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Out of the Box: New 'Resident Evil' film stumbles

Jan 7, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Resident Evil: DegenerationResident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
DVD: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2008)
Director: Makoto Kamiya.
Cast: Alyson Court, Paul Mercier, Laura Bailey.
Writer: Shotaro Suga.

Huh? No Milla Jovovich? I repeat, no Milla Jovovich? What the...?

What then is the selling point of the CG animated ‘Resident Evil: Degeneration’, you may ask?

I would answer, nothing much at all. There aren’t even any zombie dogs. Sigh.

As the film opens, we are not even really sure when the events of ‘Degeneration’ are supposed to fit into the ‘Resident Evil’ timeline for crying out loud. Sometime after the zany mishap in Raccoon City, series heroes Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy arrive in the town of Havardville. Converging at the airport, their fight for survival against the T-Virus hordes dramatically begins anew as a jumbo jet crashes into the airport, cracks open like a tin can and releases some really ravenous zombies.

The Undead Airlines crash is one of the highpoints of the film and sets the stage for some welcome carnage as the zombies snack on humans and in response, the humans start emptying ammo clips into them.

Blood and bullets fly. Hell, yeah.

Resident Evil: DegenerationThe action doesn’t last long though as the storyline detours into another one of those sinister ‘Resident Evil’ conspiracies recycled from Fox Mulder and his ‘The X-Files’ pals. The ‘Degeneration’ scheme involves a pharmaceutical company that may or may not have a cure for the T-Virus and whose logo kinda resembles that of the Nintendo Wii, for some reason or another.

It would have been quite amusing if the filmmakers might have taken the idea one step further and had Shigeru Miyamoto running around and chainsawing zombies in half with a Wiimote in his hands or something but regrettably that isn’t the case here. It’s me, Mario? I don’t freaking think so. Oh, well.

Resident Evil: DegenerationBesides a possible connection to the United States government, the pharmaceutical plot has no momentum or life to it and only serves as an excuse to bring in a grotesque “boss creature” for the climatic battle. The monstrosity is just one of those misshapen ‘Resident Evil’ fiends with an eye popping out of its shoulder, two heads and pincers instead of hands. It is nothing special. You’ve seen similar things if you played any of the games. The same can be said of the CG animation as a whole. To the uninitiated, the final product is sure to dazzle and delight, especially the detail in the characters themselves. To those who are all too familiar with “next gen” videogame graphics, ‘Degeneration’ is nothing to drool over…except maybe the aforementioned plane crash.

Resident Evil: DegenerationWhether it be the films or the videogames, ‘Resident Evil: Degeneration’ doesn’t enhance or expand upon either and that’s because the movie is quite frail. The characters aren’t complex and neither is the story. There’s just a lot of talking with a few action scenes here and there leading up to the finale. ‘Resident Evil: Degeneration’ is worth checking out if you are curious fan but it will not compare to the fun you have picking up a controller and wasting the zombie hordes yourself.

G4 Rating: 6 / 10.


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