Movie Review: Resident Evil Vendetta
Resident Evil: Vendetta
Presented by Fathom Events in theaters across America, Resident Evil: Vendetta, also known as Biohazard: Vendetta in Japan, is a computer generated action and horror animated film featuring the Resident Evil franchise. Directed by Takanori Tsujimoto and written by Makoto Fukami, this is the third CGI film set in the Resident Evil universe. Popular characters and series favorites return including: Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield, and Rebecca Chambers. The VA's who portray them in the video game series return as well starring: Matthew Mercer (Leon S. Kennedy), Kevin Dorman (Chris Redfield), and Erin Cahill (Rebecca Chambers).
When a friend tagged me in a post on Facebook regarding the trailer of this film, I was instantly hooked. I haven't seen the previous two Resident Evil CGI movies before, but after the success of Resident Evil 7 and the convenience of seeing this inside a movie theater, I was more inclined to purchase a ticket. At the beginning of the film, there is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look hosted by the voice talents on the production of the movie including story elements and motion capture. Admittedly, this was a real treat but it SPOILED a lot of the scenes before the movie even started.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Resident Evil is a survival-horror video game widely known for its zombies. During the series' seven video game releases, the focus has involved beyond that of the normal zombie story line. There's are many variations, viruses, and creatures. Resident Evil: Vendetta picks up between the franchise's sixth and seventh video game and focuses back on the horror aspect of the earlier releases rather than the action take adapted by the games fourth through sixth iterations.
B.S.A.A. agent Chris Redfield is on a mission to track down a dangerous man who goes by the name of Glenn Arias. After the horrific events that has taken place at his wedding, he vows vengeance against the government. Arias' organization has developed a special kind of B.O.W. (Bio Organic Weapon) that is able to follow commands (similar to the Las Plagas in Resident Evil 4). After finding Rebecca Chambers (whom we've last seen in Resident Evil 1), Chris seeks out the help of rival (and Resident Evil 4 protagonist), Leon S. Kennedy to help and stop Arias' grand plan from reaching fruition.
The animation is one of the major drawbacks to the film. The 3D animation used for the characters allow for them to be incredibly detailed. However, when it comes to the actual animation it is rough. Dramatic scenes end up becoming awkward and funny when they aren't supposed to be. A lot of really cool moments would have been cooler and less distracting if it weren't for the quirky nature of the style. At times it works and other times it just brings you out of the film, completely. Perhaps this is a personal gripe, but it is something to be noted.
The action has depicted in the film was vigorously motion capped and choreographed and is easily its selling point. The firefights and close quarter combat scenes are to die for. In one particular scene, a zombie horde enters the room and floods the small corridor that Leon and Chris is in. Immediately they branch off, and Chris uses his assault rifle in addition to his close quarter combat training to easily pacify the zombies. It's difficult to explain because a lot is happening and it is awesome. Think, John Wick and your favorite martial arts movie married and had a baby. This is Vendetta's combat.
Overall, Resident Evil: Vendetta does so much right that its flaws are minuscule compared to its strengths. Besides the animation, the story could use a lot of work. The movie's villain definitely has the motive but his reasoning is so "video-game bad guy" character. Besides that, the film gets Resident Evil right and flawlessly combined horror with action. To put it simply, if you're a Resident Evil fan you will enjoy it. The characters that everyone loves have important roles and aren't just cameos. Plus, the action of the later sequels and the horror of the earlier games combine, making it a complete experience.