Resident Evil: Damnation - Another "meh" RE film
Resident Evil has been absolutely epic in the video game side of things. I still recall how much time I dumped into the original games on Playstation, the first of which I stayed up nearly all night playing with a friend serving as my sidekick who didn't want to play, but only watch. There of course have been a ton of games since then and most of them were good. The Resident Evil films on the other hand, have been a different story. Some of them starring Milla Jovovich have been passable as gore-fests with some hardcore action (remember the laser hallway?) but even though those did reasonably well at the box office, they certainly weren't going to win any awards for plot.
The animated features in the Resident Evil empire on the other hand have been pretty bad IMO. This particular film was released back in 2012 as a promo for one of the worst RE game, RE 6.
I suppose the plot going into these things isn't terribly important to anyone who isn't completely involved in the overall storyline of the Resident Evil universe, but this one features Leon Kennedy, who you may remember has been a major player in most of the RE games. In this story, he is involved in infiltrating some Slavic country that isn't a real world country in order to investigate bio-weapons that are being used there. Of course this all falls in line with the "zombie oriented" nature of most of the Resident Evil movies and games.
His team is ordered to pull out but Leon, being the renegade that he is, ignores his orders and stays behind to investigate / help i guess. He then meets a bunch of people with Russian accents (who all conveniently speak English) and goes on down the line to discover that yet again, an intentionally introduced bio plague created by a corporation is to blame for all of this (I don't think that Umbrella is ever specifically mentioned.)
We meet a few other characters from the real RE universe such as Ada Wong, who even through this film remains a mystery as to whose side that she is on. Her character is the best in the entire film and trust me when I say that this isn't saying much - it just indicates that all the other characters, including and especially Leon, are pretty weak.
This film didn't see widespread release and was only in theaters in Japan, where it pulled own a couple of million dollars. The critical response to this film is tough to come by, because not many people bothered to watch it, including me until yesterday. It went straight to DVD in the rest of the world and I can't find any financial statistics on sales, I would presume that since Resident Evil fans are probably some of the most likely pirates in the world, that these figures were less than great.
The major problem with this film isn't the animation - that is actually the films extremely strong point. The problem is that the voice acting, particularly that of anyone who is Slavic, is really bad. The jokes are stupid and there are a lot of small but meaningful plot points that don't make sense. I'll give one example of this.
While Leon is being pursued by some of the slower moving zombies, he encounters a very difficult to open door, when he and his portly accomplice manage to pry the door open a bit and crawl through, they are somehow magically able to pull the very difficult to open door shut in half a second when it took them 5 minutes to open it.
Things like this irritate me in films, even if it already a silly overall premise to begin with.
Should I watch it?
If you are a super hardcore Resident Evil fan and are very up to speed as far as the overall story and lore is concerned, you might enjoy this "supplemental material." However, if you are just some normal person you are going to spend your entire 90 minute experience confused and probably a bit upset at how bad the voice acting is. For most people, I would say you could probably give this one a miss and your life would be just the same without it.
Resident Evil: Damnation is available on Netflix in most regions now.
Have you seen this film? Do you agree with my assessment? I'd love to talk about it in the comments if you have an opinion!