Main cast: Kevin Dorman (Chris Redfield), Erin Cahill (Rebecca Chambers), Matthew Mercer (Leon S Kennedy), and Kari Wahlgren (Nadia)
Director: Takanori Tsujimoto
Whatever happened to Jill Valentine, by the way? She is one of the mascot characters of the Resident Evil franchise, but she has been MIA for a long time now. Instead, I keep getting the cute but oh so stupid Chris Redfield shoved front and center in her stead. Now, don’t get me wrong, Chris is pretty easy on the eyes for a pixelated meathead, but he is easily the worst operative ever. Resident Evil: Vendetta reaffirms this and, sadly, pulls Leon S Kennedy down to his level. Nobody escapes with his or her dignity intact by the end of this animated action flick, so maybe it’s for the best that Jill is still MIA.
The publicity materials told me that this movie is supposed to bridge the events in the really dumb Resident Evil 6 video game and those in the recent Resident Evil 7 game. That’s just marketing talk, though. This one could have easily been an epilogue to Resident Evil 6, as it follows that game in being a dumb action movie rather than the survival horror that Resident Evil 7 tried to go back to being. Oh, and yes, this one has nothing to do with the Resident Evil movies that starred Milla Jovovich – this one is related to the video games instead.
Remember how Chris lost two of his teams in Resident Evil 6? Well, in the first few dozen minutes of this one, he sees his entire team wiped out again. Why people don’t just quit en masse whenever they see themselves in the same team as he, I don’t know, because this guy is the biggest grim reaper magnet since Jessica Fletcher. At any rate, Chris is the BSAA operative sent to accompany and advise some military team as they aim to capture the wanted man Glenn Arias, who has taken over Umbrella Corporation and is back to messing around with zombie-making viruses again. Chris’s presence is vital as he has survived several zombie attacks before… so he now waves his gun and watches as the other men get mowed down before being trounced by Glenn, who isn’t even trained to fight like Chris supposedly is, and finally getting rescued in time by reinforcements. Another day of epic fail, which means business as usual for the worst so-called hero ever, Chris Redfield.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Chambers, the medic from the first ever game, is now a scientist. She has discovered a vaccine! And she also manages to deduce everything else that Glenn is doing! But before she can tell anyone, Glenn’s goons attack her lab, turn her buddies into zombie, and it is a good thing that Chris and his new team get to her in time before she shows the world that hiding under an office table in a room where the door cannot be locked is not exactly the best thing to do when you are assailed from all sides by zombies.
Now, that leaves Leon, who is now pulling the “I lost men so I’m now going to drink myself into a perma-stubble state” stunt that Chris pulled in Resident Evil 6, but like it or not, he is roped into helping Chris when the apparently omnipotent Glenn has Rebecca kidnapped from under their noses and then has that Bane-wannabe Diego blast the whole drinking hole they are in into smithereens. Fortunately, Rebecca’s notebook is apparently impermeable to bullets, so it has all the information for Leon and Chris to follow and carry out. Heaven knows, these two men are not exactly the smartest people around. For example, Chris wonders aloud where Glenn would keep the vaccine. It has to be somewhere close to that villain, he surmises, and the bulb in Leon’s head goes off. He knows where Glenn hides the vaccine! It’s in Glenn’s secret hideout, the location of which they have no clue of at that time!
I wish I’m joking about the exchange above, but it’s all there. I hope this is just translation gone wrong and hopefully the original lines in Japanese are far less vapid.
Now, bad science is basically the oxygen of this series, but Resident Evil: Vendetta is full of horrific science. Biological reactions involving viruses that no one has really studied properly yet still take place at a rate that can be timed accurately as if they are a bomb about to blow – that’s just the mildest of the awful, awful science that permeates this movie. But that’s okay, I am familiar with this series, so I expect this. I’m just telling all this so that people who come into this one expecting something more… sober… can adjust their expectations accordingly.
But horrific science is nothing compared to the horrific stupidity of the main characters. Rebecca, for all her vaunted smarts, is basically a damsel in distress, her biggest act after discovering the vaccine is blabbing to Glenn that she is on to him, and that’s after she’s been captured for wandering off alone despite knowing that she is being trailed by the bad guys. Leon happily lets people die and cars explode for who knows how long before finally taking care of the zombie dogs causing the trail of destruction behind him, all the while whining that he’s so sad because he has to keep killing zombies when all he wants is to drink himself silly. Chris… well, he has perfectly mastered the art of standing there with his trademark dumb marble face expression as people die around him, and he still doesn’t wear biohazard gear or use anything other than that stupid machine gun thing that only works well during climactic fights (at other times, it misses or he just aims it helplessly at things as these things kill and destroy everything else around him).
God, how long has it been since BSAA is fighting these things? They still won’t gear their agents with anything suitable to kill zombies or protect them from zombie fights, still take hours to do anything despite zombies nearly wiping everyone out for six games already, and when Leon and Chris ask for backup, they send a motorcycle and only one armored truck thing that seems to fit three people at most.
I spend the whole time rooting for Glenn to succeed. Okay, so he’s just a Wesker wannabe, but he’s hot (shut up) and he also fights better and is smarter than all of the good guys combined. Oh, and he’s just doing what he does out of a twisted need to avenge the death of his wife, how sweet. I mean, that guy still keeps the arm of the dead wife in a box. Hot! But alas, he turns as dumb as Chris, Leon, and Rebecca by the end, and I feel like I’ve wrecked half my brain just by foolishly subjecting myself to this indescribably dumb thing.