Wednesday, December 12

Resident Evil Vendetta Review

I watched on: Blu-Ray
The price I paid: £10.84 (eBay)
Notes: N/A

Resident Evil Degeneration offered an interesting look at events leading up to the fifth game for fans. Damnation followed suit with better action, improved characters and a much more interesting story building up to the sixth game. Vendetta breaks this upward trend and instead offers us maybe the worst Resident Evil product in years.

Vendetta turns both Chris Redfield and Leon S Kennedy into the same boring character. This makes sense for Chris as he has always been the hardened soldier boy but it trashes Leon’s character. During the last film, Leon was cracking bad jokes while fighting some of the most dangerous monsters in this world. Now we find him depressed and drunk in a bar. He has lost all the charm and charisma from Resident Evil 4 and Damnation now just feeling like a bland stereotype. The most insulting thing about this is that his ‘character arch’ is the same as Chris’ during Resident Evil 6. This time, however, it’s done much worse with Leon going from suicidally depressed over the death of his squad to blowing up half of New York in a matter of minutes. Since Chris has always been the rough but caring soldier type he is saved the same personality assassination that Leon gets.

This brings us to Rebecca Chambers who has not been seen since Resident Evil 0 in 2002. During both the original and the prequel game that she features in she’s the softest character but she’s anything but helpless. There is a reason she survives both games and it’s because she takes out several monsters including James Marcus in his final form. Yet here in Vendetta she is nothing more than a helpless victim that depends on Chris and Leon to save her over and over. This is flat out insulting as it turns a previously soft but strong woman into a damsel in distress. It’s not just Rebecca through, most the women in this film are either victims or over sexualised action heroes. When women can defend themselves they are in unsuitable suggestive clothing that shows off their bodies to a presumed cishet male audience. The only exception is Nadia who is a BSAA agent in Chris’ unit and I genuinely like her. She is dressed suitably for fighting the undead and can easily kick their butts.

Sadly even the action suffers from this stripping of personality. During Damnation we got amazing clashes between Lickers and Tyrants. Ada Wong having a knife fight with the Madame President of a small country. As well as Leon having to survive a town infected by the Los Plagas parasite. All we get in Vendetta is men firing guns at zombies. The action copies the style of John Wick and although the fast-paced precise shooting is impressive with actual people it’s boring in CGI. The difference is that real actors had to train to get that good and it’s this real world talent that makes John Wick enjoyable. On the other hand, you can make CGI do nearly anything so seeing the same style of action with computer graphics just isn’t as impressive. Because of this, the action here is dull and boring which after the last film is disappointing.

So if both the characters and action are trash then does the plot do enough to save this film? The short answer is no. Glenn Arias is a terrorist who sells illegal BOWs on the black market which leads the US Government to bomb him during his wedding. Despite him being close enough to his new wife to hold her hand he survives the explosion while she gets blown to bits. I guess he had on some good plot armour. Now he is so maddened with grief that he plans on using his new A-virus to attack New York with an outbreak of the undead. He also kidnaps Rebecca because she looks like his dead wife (she even has the same haircut) so he plans to marry her. This is stupid awful nonsense. It’s not as bad as how the BSAA come across in this film because they end up killing more civilians than the bad guys. They blow up tankers in the street and then they top it off by destroying 4 entire skyscrapers filled with innocent people. Leon ends up purposely causing a pileup on the freeway that kills at least the contents of 3 cars. This is the same character that two films ago spoke the line 'If you don’t try to save one life, you’ll never save any.’ Now he’s killing innocents for next to no reason.

If you put a gun to my head and asked me to say one good thing about this film it would be that it looks pretty. The CGI is detailed and fits the style of the games very well. It’s a shame that Chris looks nothing like he does in Resident Evil 7 but I guess you can’t have everything. The music is forgettable overused nonsense that you would hear in any cheap forgettable B-movie. But hey the visuals are pretty right?

I’ve compared Degeneration to Resident Evil 2 with it’s tone and characters and Damnation to Resident Evil 4. If we continue this tread then Vendetta is most certainly Resident Evil 6 in all the worse ways. The scale feels the need to be massive, the characters are robbed of any personality and the monsters are tired retreads of old ideas. Thing is, even Resident Evil 6 did this better than Vendetta does. If you’re a fan of Resident Evil then please don’t watch this film. It’s nothing more than an insulting cash grab that ruins great characters and doesn’t offer anything in return.

Recommendation Rating: 1 out of 10.

No comments:

Post a Comment