Thursday, December 1, 2011


Resident Evil Degeneration (2008)
from IMDb

A warrior seeking revenge unleashes a deadly virus in Harvardville.  Responding to the threat are former special forces members Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, who look to bring down a mutated monster before history repeats itself.

This film stars the voices of Paul Mercier and Alyson Court and is directed by Makoto Kamiya.  Mercier and Court are actually reprising their roles from the Resident Evil video game series.

You may be saying to yourself, I didn't see any resident evil movies on the list of the top 250 films, let alone an animated version.  What gives?  Well after spending an extended period of time watching great movies, I wanted to make sure that I still could recognise a craptacular movie when I saw it.  It's like being in a candle store with the wife.  After all the smells in the store, you kinda want a big whiff of coffee to reset the system.

So I fired up the ole Netflix and picked a movie off their list of new arrivals to stream.  I mention this only so you know that I didn't waste any money on this film, just time.  Not that I've never regretted a movie purchase before...I'm looking at you Carrie 2: the Rage.  Though watching the oldest of the Home Improvement kids getting shot in an uncomfortable place with a harpoon gun was almost worth the price of the DVD.  But I digress.....

Resident Evil Degeneration fit the bill of an extremely craptacular film.  Although it was released in 2008, it's computer animation looked pretty awful.  The director seems to have used the video game engine for Resident Evil circa 2004.  It fails to even compare to the animation from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within which was made in 2001.  The characters' fingers don't appear to move independently, as if they were taped together.  The dialogue didn't match up with the lips of the characters which proved to be fairly distracting.  Upon looking up the movie on IMDb I learned that this film was originally released in Japan and this version had the English dubbed over.  This is probably more the fault of Netflix, but it would've been better if it was shown in the original Japanese with English subtitles.

The film starts with a town being destroyed to control an outbreak of the T-virus.  This obviously didn't control the outbreak otherwise the movie would be over before it began.  The infection begins to spread again at the airport, probably due to baggage fees.  Claire and a small group of people, including a senator are trapped in one of the VIP lounges and call out for help.  By this time the military has already mobilized and quarantined off the airport.  Once they receive the distress call, the military formulates a plan to breach the airport to rescue them with the help of Leon, a special government agent.  Leon takes two military personnel with him to breach the airport and rescue the survivors, because three people should be plenty to take down an army of the undead.  They probably only brought one clip of ammunition with them too just to ramp up the difficulty a little more.  The three navigated through the airport towards the VIP lounge with only the flashlights on their weapons, because you wouldn't want to pierce the darkness.  Leon and the two military rescue the survivors and make a break for it through the front door.  But this is only the beginning.  From here the story becomes more convoluted with the head of a pharmaceutical company involved in releasing another virus, the B-virus I believe.  The two plot lines seem to be completely separate movies.  I feel like I zoned out and someone snuck in and changed the channel to a different equally crappy movie.

So in case you haven't figured it out yet.  Resident Evil Degeneration is a very bad movie.  The dialogue is cheesy which is to be expected if you've ever played a Resident Evil game.  There were also random diatribes by numerous characters whose sole purpose was to fill in the back story from the games.  The creators must have blown the budget on their animators that they couldn't afford to have the writers incorporate the back story more creatively into the film.  They did however budget in every action movie cliche possible.  There were two slow motion jumps away from falling debris, a slow motion jump from an explosion, a final leap to a platform and only able to grab the ledge, and the guy who sacrifices himself to save the group.  During the characters escape from the airport, the film must have gotten to hard for the characters.  They needed to type in the unlimited ammo code, because no one had to reload a single weapon.

In the words of one of the characters, Angela Miller, "You're too pathetic to kill".  Well unfortunately that rings true for Resident Evil Degeneration as well since according to IMDb, the sequel was announced for 2012.

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