The Scoop: 2008 R, directed by Makoto Kamiya and starring Paul Mercier, Alyson Court, and Crispin Freeman
Summary Capsule: Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield get reunited when the T-virus goes terrorist weapon.
Eunice’s Rating: Shamble, shamble, shamble…
Eunice’s Review: I’m not the biggest gamer in the world. I tend to get bored before I get to the ending, so most of my gaming moments come from watching my brothers or friends playing while I read on the couch. Watching cut scenes, helping remember button sequences, and picking up a controller when someone gets frustrated with a platforming section – more my thing.
Most of what I know about the Resident Evil games comes from the first one (that brought us such classic lines as “You, the Master of Unlocking.” “You were almost a Jill sandwich!” and a guy with his guts spilling out whining, “Ouch.”) and the fourth one (“What’re ya’ buyin’?”) with the rest being a blur over a book in my memory (Vaguely remember the second one, there was one in Paris, and one on a ship).
Taking place after RE:4, in Degeneration Claire Redfield has joined a group called TerraSave, a watchdog/rescue organization concerning chemicals and bioweaponry. The opening credits give us the skinny: Seven years after Raccoon city, TerraSave is trying to investigate some shady T-virus human testing done in India by the WilPharma Corporation (not Umbrella Corp., but same difference), leading to protests and rogue scientists and the usual stuff.
Degeneration is basically broken into two parts, the first is your classic shufflin’ zombie fest…
Claire lands at the airport in Harvardville, USA, which has a protest being held outside because Senator Davis, who supports WilPharma, is inside. A moaning man comes up to the Senator and is quickly taken down by his security detail. A second moaning man comes up and starts biting people, spreading the T-virus. Then a plane crashes into the terminal. In the ensuing panic Clair sees Curtis Miller, a former WilPharma scientist looking for revenge.
Fast forward a few hours and the Marines and SRT have been called in to rescue a group of survivors. Enter Leon S. Kennedy, now a government military spook, he’s been sent to lead the rescue mission taking only SRT members Glenn (who seems to be ‘roid raging the whole time) and Angela Miller (who is a lot more important than Glenn). The survivors are Claire, the Senator, a little girl, a flight attendant, and the Senator’s secretary. As you can guess, Claire is the most brave out of the group, the Senator is a *******, the little girl needs to be protected, and everyone else fill the red shirt quota. Stuff happens, Leon saves people while the SRT folks look stupid and Claire gets her only cool scene in the whole movie.
I kinda wish the first part had gone on longer, showing the spread of the virus and more of the group trying to get out (or get in to do the rescue). I’m one of those people who would’ve rather seen a 28 Days than 28 Weeks Later (as in a prequel to 28 Days Later, not the heartfelt story of Sandra Bullock and Viggo Mortenson going through rehab). But it’s not longer, so let’s move on.
The second part gets more into the convoluted corporate conspiracy and terrorists aspects.
Quick aside: If there’s anything I’ve learned from movies it’s that we need to keep an eye on corporations that have ridiculous, over the top designed buildings with glass floors. They’re ALWAYS working on zombie programs, or mutants, or viruses (viri?), or killer dinosaurs. Or killer mutant dinosaur zombies with virus grenades. They never just have an office building with cubicles. It’s a red flag is all I’m saying. Anyway.
This is the half that’s more Leon-centric and has more of a quick time event feel to it as Leon and Angela have to dodge and run and jump so they don’t die, while Claire figures out just what the heck is going on. This is the half that has the big monster boss instead of just zombies.
Compared to movies in general, the story is kinda blah. Compared to movies based on video games, it’s actually quite good. Like Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children didn’t stand alone too well, I think, if you’d never played the game or had forgotten the story since playing you wouldn’t understand a lot of what was going on. RE: Degeneration has a beginning, middle, and end to the story, and while you may not know much about the Resident Evil games you can still follow along to what’s going on and how people relate to each other. So you don’t have to do any homework before watching it is what I’m saying.
Animation wise, it’s pretty good. Not quite as pretty as FF7:AC, but it’s not supposed to be either. The settings and characters look grittier and that fits. Occasionally a little stiff. I will say Leon’s facial expressions could’ve been worked on a little more as he doesn’t seem to ever emote anything. And the little girl Rani’s face looks wrong. I can’t put my finger on what’s going on that’s not working, -proportions? coloring? shading?- but it’s not good. Otherwise, the animation is good for being five years old.
So some die hard RE fans hate this little CG animated movie. I say they need to chillax. It’s fun, quick, and not horrible despite being based on a video game.
- A sequel, Resident Evil: Damnation, is set to premiere in Japan in October of this year (2012). “The story of Damnation will revolve around bio-organic weapons used in an Eastern European warzone, and will see the return of Leon S. Kennedy as the protagonist.”
- Leon and Claire were first introduced to the game franchise in Resident Evil/Biohazard 2 in 1998. Leon was a new police officer in Raccoon City and Claire was looking for her brother Chris (from the the first game). Ingrid Hunnigan was introduced in Resident Evil 4 providing field intelligence for Leon. Resident Evil: Degeneration takes place between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, with Tricell being mentioned near the end.
- The scene where Leon first saves Claire is a nod to the first time they met in the game.
Glenn: Even so, becoming infected by being bitten? It’s like something out of a horror movie.
Leon: The only way to stop this spread of infection is to destroy the infectees’ brains.
Angela: Destroy their brains?
Leon: Shoot them in the head.
Senator Davis: Is it too much to hope you at least have some sort of a plan?
Leon: We’re gonna run across the lobby.
Repeated: If you don’t try to save one life, you’ll never save any.
If you liked this movie, try these:
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
- Resident Evil movies