Are you the type of video-gamer who skips through introductions and storyboards to get right into the action? Are you the type of movie-goer who enjoys an interesting line of characters and compelling story to accompany a film’s marvelous animation? If so, then you’ll probably have a hard time getting into Resident Evil: Degeneration.
Seven years after the tragedy in Raccoon City took place, the deadly G-Virus is unleashed in Harvardville Airport and both Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy are ready to battle an infection that just might wipe out another city. Even with two of the most advanced technological agents in action, their goal of saving a town in need of help seems just as improbable as saving Raccoon City seven years ago.
If you’re not familiar with the Resident Evil video game made popular in 1996, a little insight would be suitable before viewing. The best way to do this is to play the video game. If you aren’t into playing video games or don’t have a game system, watching the three live-action features would help. This addictive game spawned a series of movies that started in 2002 and continue to this date with a Resident Evil 4 announced to appear in theaters sometime in 2010. Thankfully, it will be a live-action feature.
Degeneration gets points for looking good and having a couple well-done action sequences (particularly the slow-mo sessions). Admiration for the incredible CG animation comes intuitively considering it is one of the few high points of this empty, new-looking Resident Evil feature.
Sadly, Degeneration forgot to mold interesting characters and sustain a compelling plot during its tiring 96-minute running time. Nearly every character speaks with a lifeless tone and the plot is nothing new. These are not small implications when making an animated feature in general. These problems take a large amount of interest out of a feature that (with the proper form of editing) could’ve been something exciting and thrilling instead of dull and ordinary.
There is a minor hiccup in the animation that might bother those who are attentive to the subject. It seems dubbed simply because the words don’t match the lips of the characters a series of times. Aside from that, the CG animation is very precise in detail. From the smoke and explosions to character mobility, everything looks gratifying but feels entirely artificial. The video-game appearance gives the viewers the haunting impression that they’re watching a video game, and we all know it is more fun to play the game than it is to watch.
The cluttered action overcomes its weak plot, making even the most action-packed scenes seem rather mundane. Topping that off is the stale dialog recited by boring characters. You might find yourself dozing off here and there.
Unfortunately, this entry in the Resident Evil series may only appeal to hardcore fans of the game. Much like hours of watching someone else play a video game, casual viewers will find it uninteresting, tiresome, and characterless.
There is nothing particularly noteworthy about Degeneration, a rather stale and discouraging attempt at pumping up moderate fans for the upcoming Resident Evil 5 game. About the best you can say regarding this all show and no go feature is, hey, it could’ve been worse.
The special features include two various trailers (Tokyo Game Show Trailer and Special Theatrical Trailer) for the upcoming Resident Evil 5 video game, “The Generation of Degeneration” featurette covering the importance of American actors and pleasing fans of the game, amusing voice bloopers, a seemingly scripted Faux Leon Interview, and Character Profiles. 1.5/5 stars