Throughout the ages, mystical creatures of yore have captured the attention of fanboys and girls alike - but zombies might take the cake for the ultimate in cult followings. From the films of George Romero to the seemingly-endless flood of 360 games, zombies are prevalent throughout mainstream media - especially in the last few years. Whether Capcom decided to release it at such a convenient time or not, those currently charged up by the gory zombies-in-space action on their console will eat up Resident Evil Degeneration with fervor.
Taking place after the events of Resident Evil 4, the world is still reeling from the catastrophic consequences of the T-Virus. Raccoon City was blown away by the government, the Umbrella Corporation's stock plummeted, and a new pharmaceutical company called WilPharma has risen from the ashes. Word of human trials for a new T-Virus vaccine has surfaced, and protestors are aplenty at WilPharma's headquarters, setting the stage for the story to come.
Claire Redfield of early Resident Evil fame has landed at an airport to meet a friend when the proverbial excrement hits the fan. A live-and-biting zombie combined with a crashed zombie-filled plane leave a few survivors stranded in the terminal, and only one man can save the day: Leon Kennedy. Alongside a Special Response Team agent named Angela they make their way into the darkness in hopes of saving Claire and the others; but what none of them realize is there's a far deeper conspiracy going on, and zombies are the least of their problems.
Resident Evil's premise is solid and engaging from start to end - save for the yawn-inducing and cheesy reuniting Claire has with her friend. There's zombies, conspiracies and plenty of themes that Resident Evil fans will be familiar with, and newbies to the franchise will appreciate.
What makes Resident Evil so captivating is not its story alone, but in the way that it's told: its cinematography is absolutely exceptional and succeeds fully in making you feel like you're a part of the action. For example, near the beginning there's a scene where you're seeing a bank of windows behind Claire in the airport, and suddenly a plane comes closer and closer to them... ultimately crashing into the airport, crushing bodies as it slides closer to the camera. These shots, while not part of the actual ‘story', contribute to it as a whole by making the action and the perils of the characters seem much more real. By supplying beautiful and carefully-constructed transitions scenes, you remain engaged and interested in seeing what's to come. Resident Evil Degeneration oozes a cinematic air, and it shows.
However, that being said, Resident Evil does also have a few shortcomings: its villains are far too textbook and uninteresting to be appealing, and its horribly-outdated CG character designs jar your attention from what's happening. Had the creators spent a bit more budget on making its humans look real, the story would have been all the more compelling.
Nevertheless, save for the visual shortcomings that overpower the story, Resident Evil's premise is a-ok in my book.
Resident Evil's otherwise stunning and realistic animation is marred by the excessively-horrible character designs. While seeming real from afar, close up they are an embarrassment. Mouths, which are meant to line up with the English script, are rarely on cue with the dialogue and don't fully articulate as needed. Given that it's 2008 and other just as popular companies like Squaresoft seem to have the budget to create better, I'm not sure if Capcom has a good excuse for this. Arm and leg movements are also poorly-animated and jerky. Furthermore, is it really necessary to make every female character - save for a few - look like Angelina Jolie clones? Seriously, it gets hard to tell people apart when that's the case.
On the other hand (and more importantly), scenery shots and non-close ups are exceptionally beautiful and lifelike; they are a vital part of the cinematography that allows the story to be so engaging and enthralling. One scene in particular involving an explosion and a fire seemed so real that I could have sworn live-action video was overlaid on top of the animation. In a sea of poorly-animated titles, Resident Evil's visuals - except for the characters - shine.
Resident Evil's audio, like its visuals, is presented in a highly appropriate way. Much attention was given to the sound design - gunshots resound perfectly and other special effects are equally as impressive. The soundtrack is - excuse the repeated word - cinematic and succeeds at pulling you into the action.
My one quip is with the voice actress of Rani, Claire's pint-sized charge, who has an outrageously-ludicrous accent and performs cheesier-than-hell dialogue. Since when does a five-year-old child yell "Aunt!" across the room instead of something more age-appropriate like ‘Auntie?" Her aside, however, the rest of the cast is pleasantly believable.
While much effort is exerted to ensure the non-franchise characters - Angela and the villain - are three-dimensional, they remain shallow and uninteresting nonetheless. Leon and Claire exist solely as fanboy elements, offering little character development. A romance subplot is introduced as well, but comes across as fake and uninspiring; it should have been left out.
Easily the most interesting character is the ultimate monster foe that makes an appearance in the latter half of the movie. Its stark and frightening appearance will grip you - except the scenes where it's badly-animated.
Zombie lovers worldwide should heed the call of Resident Evil Degeneration. It's cinematic and (mostly) beautiful to watch, and the plot's shortcomings are outshined by its merits. Only those who would be detracted from the poor character designs need not apply.
The show has pretty much the same feeling as the video games. They have us slipping between different characters, making all three of them feel like the main character. They also have Claire in her always pretty looking; somehow, she never seems to get dirty even when a plain crashes about a foot away blowing up almost everything. It has everything we need from a horror movie, guns, zombies, tention, and a bit of Romance.
I want to say one thing about one of the characters, I cannot STAND Senator Ron Davis. He’s a jackass and buts into everything. They did a really good job in making look as stuck up and snobby as most fat politicians (no offence to those in that department). I do have one problem with him and that is that I think I have seen him somewhere else and it wasn’t in the Resident Evil storyline.
Now, I actually really like Clare, and I also liked the girl that pretty much looks like her, Angela Miller. She has a bit of the same spunk as Clare has, though at times, she feels just like a copy of Clare.
They stay pretty close to the storyline of the games and that’s one thing I really love about this. It keeps true and though I haven’t played all the games, it feels like a branch of the games like you can’t watch without knowing the games.
Well, the animation feels like one big cut scene actually. But it’s not saying that it’s not good. The animation texture is really well done, making people actually look real, and that’s were we get some problems. The characters look almost too real and so when the movements feel choppy, it takes away from it. The clothing also feels a bit stiff and glossy which again makes things feel a little off. I actually like when the textures became dark and dirty because then it felt much more real. The bright look didn’t look right.
Voices are pretty good though the matching of the lip-sink isn’t all that great. There really isn’t much excuse on that part though since the language was actually first English.
Critic's Log - Earthdate: December 2, 2012. Review #23: Resident Evil: Degeneration
I want to apologize before I start this review that I have never played the Resident Evil games prior to writing this review but I have expressed interest in playing them. Let's shoot some Zombie bastards and get right into Resident Evil: Degeneration!
7 years have passed since the outbreak and destruction that occurred in Raccoon City. Umbrella, which is a company, is dead. Leon S. Kennedy, a U.S. government agent, and Claire Redfield, a rescuer of an NGO Terrasave, are now caught in what may become a repeat in history. With the T-virus spreading in the Harvardille Airport and a new G-virus monster on the horizon, Leon and Claire race against the clock to stop history from repeating itself.
To be technical, this is a movie based on the Resident Evil games (obviously) but this movie has a connection with the video games. Please try not to confuse yourself with the American Live-action film series because Resident Evil: Degeneration is not part of that continuity. According to some sources, this movie takes place after Resident Evil 4 and before Resident Evil 5. This is a Digital Frontier production and this was conceived by Capcom themselves and this is the only Resident Evil movie that is canonical to the games. This is also a Capcom Studios production and I will say that the CG animation does look like that it has some hiccups, I actually don't care all too much since the CG fits in with the video games. So I don't have much to complain about it. It may not be like Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, but I'm willing to let the CG animation pass this time. My only complaint is how Leon looks in the movie. At first I thought Leon looked alright, but when I researched the games, I found that Leon looks different than Resident Evil 4 and that's my only complaint.
The music by Tetsuya Takahashi is kind of an interesting one to talk about. The music I guess is okay, but Tetsuya Takahashi is an interesting case because he worked on games such as Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Xenogears, and other games. He never composed music for any of those games and I kind of wonder why that he was chosen to compose the music for this movie. It's really beyond me to ask why this would seem to be a good choice. I guess it's nice that this guy is composing music for a video game movie even though that is not in his forte. The music is ok but I do think it could have been better because I don't think the soundtrack is too memorable to say the least. Even if the music isn't all that great, it does not hurt the film's overall enjoyment.
When it comes to voice casts, You're gonna have stick with the dub on this one because apparently there is a Japanese version but us Americans only have this movie in English. Which I guess can be a problem since lip-syncing would be spot on in Japanese in which the dub found it difficult to do so they just did what they could do. However, since we get the games in English, I guess it wouldn't make a big difference since the dub is well-performed for the most part. Paul Mercier and Alyson Court do reprise their roles as Leon and Claire in this movie to fit in with the video games since this movie is labeled as "Canonical" with the games. Laura Bailey is pretty good as Angela and Steve Blum really sounds like he had fun playing a tough guy that gets to use a big gun. Crispin Freeman plays a really interesting role as Frederic. Roger Craig Smith is also nice to hear as Curtis. Mark Hamill...*Record Scratch*, Oh wait a second, it's Michael Sorich that plays that slimy politician, Senator Ron Davis. At first when I heard that Senator's voice. I really thought I was hearing Mark Hamill in the movie. Michael Sorich is pretty good in his role. Mary Elizabeth McGlynn was the one in charge of the ADR director and that may not sound like much but she was the ADR director for dubs such as Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, and Naruto. This dub is pretty good overall.
As far as characters go, Leon is kind of a badass in this movie, Claire is nice and can kick ass. I really have no comment on Angela in this movie because I feel that Angela was a bit dense throughout this movie and because of convenience, Her brother is the main baddie in this movie and she somehow stands there when her brother turns into a monster (Which I don't blame her). Angela is a bit underdeveloped and could have had better character development . Greg Glenn is alright since he only sticks around for a half hour or so. Frederic was a bit mysterious in somewhat of a good way. Ron Davis is a stereotypical asshole politician. Rani is a character that does show up from time to time after the first 10 minutes and I almost have no comment about her since this movie is her only appearance and she doesn't play much of a big part in the central plot. The characters are cool or nice I guess but after doing more research on the games, I will agree that Leon is a lot different in personality compared to the games and that's where I think this contributes to the big problem in this movie. He sounds like he's way too removed from the situation that is happening a lot and sounds like he had something shoved up his ass. I don't think this happened in the fourth game while I did research it. Claire on the other hand is done right for the most part except for the fact that she's underused. She does kick some ass for a moment and then gives her pistol back to Leon despite the fact that she's in danger and then later in the movie, her leg gets wounded and has trouble walking normally. There is an odd moment that Claire has and that is during the airport scene when she's telling a security officer to run away after shooting a zombie instead of telling him to shoot the zombie in the head. The big problem that I think this movie has is that Leon seems to be the only one that knows about the Raccoon City incident which is regarded as an infamous incident and he's telling this to special agents. Let's think over this, would these special agents know everything about the Raccoon City incident since it's an infamous incident? Another thing that's off is that Leon tells these agents to shoot them in the head and they never shot any of them in the head *Slap Facepalm* Especially one scene where Angela shoots one zombie in the freaking kneecap. Gee, it seems those special agents didn't understand the intel that Leon gave them to just SHOOT THEM IN THE DAMN HEAD!. The characters are a bit mixed if you compare this with the games.
Another problem I have is the pacing with the story. There's a good chunk in the middle as well as the start of the movie, but there are scenes that just slow down the movie. On the bright side, there is a twist that I think payed off well for the most part but nothing too mind-blowing. But considering the story for the movie, it is pretty average and it's not really all that special. Another problem I could see is that there are a few stereotypes in the movie. I will say that this is worth checking out if you are a Resident Evil fan. This movie is a lot better than the crappy live-action Resident Evil movies.
If there are any people that actually like the live-action Resident Evil movies, I want to point out that what I said about those movies is not a direct insult to those that like the live-action movies. I am not a snob while saying this, I've tried it and all I can say is that it could have been so much better if they would give it to the right talent. I will say that on the bright side, I think we're all glad that Uwe Boll was never involved in this series and if he did get involved, he would have screwed it royally for the fans of the games. So here's what I think of Resident Evil as a whole. I'm interested in playing the games. I am going to pass on the live-action movies but I won't stop you from seeing it or enjoying it. As far as this movie goes, I think it was okay.
Resident Evil: Degeneration is available from Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Resident Evil video games are in multiple consoles, so do a little research if you plan on collecting the games and choose wisely because certain ports of the game may differ. The Resident Evil live-action movies are available from Screen Gems.
With all that said, Resident Evil: Degeneration is a pretty average film with CG animation that does fit in with the video game franchise that it's based on. I'm afraid that this is the only good trait in the movie because the characters are a bit hit and miss if you compare this to the video games, the music may not be too special as well as the story. If you have high expectations over this movie, except to feel a little disappointed in some areas. If you didn't like the live-action movies, this movie is not like those movies, so there's room for optimism on that. The most important thing about all this is that if you are a fan of the Resident Evil games, then I easily recommend seeing this movie with one quote of advice, just don't put your expectations too high.
I give Resident Evil: Degeneration a 6.6 out of 10, it is DECENT!
Feel free to comment below.
I am not a fan of the games but I know well of the events and the characters in the franchise. Allow me to mention how a non-fanboy felt while watching this movie.
-Being fully CGI and with a huge fame behind it, the expectations were pretty high. The movie did transmit the imagery from the games in a high degree. All the areas were reminiscent of locations and events from the games, which does make it likable to the fans.
-The quality of the polygons was very good, especially in the explosions and the machinery.
-Yet, in the area of the character figures it felt rather sloppy, as they moved in a fake matter most of the time because of the lack in proper physics. They walked like robots and interacted with other objects in a not-believable way. The best example in the field remains Advent Children, which does a far better job at feeling realistic (not just looking) despite being made several years ago.
-Other minor glitches is the censorship of blood and gore, as when someone is bitten by a zombie or a zombie’s head blows up, the camera moves away and lets it imply that it happened. That totally ruined the shocking aspect of the movie; probably done to make it accessible to a wider audience. Too bad; it ruined my fun.
-The movie did include several cinematics, widely used in zombie movies in order to invoke fear or excitement. It also had plenty of gunfights and explosions to please a typical viewer who expects a lot of brainless violence. Yet, all these felt very familiar to most Hollywood movies and personally I felt like I was watching a rerun rather a new movie. Because nothing was original in the way the plot unfolded. I have seen it a thousand times already and it ceased to be scary or exciting anymore. That essentially means that the movie used a tired formula of cinematics that no longer make an impact on you. Visually, it was great to watch but aesthetically it felt old-fashioned and predictable.
- The music themes and the special effects made me feel like I was watching a typical action film, so it didn’t took much time to forget them entirely. Voice acting was ok, although I have issues with how they talked and how fitting their lips were moving. The dialogues were dry and boring, with lip-sync being almost absent. Generally, it was an average treatment.
If I could describe the story in a flash that would be “A rehash of what we already saw in the games.” It felt like I was watching the same events happening all over again; this time in a far less important way. What I mean:
-Umbrella corp is dismantled. Oh, look, another corporation appears with the exact same goals. And when it fails, oh, look, another one pops up to take its place. You never run out of generic, evil, multi-national organizations in the world of Resident Evil.
-Zombies appear again (duh, it’s Resident Evil after all). And look, another identical Tyrant boss for our heroes to fight. Only this one has sentimental issues over a photo and doesn’t feel threatening like his predecessors.
-We get another super-secret-secure facility of virus experimentations. Which of course loses control and goes haywire in 0,2 seconds, despite its so-called perfect security.
-Wesker betrayed everyone and escaped. Oh, look, another ally-going-freelance is present. Only he is neither cool nor macho like uber-Wesker.
Did the story add anything new to the franchise? Well, it did give off the feeling that it would be far more multi-layered in the beginning, as nasty politicians and ecology fanatics appeared. Yet, it all went to waste by having the first to be just red herring and the later to be an out-of-screen and unimportant fraction. By the end of the movie, an airport and a secret facility were blown to bits and hundreds of nameless people were turned to zombies; but none of these affected the overall story, nothing new was revealed, nothing solid was resolved and the characters did not improve or mature in any way. It was by all accords, just like a filler mission with repeated footage from the games.
My God, the cast was so cheesy! Goes well with the story being Swiss cheese from all the plot holes. The most stereotypical American archetypes are present and brought a bitter taste to my mouth from the very first minute I layed my eyes on them. What I mean:
-Claire was the typical bimbo that gets chased by bad zombies while wearing tight cloths. She couldn’t even fight back until Leon gave her a gun. Duh, didn’t her experience in Racoon City made her tough? She then gets all fuzzy with a rich guy, just to be manipulated like the typical American bimbo she was based upon. Yuck!
-Leon turned Terminator and started killing dozens of zombies without even sweating. He is essentially a heavy-dude, out to beat everything in his way and save the chicks with his awesome hairdoo and tough look. Yeah, he is cool but also dry as a character. He doesn’t evolve or mature (that happened outside of the movie) so he is just a walking killing machine.
-The Hindu girl was there just as an excuse for Claire to find the courage to save innocent people. Meanwhile, dozens of people were being killed as she was going for the girl and not caring about all the rest.
-The politician was the cliché asshole. All American movies have a guy you are supposed to dislike and over here, this is the guy. How did he got elected anyway? He doesn’t even try to hide what an asshole he is.
-The rich guy was a eunich and a bad machiavelian character. He did play his cards well but in the end he was caught out of the blue and took him, like, two seconds to lose all his coolness and turn to a spineless asshole as well.
-Angela the female cop and her brother were terrible attempts at providing drama. How can anyone find it dramatic if the random cop Claire meets is conveniently the sister to a bad guy who turns Tyrant just to kill some random soldiers and goes emotionally unstable? Terrible I say.
-The zombies… were mooks. Nobody cares about them. They are not scary and they don’t even accomplish anything.
-The name alone will make it worthwhile for the fans of the games but I doubt even they will watch it more than once, as it adds nothing new as a RE movie or as a zombie movie or even as a CGI movie.
-Visually, it was ok although I have seen far better.
-The story really sucked as it was not just simple, but also full of convenient events that forced the plot to unfold in ways the heroes had no way of knowing or preventing. I mean, the bad guy was installing bombs and spreading zombie-virus in high security places all the time, full of elite soldiers and guards on the lookout. Yet, nobody seemed to be able to take notice of a known criminal walking around in top-secret places like he owned the place or discovering any of the bombs.
-Not to mention how cliché all the characters acted, from the little Hindu girl being the only one to recognize the politician to the politician being generically acting like an asshole, down to the Tyrant spotting a tiny photograph in an area full of rubble and explosions.
-As for the action part, the movie was very Hollywood like, full of pointless explosions and shootings and cheesy dialogues you can find in a run-of-the-mill American b-movie.
-As for the feeling, it was similar to Romero’s zombie movies, which to be honest is a tired formula everyone keeps copying for the last 30 years and has long ceased to be interesting or scary. The horror genre has moved to other fields, where terror lies in the unknown, and left behind the image of grotesque monsters chasing teenage bimbos.
Scary games: Silent Hill, Fatal Frame.
Scary movies: Ringu, In the Mouth of Madness, Event Horizon.
Great CGI movies: Advent Children, Appleseed.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 8/10 [Shoot them in the head! It increases the ratings!]
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 2/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 1/2
SOUND SECTION: 6/10 [Die monster! Die! TAKATAKATAKA! KABOOM! ARGH!]
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 2/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 3/10 [Deza vu ?]
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 0/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 1/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 3/10 [Do you like my hairdo? Come on punk, make my day.]
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 0/2, Catharsis 0/2
VALUE SECTION: 1/10 [How much do you give for the T-virus?]
Analysis: Historical Value 1/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 0/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10 [Want some pop-corn?]
Analysis: Art 0/1, Sound 0/2, Story 1/3, Characters 1/4
How many identical zombie movies are there? I keep shooting them and they keep coming.
Out of all he recent movies out this month of January 2009, such as The Day The Earth Stood Still, YesMan, Twlight (which i look forward to READING) and Transporter 3 this one stood out.
Maybe because of the zombies, gore, blood, swearing and that f***ing fine ass Leon is it but all that aside i must ask why oh why is the evil characters in most movies amercain based have very british ((london)) acsents? Maybe this is sumthing we can come up with in the discrimation laws before the UK is doomed to be bombed becoz we cock our eye brows and look like we are going to take over the world any time soon with our earth core drill... opps said too much.
This movie does have everything to be a great horror, its taken characters rom throught out the RE series (GAME ONES ONLY) and stuck them into a situlation together. Thats one way to bring rival heros and villains together. It was good see to also see the T-Virus and the G-Virus once again under the same roof.
The characters out to save the world are Leon from RE1.5,RE2&RE4, Claire from RE2, William Birkin from RE2 and the rest are fairly new but sum are from the spin off games such as RE : Umbrella Choincles.
The S.R.T are pretty much S.T.A.R.S but fewer in employment. Its all in CGI i must warn which for me upset me abit since it didnt look as realstic like, oh lets say, final fantasy spirit within but still they are acceptable standards.
The cast consists of:
* Paul Mercier as Leon S. Kennedy
* Alyson Court as Claire Redfield
* Laura Bailey as Angela Miller
* Steve Blum as Greg Glenn
* Michelle Ruff as Rani Chawla
* Michael Sorich as Senator Ron Davis
* Crispin Freeman as Frederic Downing
* Roger Craig Smith as Curtis Miller
I knew nothing about this movie so when Leon appeared on the screen i was scream like a crazied fan girl while my 6 year old brother looked at me awkardly till i told him that Leon was orginaly meant to be Dante 2 but then Campon changed their thoughts and made him Leon for RE4. That reminds me this movie is a R rating and shouldnt be watched by under 18's, not that none of u members and guest have ever done that before.
If ur a RE fan this is the movie for u, if ur a zombie fan than this is the movie for u, if ur not a RE fan this is still the movie for u, even if ur a mad scienist this is the movie for u..... actually dont if your a mad scienist since the movie will be banned.