Main cast: Alyson Court (Claire Redfield), Paul Mercier (Leon S Kennedy), Laura Bailey (Angela Miller), Roger Craig Smith (Curtis Miller), Crispin Freeman (Frederic Downing), Steve Blum (Greg Glenn), and Michael Sorich (Senator Ron Davis)
Director: Makoto Kamiya
Resident Evil: Degeneration is an animated film based on the popular video game about zombies and our heroes and heroines who single-handedly wade into the mess to put them down. You probably know the drill: the Umbrella Corporation pretty much controls everything that happens behind the scenes, creating monsters using genetic experiments involving DNA manipulation and such. A bunch of heroes and heroines will square off with the latest plot of the day, only to discover at the end of the day that they still have no evidence to nail Umbrella Corporation for their sins because we need an excuse for a sequel.
Oh, and I have better make this clear: this movie has nothing to do with the movies featuring Milla Jovovich. Yes, they are also based on the same video game, but that’s pretty much the only thing this movie has in common with those movies.
The problem with this animated film is that the storyline is as ridiculous and full of plot holes as the typical story line of the video game. If this is a video game, well, who cares about the story line, right? We just want to kill those ugly zombies. But this is a movie with no way for the audience to grab a gun, so to speak, and shoot down some ugly mother… er, morons in order to vent some steam, so there is a bit of a problem here.
If you have played the game, you may remember Claire Redfield. She is now older and a member of an organization called TerraSave. Members of TerraSave launch search and rescue operations at sites of biological attacks. What is supposed to be a break of sorts for Claire as she visits a family she has recently aided turns out to be another typical day when the airport she happens to be in become infested with zombies.
As Claire and some secondary characters struggles to stay alive in the airport, we also have Angela Miller and Greg Glenn from the Special Response Team who are charged to locate Senator Ron Davis (who is with Claire at that moment). They are aided by Leon S Kennedy, a government agent who has had firsthand experience with these zombies. Angela will also realize later that her brother Curtis is involved with what seems like a plot to expose the bad guys. Ooh, angst results.
This story has pretty much all the ingredients of a typical video game of this franchise. We have someone who mutates into an uber-monster for the final face-off. We have a ridiculously over-the-top nasty politician. We also have heroines who are too stupid to carry a weapon despite having faced zombies before. Let’s not forget the predictable cover-up, the dumb soldiers and military officers that refuse to listen to the good guys only to pay badly for their folly, and plenty of lapses of logic in the story.
The graphics are quite flat. The animation is fluid, but the film has such dull and drab colors. The characters’ faces look dead, pasty even. Also, the voiceovers are pretty lifeless as well, although this is probably because most of the cast are more used to doing voiceover duties for video games.
Resident Evil: Degeneration is too much like a video game, I’m afraid, and what works for that medium doesn’t translate too well into the big screen. After all, when the fingers stay idle, the brain tends to notice how silly the story is and how… dull, actually, the whole thing is despite the fancy CGI that went into it during production.