V.G. Movies #50: Resident Evil: Damnation.

[Welcome back to the Evolution of Video Game Movies series. Every week, I will be moving forward through time, starting with the earliest and ending with the most recent of video game movies. I will be detailing the histories of the games and how the films came about, and both my and fan reaction to the adaptations. Practically all of my background information is either common knowledge or from Wikipedia. So without further ado, let's move on to the final film on the list.]


Finally, we come to the final video game movie! And how fitting is it that it's a Resident Evil flick (albeit from the animated film series).  There's really no special history here. I've gone over the Resident Evil games ad nauseam with all the other flicks. There's no real information needed that leads up to this sequel to Resident Evil: Degeneration. It just... happened. And it's no secret that I pretty much hated the first film in this animated "series" (there are only two films thus far, so it's hard to call it a series). I'm not expecting much of out this, but as usual... I'll try to go in with an open mind. Let's do this, shall we?


In the middle of a civil war within the Eastern Slav Republic, Leon (Matthew Mercer) is sent in to confirm rumors that bio-weapons such as Lickers are being used. And not only used, but controlled. As it turns out, the freedom fighters have been given a Plaga parasite which will help them control Lickers (at least until the Plaga takes over the person's body completely). But Leon is taken hostage by a couple freedom fighters named Sasha (Dave Wittenberg) and JD (Val Tasso) and has to work with them as they prepare to overtake the capitol building and overthrow their current president, Svetlana (Wendee Lee). All the while, Ada Wong (Courtenay Taylor) has been hired to get close to the president and find the source of the Plaga herself.

You know what? I was pleasantly surprised with this film. It was far and away much better than Degeneration. First, the CG animation looks pretty good, with the exception of a few characters. And the lip sync with the dialogue is off here and there. But on the whole, the movie looks really nice. The Tyrants at the end in particular look really cool and intimidating. Strangely with the visual style, though, they would do weird little things from time to time. For instance, sometimes they would go into a first-person perspective for a short period. And other little things like that. They weren't bad, they were just odd choices.

The action was very good and much better than Degeneration. While most of it was gunplay, there were a few highlights. First and foremost was a fistfight between Ada Wong and the president. Both the animation and the actual fighting looks really good in this segment. And again, when the Tyrants show up, they're such massive, hulking creatures, and they're animated so well that you feel every heavy step they take. So when one takes so long to take down, you can really believe it, and the suspense is high. And I liked the idea of being able to use Plaga to control Lickers, even if it meant your inevitable doom. And it added some really good action sequences later on.

Unfortunately, there were some pretty big negatives, as well. First, the character of JD was unbelievably annoying. He was this Russian wannabe-American gangster type. He would talk and act in these weird and over-the-top ways that it was really hard to not want to punch him in the face. And he was supposed to be likable. Second, almost everything that came out of Leon's mouth was painful. It's like they tried to be clever and witty, but it was just terrible. And not even ironically groan-worthy where it's at least cheesy. It's just bad writing. There's this whole bit near the beginning where he compares everything to the Wizard of Oz for some strange reason. And then he tries to give one-liners throughout, but they just don't hit. He only has one good line in the entire film, which is near the end when they're taking down one of the Tyrants. And that's about it.

It's definitely not a perfect film, but I was really entertained by it for the majority. It does go on about 10 minutes too long as it tries to wrap up every single storyline in this film while setting up cliffhangers for the Resident Evil 6 video game. It's like Lord of the Rings with all the endings it goes for. And that on top of a really long third act climax (albeit a fun one), it was just too much. The voice acting was solid, as well, even though JD got on my nerves. In the end, the decent story, nice visuals, and cool action won me over. Who'd have thunk?

I Am McLovin!

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