a critiQal film review Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: A zombie attack brings chaos to Hazardville Airport. Leon S. Kennedy (Mercier) and Claire Redfield (Court), who fought the sinister Umbrella Corp. during the Raccoon City tragedy 7 years ago, are back and ready to battle a rogue warrior who is seeking revenge after his family was killed in Raccoon City. The deadly G-virus is unleashed and a new mutated monster goes on the rampage. Will Claire and Leon be able to terminate the virus before history repeats itself?

418 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 5s)

While fans of the video games have booed the Milla Jovovich-starring series that kicked off with Resident Evil (2002), I’ve been a big fan of (most of) the films. Still, while I wait for Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) to hit theaters this fall, I figured I’d take a look at the CG animated film that more closely follows the video games – Resident Evil: Degeneration.

Would this straight-to-DVD animated version really showcase the films better, and if so…is that a good thing?

The voice actors are all relative unknowns, even though their characters are not. The main characters, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield are well-known to the video game fans, and while not as prominent, also appear in the live-action film series as well, with Clare being played by Ali Larter as recently as Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) and Leon S. Kennedy – played by Johann Urb – popping up in the upcoming Resident Evil: Retribution (2012).

The storyline does more closely follow the video games, who got rid of the evil Umbrella Corp. long ago – despite the live-action films’ premise that the Umbrella Corp. continues to survive. For a CG animated video game film, Resident Evil: Degeneration actually has a rather decent plot, with a terrorist attack unleashing the deadly T and G-viruses in localized, and (somewhat) easily contained, environments, including an airport and a secure facility.

True, the execution of that plot isn’t perfect, as the film’s time constraints seem to shorten the development of that plot to it’s true extent, but with a solid, if truncated, storyline behind it, Resident Evil: Degeneration manages to pull the viewer in for a brief time.

This makes the action-packed zombie attack in the airport and the battle against a G-virus infected behemoth all the more thrilling. Although their are occasional flaws in the CG, it does manage to achieve a sort-of surreal realism at times, impressing the viewer while thrilling them with some action-packed sequences that filmmakers would have been hard-pressed to achieve in a live-action version.

While the film is a bit uneven – the action-packed sequences seem to be separated by a lot of needless filler – and feels a bit truncated to fit within it’s time constraints, Resident Evil: Degeneration‘s decent plot, occasional spots of near-perfect animation, and action-packed heroes-vs-the-infected sequences all help to make this an animated video game movie both fans and non-fans won’t mind checking out – although the character relationships may be a bit confusing for the viewers who have only seen the live-action films.

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