Resident Evil: Damnation Reviews
Thusly I am completely unable to determine if this new CGI animated sequel is accurate or follows on from any part of the numerous videogames. Of course the bottom line is if you wanna see a good proper Resi Evil flick then this is what you watch, unlike the comicbook style live action films.
Yes this film is bloody and violent with no holds barred on what you expect from the Resi Evil franchise. I'm confident any fans will get a kick outta this new offering with some great creature action, zombie action and your obligatory slow motion action sequences which show off the crisp CGI to the smallest pixel.
For me...I didn't really like it. Why? because the plot is sooooo so unexplained, do you have to be a Resi Evil fanboy to get this? No reason for anything that happens or why, characters are dull and stereotypical plus it just feels like a long videogame ingame sequence, but I guess that can't really be helped. I also found the CGI to be very very good on the human characters, especially facial close ups, but rather average on pretty much everything else! Lip syncing on speech is still somewhat lacking and looks a bit crappy.
As for plot points, I didn't like the fact certain humans can now control the Bio-Organic Weapons through their mind via some kind of technological advancement. That advancement being an 'Alien 3' rip where by the Bio-Organic Weapon uses a human host to live in which creates a connection between the two, eh? I also didn't understand where all this BOW's came from either, this one guy controlled them and there seemed to be a never ending stream of the things...from nowhere.
Other issues cropped up like the zombies going round stuffing these embryo type things down uninfected peoples throats. I guess they were the BOW embryo's that would enable humans to control them, but why would the zombies be doing that? who is controlling the zombies? oh my!
Finally who or what on earth were these huge pale bald Mortal Kombat looking characters in the finale?? Just popped up from nowhere, virtually indestructible and looked like the alien space jockeys from 'Prometheus'.
What really bugs me about Resi Evil now is the fact its become a kind of monster mash with no real suspense anymore. Its just a guns blazing, blood spilling, in your face monster brawl along the lines of Mortal Kombat, the original spooky horror element has faded away for pure adrenaline soaked action. I also feel the whole idea has been milked too much and the Umbrella company lost its mystery yonks ago.
This is definitely the kind of Resi Evil film your looking for if your a fan but for uninitiated folk like myself it may seem a bit hectic and raise many questions. Questions like...what on Titan is going on here?!
The CGI is VERY well done and the English voice acting leaves little if anything to be desired. The storyline is simple and recurring characters are portrayed faithfully. The fight scenes are choreographed very well.
Damnation isn't a terrible movie though. There's a gory fight between two of the well known villains of the game that's extremely cool and will please fans. The action is pretty imaginative and there are some tense moments when it goes into a first-person perspective. Damnation isn't the best action/horror movie, but it's a pretty good Resident Evil movie.
The story follows Agent Leon Kennedy who has been sent to the fictional Eastern European country, Eastern Slav Republic, to investigate the country's possible use of BOWs (Bio-Organic Weapons). But before he can begin his mission, he is informed that his mission has been aborted and that he is to retreat immediately.
But, being Leon Kennedy, he promptly ignores the order and goes on the hunt for BOWs, which is immediately confirmed when he has a run-in with Lickers in a parking garage. These Lickers are different however, and even though Leon is vulnerable to be killed at one point, the creature does not at the command of its master and Leon is instead captured by rebel fighters.
Meanwhile, the mysterious Ada Wong, posing as a BSAA agent, meets with the country's president and she reveals that there is a way to control the BOWs for war purposes, which intrigues the government officials as a way to help them in the country's civil war.
Soon Leon and Ada find themselves entangled in the country's civil war plus the over the top Resident Evil brand of biological warfare as a number of the series' favorite creatures make an appearance to duke it out with each other and the humans. Now, Leon must find a way to put an end to all of this to save the world yet again (Damn, this poor guy never seems to get much of a break does he?).
My biggest problem with this Resident Evil entry is its storyline. It wants to be a super-serious political film with torrid drama thrown into the mix, but it also wants to do this while ridiculous scenarios play out like Ada Wong getting into a wild martial arts battle with the country's president like something ripped straight out of a wild Hong Kong action flick or The Matrix. I will give Damnation credit for being rather ambitious in a franchise that is not particularly renowned for storytelling, but its ideas become muddled and create a genre dichotomy that doesn't quite work. I actually became confused trying to follow the storyline because it goes all over the place.
When it comes to the acting, the voice acting is actually quite good and shows a significant improvement from the franchise's early days of hilariously bad voice acting ("You were almost a Jill sandwich!"). It was actually professional and the actors were able to make some scenes that would have fallen flat and made them feel sincere and believable (Well, most of the time, there are a couple of scenes that no one could make sound good). As a whole, the voice acting is terrific.
The best part of Resident Evil: Damnation is the action. This film features some of the most ridiculous and over the top action not only of the franchise itself, but also among virtually any action film released over the last 15 years. The fight scene with the president alone is the shining pinnacle of this film's lunacy and it was an absolute hoot chock-full of excitement and what-the-fuck moments. There's also plenty of other martial arts battles, zombie mayhem, creature mayhem, explosions, gun battles, and more (Including what is quite possibly, the most bizarre anti-suicide scene in the history of cinema. You have to see it to believe it).
While Resident Evil: Damnation partly suffers because it takes itself far too seriously for its own good at some points, it's still a damn fine loony action film. It's a wild ride from start to finish and one of the more bizarre entries of an already strange franchise. Even if you've never played the games or seen the other films, this one is worth watching if you love ridiculous action films.
This is animation via 3d modelling tools coupled with recording of live actions. Looks wonderful; better, in fact, than many live action horror films that I have reviewed lately.
The main action takes place in a fictional former Soviet bloc nation, Eastern Slav Republic, that came into existence after the fall of the USSR. The film follows an American agent, Leon S. Kennedy, who goes rogue during the continuing civil war in ESR. The rumour that Leon wants to check out is whether or not the rebel forces in the civil war are using BOWs (Bio Organic Weapons). Leon encounters a BOW almost immediately.
President Svetlana brings in Ada Wong from the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) to look into the allegations. By themselves, the BOW are useless (attack friend and foe alike), but if a plaga is applied, control can be asserted. Sounds tricky. Leon needs to get some sort of evidence of all this. So does Ada Wong.
The things that look like zombies walking around in Eastern Europe seem to be humans enslaved by plaga attaching themselves to spinal cords. Great. I was expected a high quality zombie film, and got a no zombie film.
Will Leon or Ada get the evidence they needed? Will the ESR survive as a country?
Art/Animation: 10/10 Exceptional; I'd like to give it a 73 out of 10, but 10 is tops. Most of the film looks great. Loved the fight sequences between Ada Wong and President Svetlana.
Sound: 8/10 Sound leveling could be better. Going from fight-action music to/from conversation is a disaster.
Voice Acting: 7/10 This varies a lot. Matthew Mercer, Wendee Lee, and Courtenay Taylor were good. Val Tasso was mighty irritating. Most of the others were competent.
Story: 4/10 Wow. Terrible dialog in so many places. Is this a civil war film, a zombie film, an east vs west film, a biohazard film? The connections to Resident Evil seem weak.