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Resident Evil: Damnation (CGI Movie) – Review

Resident Evil: Damnation (CGI Movie) - Review
If Resident Evil 6, Capcom’s latest game in the sprawling series is anything to go by, this franchise is now in serious danger of collapsing under the weight of its own sh*t. With nearly twenty games, five live action movies and now two CGI films all bearing the brand name of Resident Evil, the universe needs some serious pruning if it’s going to survive much longer.

Which is exactly what Damnation doesn’t do. In fact, this does the exact opposite, placing even more weight on an already overcomplicated franchise and leaving many new questions on the minds of any viewers. But don’t go into this thinking that you could just watch it like a normal film – unlike the rather enjoyable Degeneration CGI movie before it, this one fits so heavily into the canon of the universe that you’d need to play most of the games before this one made even a lick of sense.

The film is set in the generically named Eastern Slav Republic, where a civil war has escalated into a biological war, with both sides unleashing Bio-Organic Weapons (BOWs) in an attempt to end the bloodshed. One side appears to be using Lickers to fight, while the other has Majini on its side.

This is roughly where everything stops making sense, even for those who have played the games. What virus strain is being used here? Is it T-Virus, G-Virus, T-Veronica Virus, Plagas or Uroboros? Sometimes it looks like a mixture of all five, as the zombies stagger around, before displaying those Majini mouth-tentacles, but then stops making sense.

Resident Evil: Damnation (CGI Movie) - Review
The plot appears to be a paper-thin excuse to throw out two of the franchise’s biggest stars – the Licker and the Mr X Tyrant – and have them square off against each other. When the fight finally does come, it’s pretty good to watch, admittedly, but fails to salvage the rest of the film, with incoherence dragging the plot from one incomprehensible setpiece to another.

While the story has absolutely nothing new to add to the franchise, save confuse it further, the visuals are definitely worth writing about. This film looks beautiful. Creepy lighting effects, realistic humans, amazing vistas and suitably disgusting monsters are all rendered in utterly convincing detail. If as much attention had been paid to the script, this could have become a true masterpiece. Ada Wong also has a truly brilliant fistfight that reminds fans why she’s lived as long as she has.

Once it’s all done, the truth of this film dawns on you. It’s a cynical ploy to promote Resident Evil 6 even further. Everything that happens in this film is made irrelevant by the final twenty second clip, showing the game’s forthcoming villain, proving that all the previous virus strains are involved in the creation of the C-Virus. And that’s it. To make matters worse, a trailer for Resident Evil 6 plays during the end credits, thus ensuring that everyone goes away from this film feeling robbed. Degeneration was a decent tie-in. This is a poorly written, flabby mess. Exactly like the franchise itself, really.

Our Grade: C-

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