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.