…IS A PIECE OF SHIT.
All of this craze about an upcoming Tekken CG-animated film convinced me to go back and watch the last CG film I ever saw that was based off of a video game. What I thought was going to be a lighter, second opinion of this movie just turned out to be a revisiting of everything I fucking hate about modern Japanese screenplay and writing in animated productions. That’s right, unlike the actual Resident Evil video games this film features an OBNOXIOUS amount of signature Japanese quirks and clichés, the type of stuff you’d expect to find in cookie-cutter anime written by people who have a hard time getting over themselves and their played-out cinematic traditions. I guess I was pretty naive to think that I would see anything different even though the actual RE games were depicted much differently.
Since the movie is still fresh in my head I’ll go through all the key points of what makes this the worst gawdamn animated film that Wal-Mart has ever had the nerve to put on front display for $19.99, which was when I first bought it:
—Leon, who has been void of personality and character ever since his return in Resident Evil 4, is the star. The way his stern facial expression never changes and the way that his pretty-boy hair drapes over 2/3 of his face clearly explains why internet fandom has always referred to him as “an emo” and “a bitch.” On top of that he’s yet to be an interesting character to watch or even play since his initial, humble depiction in Resident Evil 2. For this film they noticeably restructured his face to make him look more like a Japanese guy because if anyone is an expert at creating faggotty-looking protagonists then it’s the Japanese and their own metrosexual influence (Raiden, Lars Alexandersson, Nero, Ash Crimson, etc).
(Tekken film note: if the people behind Degeneration are also working on the Tekken CG film then I guarantee that they cannot WAIT to go hard gay on Jin Kazama who I’m pretty sure will get his nails done at the exact same salon as Leon did to prep for the movie.)
—Claire returns, whose is now in league with a bunch of protesting hippies or something (the explanation was a bit vague). And before you can even think about how much different she’s become the first thing this film does is stick her with yet ANOTHER dumb-ass little girl that she has to babysit for half the damn movie, of course I’m referring to her former role with Sherry Birkin in RE2. Recycled Resident Evil 2 character themes: CHECK. By the way did anyone else notice how fucked-up Claire’s lips looked when her and the girl first met?
—five minutes into the movie Claire just happens to be sitting RIGHT NEXT TO THE FUCKING BAD GUY WHOSE BEHIND EVERYTHING (Frederic Downing) yet they’re having a casual chit-chat at an airport terminal that amounts to absolutely nothing. They could’ve totally skipped this scene as it provides no insight and it doesn’t even help produce shock-factor when he shows up again 30 minutes later to remind Claire of how retarded she is (and when it happens he even gives her the finger when he adjusts his glasses). His actions with Claire continue to make less and less sense as the movie goes on and that is cornball Japanese-writing at its best since they cannot come up with anything better. Also, Downing is under orders from someone named Nacho Grande or something.
—five minutes after THAT Claire bumps into (and recognizes) the OTHER bad guy of the film: Curtis Miller, a known activist/terrorist. Of course she doesn’t do shit about it except make a stupid look and talks to herself, just like what you would see in most Japanese-written screenplays for Shonen.
—Leon arrives in total gayboy fashion, and after he finishes being all supar kewl he gets the bright idea to send himself and two…only TWO other people (SRT members) into an airport full of zombies on a mission to rescue a senator whose trapped inside. And whose one of those two people that go with him? Some chick named Angela; remember that character for later because she ruins everthing. Let’s also mention the fact that Leon acts like a total prick to both of them but of course they’re bound by poor writing and don’t contest his actions. In fact all three of them suck dick at working together from start-to-finish so the logistics of teaming them up didn’t even make sense in the long run.
—a bit later the little girl blurts out her life story about her stupid dad to Claire. Unnecessary amounts of backstory from unimportant characters: CHECK. I’m sure this is what the Japanese call “character development” when in fact it’s just a waste of time and makes every one of their characters seem like they’re scarred for life from some past, tragic event before you can even really get to know them. I guess someone thought that Final Fantasy-type shit would look good in Resident Evil.
—a word on the voice actors: Steve Blum, Crispin Freeman, Laura Bailey, Michelle Ruff, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and cameos from Johnny Yong Bosch and Wendee Lee. Typical anime voiceovers: CHECK. Further proof that you should only hire anime voice actors to do anime, because they sound stupid in nearly anything else they do and people get tired of hearing the same 10 actors in every dub. I thought the production team would’ve learned from McGlynn’s shit job that she did on RE Umbrella Chronicles but I guess they didn’t (loved the part where Rebecca and Richard have pointless, casual dialogue reiterating their lives/careers as they clear a hallway full of monsters).
—the basic transcript of Claire and Leon’s seven-year reunion (of course this happens after a homage put in to help RE2 fanboys jack-off even harder than they already are now):
*“Hey Claire.” *
“wat u doin here?”
"lolz I wuz gonna ask you dat"
END CONVERSATION, movie continues. Drab screenplay: CHECK.
—the scene with Claire going all Matrix with a handgun and Leon randomly having a spare handgun to remedy an “unwinnable situation” further contributes to the shitty, dimwit screenplay writing that went into this film which robs any suspense in the dangerous events or battles throughout the entire film. And did anybody else notice Claire’s magic gun holster or do metal things just stick to her ass?
—I like how right after they all escape the airport suddenly twenty Marines dash in and just start shooting everything up…and long before that they were all just standing in front of the entrance doing absolutely nothing. What the fuck did they wait around for, were they afraid the zombies were going to blow up the airport with the senator inside if they had rushed in earlier? Also notice the generic Japanese fist-clenching scene with Angela. This is the shit I’m talkin’ about.
—after that there’s a scene that’s on par with most school-life anime dramas as Claire whines, Leon gives typical monologues while looking like an idiot and Angela eavesdrops right outside their tent like some dumb schoolgirl.
—in the next scene you discover (in typical Japanese-style) that Angela is THE GODDAMN SISTER OF THE GUY WHO SPREAD THE VIRUS IN THE AIRPORT…who is also THE SAME GUY THAT CLAIRE HAD BUMPED INTO AND SHE SOMEHOW RECOGNIZED. Clearly the brilliant Nihon-writers were going for that “OMAGAWD” shock factor that they are so well at not producing (whichnusually amounts to an eye-roll). Before this realization you just kinda wonder what Angela is still doing there when no other SRT members were present on the scene. Now you know: she obviously stood around for another 10 minutes just to make the movie even more laughable.
—so without any discussion whatsoever Claire hops in a car with Downing so that she can go have tea with him at his huge billion dollar virus-manufacturing corporate facility on the notion of “lol im not scheming to infiltrate your organization for personal gain or anything” (and later you find out that she really is which makes Downing a fuckin’ retard). Oh and the reason they’re having tea of all things is because Downing has a British accent. I mean…what else would he drink?
—meanwhile Leon goes on a road-trip with Angela so that she can have a super-dramatic fall-on-your-knees-as-you-watch-your-brother’s-house-burn-down sequence that’s completely overboard. Also somehow a family picture is laying down directly in front of her because I guess when your house burns down tons of your family pictures just start flying outside the door and then lie down on the lawn. So cue yet another moment of someone telling their life story and Leon standing around like an idiot. This event is also in like two different segments so it really drags on as they both take a nature walk up a hill and they stare at eachother while they exchange generic phrases disguised as character development. Lastly, “If you don’t try to save one life, you’ll never save any.” Wow, such well written, poignant words of wisdom written by teenagers that will no doubt trigger some corny-ass scene later on in the film.
—meanwhile Downing’s boss says to him “don’t let Claire see too much” in regards to her being inside the facility, so…he shows Claire the G-Virus (more RE2 homage bullshit) that they have. Fucking brilliant of him, that makes perfect sense to me. Apparently the virus has been stored inside the building doing absolutely nothing, no doubt waiting for the shit to hit the fan in about 3 minutes (SUPER SPOILER THAT YOU NEVER SAW COMING: the virus gets released). See, if I knew who Claire Redfield was then I would never go anywhere with her because it seems that any place that she goes to gets completely fucked even if it’s just to go drink tea. Afterwards something goes wrong with “teh serv3r” and then Downing leaves Claire alone in his office…with a shit load of confidential information on his computer. Double brilliant. I think Tom Clancy would be impressed by all of this.
—note that if you look at these recent scenes from another point of view…Leon and Claire have been screwing around doing absolutely nothing despite the fact that they should probably be moving their asses because in four hours terrorists are going to disperse the virus in every populated area IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. In Japanese story-telling I suppose it’s more important to drink tea and watch houses burn down while reminiscing and providing backstory since it’s for the sake of “character development” rather than focus on the overall scenario (like we really need this sort of horseshit in a movie where people just expect to see zombies, guns, and crazy mutated shit).
—so Curtis shows up at the facility (it’s not even explained how he got in there), bombs it, the G-Virus gets released (surprise, surprise) and then he injects himself with a sample of the virus because to him that was the best method to reveal the corporation’s dirty little secrets…as opposed to y’know…taking the virus sample he had to the media or something. Good thinking, although what ends up happening is that after he mutates (into something that I swear resembles the shitty alien from Alien Resurrection) Curtis goes on a killing spree and tries to “breed” with his sister. Incest undertones: CHECK. I’m pretty sure it really pissed off Curtis when Leon started making out with his sister underwater (not making this up). It’s also worth noting that before Curtis mutated Angela had found him, and despite all of the vigilant “I’m gonna stop my brother” bullshit that she spouted a few scenes earlier all she really did was put down her gun and asked him “WHHHHYYYY” and then after an unimportant chit chat it was too late to do anything because Curtis mutates right after. Nice work you stupid bitch.
—now mutated Curtis goes apeshit. Notice how when a no-named Marine readies his grenade launcher that Curtis amazingly kills them DBZ-style (despite the fact that Curtis was distracted by the other Marines so it makes you wonder if he has ESP or something). But when LEON does the same thing (and Curtis is walking directly towards him) nothing happens to him, because he’s Leon, and he needs to continue his long streak of making everything drab and uninteresting. Here’s the best part: it’s Leon’s great idea (for safety reasons) to put all of the remaining Marines on an elevator that will take them up to the central rest area while him and Angela stay on the ground level to battle Curtis. So what happens next? Curtis (instead of going after Leon and Angela) simply leaps up 2 floors and kills all of the Marines while they were still in the elevator. Good shit, Leon.
—there’s a funny part where Leon and Angela get “separated” by a glass structure that falls from the ceiling…despite the fact that this glass structure wasn’t even 20 feet wide. So Leon bangs on it like an idiot instead of just running around it to get to Angela.
—the final action scenes take place in a giant fucking shaft that at first has no business being there, but then it’s discovered that in the event of a biohazard this huge facility literally drops down the infected sections down this enormous shaft which must lead to the center of the Earth. Crazy Japanese-design at its best. Afterwards the mutated Birkin—I mean Curtis is about to bang his sister when suddenly the photo from the burning house scene suddenly falls out of Angela’s pocket, and what Curtis does next is (you guessed it) act all like “BLAWWW, RUNNNN, I DON’T WANNA HURT YOOOOU” By the way did anyone else notice that when Curtis falls down that he grabs Angela with his mutated penis? Props to Japan for that one.
—“You can’t die, you have to destroy these viruses!” sounds like a line that could be found in the fan-fiction section of residentevilfan.com. I also like how Curtis gets bodied by one, dumb-ass “omg epik sl0w-m0tion!!1” pistol shot when not too long ago we saw him take a hundred machine gun bullets (while still in his early mutation stage) before he was even staggered.
—afterwards Downing, who is miles away and was discovered to be guy behind everything, gets caught by Leon, Claire, and Angela (thanks to “General Grande’s communication man” whoever the fuck that is and who wasn’t even explained. Obviously bullshit plot-filler) although I thought it was weird that somehow Angela manages to sneak up behind Downing despite the fact that he had his back to the edge of a fucking mountain. I also liked the line he used to try and talk his way out. “You’re a smart woman, and smart women like money! I can make you rich!” Probably the best piece of writing that this whole shitty movie has. Also, big props to the line “YOU’RE TOO PATHETIC…TO KILL.”
—the final scene for some reason takes place on a grassy hill overlooking the facility (I have no idea what the fuck they are doing there) and Angela is dressed in something that makes her look like a pregnant party-balloon with some titty action going on, meanwhile Leon and Claire are wearing the same shit they’ve been wearing the entire movie. They then talk about how Curtis was a great guy despite the fact that he killed/zombified hundreds of people between the airport and the facility and then tried to make babies with his own sister, so yeah…I guess I can see how he was a swell fellow. Also why was that little girl waving like she was being attacked by a swarm of bees? Who did the motion capture for that shit?
That’s pretty much it. As much shit as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within caught when it came out that movie still had better acting/talent, better writing/screenplay and better characters than this piece of shit did. Overall, the first 30 minutes of this movie aren’t 100% horrible but after that everything just gets hokey, drawn-out and just plain dumb with signature Japanese moments that don’t belong there. As for action scenes all I really noticed were a lot of typical uses of slow-motion that just reminds me that The Matrix has made everyone much dumber.
If you think Resident Evil 2 was the best thing ever made (mostly because you were too much of a lame bitch to try out RE1 beforehand) and if you’re easily amused by garbage stylized in CG animation then I think that Resident Evil: Degeneration is exactly what you’re looking for. Cheers.