux commercial that begins the teaser.

    Yet, with no background knowledge of what he writes about he suggests this is the worst use of product placement in history. Personally, I think Sony showed a sense of humor by adding their products because there is a bit of irony or sarcasm in that it suggests that technology like Sony’s will bring about the end of the world. And while Sony’s logo is shown, the fake commercial spends no time selling the products it just serves to help fool the audience that this is a real commercial before it twists into resident evil.

    Do a little homework before your write your next review.

  • Harsh lol

    I agree with the poster, blatant product placement in movies, let alone trailers is absolute crap. But I suppose it goes well with the films, they’re all fairly B grade themselves. Paul W.S. Anderson hasn’t really made anything great, he’ll leave behind a legacy of failed video game adaptions. They’ve made money though, which in the end, is clearly all that matters!

  • Harsh lol

    I agree with the poster, blatant product placement in movies, let alone trailers is absolute crap. But I suppose it goes well with the films, they’re all fairly B grade themselves. Paul W.S. Anderson hasn’t really made anything great, he’ll leave behind a legacy of failed video game adaptions. They’ve made money though, which in the end, is clearly all that matters!

  • it’s a teaser trailer, it would be something if it was the actual trailer. they did it before with Resident Evil Apocalypse and Extinction, with the Regeneration and Las Vegas Ad. Personally, I think it was a creative way to throw the audience off, which i think a teaser’s job is to do.

  • it’s a teaser trailer, it would be something if it was the actual trailer. they did it before with Resident Evil Apocalypse and Extinction, with the Regeneration and Las Vegas Ad. Personally, I think it was a creative way to throw the audience off, which i think a teaser’s job is to do.

  • I agree with the posters of the first three comments.

    The poster and other comment leave need to grow a brain and chill the shiznit out!

    It’s a pee take, for crying out loud! It’s British humour!! And if you can’t get that then don’t comment because you are insulting that which you do not understand (which isn’t exactly fair now, is it?!).

    And to the last person leaving a comment: Paul W S Anderson is one of the best film makers in the business today. And without him and his level of attention to detail, hard work, and creativity, the industry would be a far worse off thing. ONLY HE and James Cameron have produced 3D movies WORTH the extra ticket fee. End of; on that score! Go back to your remakes, reboots and Oscar Winning films…And did I mention reboots? 😛

  • I agree with the posters of the first three comments.

    The poster and other comment leave need to grow a brain and chill the shiznit out!

    It’s a pee take, for crying out loud! It’s British humour!! And if you can’t get that then don’t comment because you are insulting that which you do not understand (which isn’t exactly fair now, is it?!).

    And to the last person leaving a comment: Paul W S Anderson is one of the best film makers in the business today. And without him and his level of attention to detail, hard work, and creativity, the industry would be a far worse off thing. ONLY HE and James Cameron have produced 3D movies WORTH the extra ticket fee. End of; on that score! Go back to your remakes, reboots and Oscar Winning films…And did I mention reboots? 😛

  • Your both crazy it looks good an if your a fan then you kno its going to be the movies did a great job an look forwored to more an new thing from sony there only going to keep growing lol … this movie is going to be the ****

  • Your both crazy it looks good an if your a fan then you kno its going to be the movies did a great job an look forwored to more an new thing from sony there only going to keep growing lol … this movie is going to be the ****