Wednesday, December 12

Resident Evil Degeneration Review

I watched on: Blu-Ray
The price I paid: £4.22 (eBay)
Notes: N/A

Resident Evil Degeneration offers fans an animated film that connects to the world and story of the games. This stands parallel to the live action series unconnected to the games. It’s nice to have a film much more faithful to the concepts and monsters from the source material. Although the ending connects to the backstory of Resident Evil 5 this story stands on its own. This means that those only interested in playing the games won’t miss any important details by missing this. Those who do want more of the world and background details will find it here. I think in this way Degeneration is very much the best of both worlds.

Clare Redfield from Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica is now working with a group called TerraSave. This is an organization dedicated to preventing more biological outbreaks similar to that of Raccoon City. Clare is meeting a friend from the group at the airport during a TerraSave protest of the WilPharma CEO who is also at the airport. WilPharma has been working with the T-Virus which is why TerraSave is protesting them. During all of this, there’s a terrorist attack in the airport lobby that leads to an outbreak of the T-Virus. Clare and the WilPharma CEO end up trapped inside. The Government then sends Leon S Kennedy from Resident Evil 2, 4 and 6 into rescue the hostages. For a stand-alone story, Degeneration is a little shallow but enjoyable. This is mostly an excuse for fans to see Leon and Claire working together against both the T and G-viruses again. A lot of this film feels like a tribute to Resident Evil 2. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all, I think the many fans of that game will enjoy this film for just that reason. During the second half, Leon finds himself facing off with a G-Virus mutation very similar to Birkin from Resident Evil 2. I love the design of this monster and the way it’s so faithful to the details we learnt about the G-Virus during that game.

Resident Evil has never been known for groundbreaking dialogue or vocal talent. In fact, it’s always had infamously bad voice acting throughout its lifetime. Degeneration doesn’t do anything to change this reputation as it continues the series tradition of cheesy writing and amateur vocal performances. Most of the characters sound like they’re speaking lines exclusively for a trailer of the film instead of the film itself. Thing is, this doesn’t feel out of place for fans of the games which this film is obversely aimed at. I couldn’t say it’s good but it’s enjoyable in a way familiar to the series.

The camera has this habit of getting really close to peoples faces and it creates this uncomfortable claustrophobic effect. This could have been used well during the horror scenes. However, it’s never used during these moments instead only being used before the outbreak occurs. The other downside with this is that it draws a lot of attention towards the animation’s weakness which is faces. Computer graphics have always had trouble with the number of small details and movements that the human face has. Considering Degeneration doesn’t have the biggest budget or animation quality anyway this feels like a strange thing to focus on. The animation besides this is great during the action but suffers when things slow down with characters feeling stiff. It’s not unwatchable or terrible by any standard but it’s not as smooth as Pixar or Dreamworks for example.

Degeneration is not a great film. I’m not even sure if it’s a good film but it certainly captures the charm and style of the games. This is something the live-action films could never do. While it may not be eligible for any awards fans of the Resident Evil games will find something to enjoy here.

Recommendation Rating: 6 out of 10

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