|RE: Degeneration Review|
|Posted: 06.02.2009 10:46 by Richard Walker||Comments: 4|
After the triumvirate of train wrecks that were the live-action Resident Evil movies, Capcom have been beavering away on their own CG movie that fits into the tangled narrative web that makes up Resident Evil’s convoluted world. Enter Resident Evil: Degeneration, a movie that ticks every box for the Resident Evil fanboys. Shady corporations? Check. Sneering villains? Check. Meathead soldier types? Check. Guns? Zombies? Mutants? Check, check, check.
Degeneration tells the story of a new outbreak of the G-Virus first featured in Resident Evil 2 where this new strain of the original game’s T-Virus originally played host to a whole new breed of monsters and introduced series stalwarts Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy. It’s fortunate then that the same protagonists from that very game happen to be on the scene to deal with yet another wave of zombie carnage as the T-Virus hits Harvardville Airport. The events of Degeneration take place one year after Resident Evil 4’s Las Plagas infection turned Spanish peasants into rampaging, pitchfork wielding nutters, and marks a return to the traditional T-Virus infected zombies of old and the pulsating mutant abominations of Resident Evil 2. The plot of the movie bridges the gap between Resident Evil 4 and the forthcoming Resident Evil 5 with a yarn that involves dodgy companies with dubious ethics, a new love interest for Leon and plenty of claret-soaked, zombie slaying action.
Leon has the same bland, wooden expression etched upon his face for the entire movie
This is where it all kicks off. Stupid security guard
Opening in Harvardville airport terminal, the first half of the movie follows a protest against the WilPharma Pharmaceutical Company followed by a T-Virus outbreak when a commercial aeroplane full of zombies ploughs into the central concourse. Watching zombies drop out of the wreckage is a disturbing image that has you itching to pick up a controller. Claire who now works for TerraSave is caught in the middle of the action after she arrives at the airport. Naturally, the Special Response Team show up in an effort to contain the outbreak, which is why they enlist the help of Leon, a veteran in dealing with these unique situations. While the movie’s opening moments are mildly entertaining, leading us gently into the head-popping action, there are no real scares to speak of, just a few gooey moments and some nasty jugular gnawing by the ravenous undead.
Naturally the media get involved when the zombies start shambling around the airport. Guess what happens to them. Yes
See what we mean about Degeneration potentially making a great game? You’ve got it all mapped out right here!
We ended up wanting more from Degeneration, not because it’s particularly stellar stuff, but because we expected more. Degeneration is a seemingly pointless instalment in the Resident Evil canon that neither builds upon nor develops the overall mythology of the series. Claire and Leon share a few memories of their first encounter with the G-Virus in Raccoon City, which pays service to fans of the games, but otherwise there’s little in the movie of any consequence. We also remain unconvinced that any of the stuff featured in Degeneration will come to light in Resident Evil 5, which renders the story even more inconsequential. We may be proved wrong in time, but for now Degeneration’s story remains a self-contained chapter. It’s a film that’s worth watching if you’re a Resident Evil fan and proves to be a million times better than the live-action bilge we’ve seen thus far, but then this is faint praise. Still, we wouldn’t say no to a sequel and an expanded videogame version wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Watching the film made us desperate to revisit the games if nothing else.
The Blu-ray disc itself is a decent enough transfer with nice sharp picture quality and crisp, deep audio which does a good job disguising the otherwise plinky-plonky music. Voice acting is patchy and the lip-sync can sometimes look a bit off, but otherwise Degeneration is a fairly slick production for the most part.
The zombies make their arrival. Hi guys!
Overall, Resident Evil: Degeneration is an essential purchase for the Resident Evil completist. For everyone else, it’s a curio that you’ll watch, enjoy and then quickly forget. Nonetheless, Degeneration is still well worth a rental.
Resident Evil: Degeneration Blu-ray Extras:
- Interactive Picture In Picture
- The Generation Of Degeneration’ Featurette
- Character Profiles
- A Look At The Resident Evil 5 Videogame
- Blooper Reel
- Faux Leon Interview
Running time: Approx 96 minutes
Overall Score: ................6.0