By Matthew Walker
As one might expect from an all CGI film, the visuals draw you into the world of Resident Evil. The characters are slick and their movements, for the most part, are fluid and look very natural, although it is important to point out that certain characters look hyper-realistic compared to others, specifically Angela. There were several scenes that the lighting and movement made her look real compared to others. As for Leon and Claire, they each had their own realistic moments, but considering they were base models of the games, they had a certain look they had to convey in order to remind people they were from the video games. One thing about Leon though, after two games and now a feature film with the same haircut, they need to update his look. He came off as more "emo" in this film than he ever has.
The zombies were another story altogether. Sometimes they acted realistic with their movements while at other times they flopped around wildly and almost cartoony. This detracted from the sense of danger at times, but then at others, these cartoony motions fit in perfectly.
One thing that might worry fans of the series will be the voice acting. As most know, the voice acting in the Resident Evil games has not always been stellar, sometimes providing laughable moments. While there are still a few moments like this in the movie, they are outweighed by the fact the rest of the dialogue flows naturally among the characters. With Alyson Court reprising her role as Claire Redfield from Code Veronica and Paul Mercier reprising his role as Leon from Resident Evil 4, they once again added the nostalgia for fans of the series.
Is Resident Evil: Degeneration more for the fans of the series? My resounding answer to that question is yes. However, with a few flashbacks and minor explanations of the power players in the movie, this is easily accessible to newcomers looking for a zombie flick they can marvel at. Having said that though, the fans of the live action films (and only the live action films) may be upset that the characters they have come to know do not appear.
This is how video game movies should be approached from now on. While it is great from time to time to have a live action movie based on something that you love, we have learned there never really is enough justice given to the source material, which usually detracts from the overall experience. Resident Evil: Degeneration doesn't lose sight of its intended audience while openly welcoming newcomers to enjoy the Resident Evil experience for themselves. This is a must-watch film.
Movie Score: 4 out of 5 Stars
CCC Project Coordinator