I was recently invited out to the New York premier of Resident Evil Degeneration by Capcom and Sony pictures. The premier was held at the New York Horror Film Festival at the Tribeca Cinemas located on Canal and Varick, a very pleasant small theater with a homey feel to it. Anyway, if you feel like reading about some horror movie based on some horror game series, hit the jump.
Resident Evil Degeneration starts out by giving you some back story, a quick recap into the events of Raccoon city. Showing you various news reports and how the people outside Raccoon city witnessed and learned about the events that happened. How umbrella fell from power as well as showing you the general consensus of how people all over the world feel about zombies, and the T-Virus in general. Which is pleasant for people who have never played the games or known anything about the story a way of understanding what has happened without revealing too much detail into the virus the brings the dead back to life.
After that quick recap the movie really starts as you are brought to an innocent and very normal looking mid western airport in some unknown town (it was only mentioned once). Where Claire Redfield shows up on business to bring an orphaned girl who was recently a survivor of some horrific event to her aunt. It is revealed that Claire is now working for an organization that does search and rescue and the investigation of bio-terrorism attacks.
However, just like before, trouble always finds a way to follow Claire around as another biological problem somehow mysteriously happens. A plane full of Zombies hopped up on some well know virus crashes into the airport terminal. Causing a panic to the people around her, as well as drawing her back to the nightmare she thought she had escaped a long time ago. As she is now trapped in the terminal with the young girl she just rescued, and a few other survivors.
A transition happens that soon reveals that Claire is no where to be seen, only to reveal that the people who did managed to escaped the airport terminal are now locked away in some containment area begging and screaming to be released. The scene continues to slowly span around the area showing Hazmat teams working on people in beds and body bags being moved around. Until it finally spans out to reveal that the Airport has been fenced off by the local police Police SWAT team.
We then learn of a female SWAT officer named Angela Miller is pleading with her captain to go in and rescue a group of people from a 911 call who are still trapped within the airport terminal. The captain denies her request which causes her anguish, that is when her partner comes in to tell her that a government agent who specializes in Bio-Terrorism is being sent in to help with the clean up.
This is when the story kicks up a notch to awesome, as who would that be but none other than Leon S. Kennedy. He quickly takes charge of the situation and orders Angela Miller and her partner to accompany him in the rescue of the people trapped in the Airport. They fly in on a helicopter and propel down to the roof where they sneak through the airport terminal which is uneasily quiet until Angela hears a woman scream, and Angela runs off to investigate against Leon’s advice. Which soon has them going through the area guns blazing until they run into Claire and the survivors. Soon after which they make a run for it through the terminal losing Angela’s partner to the zombie horde, until finally escaping to the safety outside.
However, just as you thought that everything was safe the story turns sideways revealing a dangerous game of a race against time. Drifting into the background of Angela Miller one of the Swat members responsible for helping with the rescue of Claire and her group. As it is revealed that her brother, Curtis, is behind the mess at the airport and is playing a dangerous game to get the truth revealed about what actually happened at the Raccoon City incident. This is where the movie takes a serious spin into a twist ending and action sequences until the climatic peak with none other than a deadly Tyrant B.O.W..
Overall, the film delivered to what I believe what the fans of the series have been hoping for since the release of the live action films. Not only is this GG film canonical to the series, but it delivers information that has never been revealed in the game to what actually happened to the United States after the fall of the Umbrella Corporation. While revealing that government had set up specialized teams and various programs specially equipped handle bio-terrorism and the T-Virus. As well as setting up a series of checks to make sure that another bio-hazard never happens again.
The artists did a great job at rendering various people and places during the movie, although the one flaw was that at times it was too dark to see really anything. I was not sure if that was a scare tactic or just bad design. However, there was some very well done fluid action sequences as well as delivering some decent explosion rendering. One of those action sequences in particular around the end of the film will left you wishing that you had a controller in your hand, and that it was a game instead of a movie.
The one draw back to the movie is that most of the dialogue was apparently written by the undead, as it seemed to consist of a bunch of dry one liners. Especially any line coming out of Leon Kennedy’s mouth. As he seemed to have the personality of a dried square of tofu, but then again, he is working for the government so he nailed the part. As well as the stinted and poorly done love interest that Angela poses as throughout the movie for Leon. Overall the voice quality and sound gives you the absolute feel of a Resident Evil game, so it was particularly enjoyable.
Three out of Four Stars