An Animated Film Review: Resident Evil: Degeneration
By Sean Taylor
Good morning, day and evening readers. I'd like to start this review by apologising profusely for it being so late. Higher education's workload has kind of thrown me!
Anyway, I'm sure you're not reading this for me to explain myself. On to the movie!
Like last time's review, this film is also based on a series of video games. And yes, they are also Japanese. And no, you are not mistaken, there is a pattern emerging here; which I hope to break with next week's review due to the call for diversity on this blog. Pfft, I'm rambling again.
Yes, the film in the spotlight is Resident Evil: Degeneration which I have been meaning to watch for a long time since it's release in 2008. If any of you know about the Resident Evil series of games, you will know that it focuses around flesh-eating zombies and terrible mutations caused by the 'T-Virus' and 'G-Virus'. Therefore I have steered away from William's usual happy land of Disney and Pixar, and moved into the region of BLOOD and GORE. Which, as Halloween is just around the corner, is not completely irrelevant.
Having enjoyed the games, I had to see the film. So I did. Resident Evil: Degeneration centres around the protagonists of Resident Evil: 2 (the first one I played) – Leon Scott Kennedy and Claire Redfield. Set 7 years after the events of the second game and the horrific 'Raccoon City' incident which resulted in a nuclear strike, an unknown terrorist force is seeking to reveal the truth about Raccoon City.
The first attack is made at the Harvardville Terminal, which, after night falls and she is trapped, Leon and Claire meet again. With Claire is Rani, a little girl whom Claire has connections with, and Senator Ron Davis, a corrupt politician who knows more than he lets on...
After being saving by Leon, Greg Glenn and Angela Miller (who are members of a Special Response Team), Claire escapes with her life, at the cost of one of their team. Claire then goes on to meet Frederic Downing, head of WilPharma Corporation. After which things really start to get going.
The characters are built upon wonderfully throughout the film. Claire and Leon's relationship appears to strengthen, even managing to encounter some deja vu along the way (I spotted one instance, see if you can spot it). However the story progresses more when Leon and Angela are together, and become the main protagonists. The voice acting was also very good, with old favourites such as Paul Mercier returning to fulfil his role. The slow-mo effects, particularly the bullet time sequences are exhilarating and really give the plot a sense of style.
Despite this, I believe the structure of characters was a bit... off. Claire should have been a main character next to Leon instead of becoming a secondary protagonist. There is also one other major flaw. I remember when playing Resident Evil: 2 that I was absolutely terrified to go around that corner or enter that room. There was only one reason for this; sound. The music and background noise in the old games completely set the scene and, well if it can scare me, it's definitely good. I didn't hear that in the movie though, which disappointed me. I think this movie has went the same way as the video games – from tense horror to full-blown action, which I do not agree with.
To round up, it was an excellent film and well worth watching, but it just didn't seem right. It focused too much on action sequences and explosions. And there are a lot of explosions.