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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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18 Comments »

  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    I enjoyed the first Resident Evil cgi movie, this one definitely looks worse.

    Didn’t Ada die at the end of Resident Evil 2 (the game)? “Adaaaaaa…” Don’t tell me Barry’s still alive?

    Also where is your devouring of Paul W.S Anderson’s latest treat?

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  • ad4m22 said

    Ada didn’t die at the end of Resi 2, it was a cunning ploy. She returned in Resi 4 and again in 6. ‘Umbrella Chronicles’ on Wii/ PS3 featured a level where you played as a critically injured Ada in her final escape of Raccoon City.

    Yes, Barry is still alive. He escaped in Resi 1 and featured in a cameo appearance in a secret ending in Resi 3. You played as him in the long-forgotten Game Boy Resi Gaiden (‘Side Story’).

    I will review writer-director Paul WS Anderson’s latest masterpiece, I’m just getting some more whiskey to take to inevitable sting out of it.

    Three Resi games have been released this year and only one of them was any good – Revelations for 3DS. Now a shoddy CGI film and the awful potential of a live action film. This franchise hates me more than I love it.

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    • richie said

      Disagree with this mainly on the basis that degeneration was boredom personified, watched that one night with load of my friends and was only one who stuck till the end! Had little hope for this one but really enjoyed it! Dunno if reviewers are following each other in panning this and other new entries cause anyone, both in real and online world seem fairly satisfied with the current entries, they not like the older ones and good, I played them, want something new. Think you and your ilk are at much more risk of collapsing under your own s*it

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      • ad4m22 said

        I like you, you used the word ‘ilk’ in a sentence.

        I loved Resi 4 and mostly enjoyed Resi 5. I’m certainly not just panning Resi 6, there’s a lot to like about it. The fact that I’ve finished it and gone straight back on Professional says a lot about the game, even after 35 hours’ playing.

        The reason I said it’s in danger of collapse is because the franchise is much too big now. Too many characters, too many virus strains, too many villains escaping. Capcom need to start offing. I was gutted that Sherry didn’t die in 6 – what was the point of bringing her back otherwise?

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Ada survived huh. After being shot and …it seems an awfully long way down.

      Sigh. I remember the early days when Resident Evil was a George Romero tribute and made a lick of sense.

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  • Marc-James Dean said

    Yet again another critic along with the thousands of internet trolls just wanting to publish the negatives.

    I have been playing RE6 and yes there are some annoying aspects, but Capcom had to develop and keep the series fresh. I have really enjoyed the game so far and am glad to hear it has been their biggest launch of any game shipping 4.5 million copies worldwide already.

    This is obviously what Capcom wanted and have succeeded in getting people talking, I have never seen a game cause such divides, which is obviously why i have been reading excellent to poor reviews.

    Will actually mention that the PS3 version currently has a metacritic score of 77 which is a GOOD overall rating.

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    • ad4m22 said

      I’m not slagging off Resi 6. I have enjoyed a lot of the game, really and truly. In fact, I thought the first hour of Leon’s campaign was one of the very best things I had ever played.

      It’s just that the game is so very disorganised and unfocussed. Capcom seem to throw you from one ridiculous situation to another, without really caring about what you were doing it for. Resi 4 had one ‘tentpole’ moment in each chapter, making each section of the game unique and memorable. In this one, every single character has at least two vehicle sections, three chase sequences and a constant slog against a boss that won’t die.

      I certainly haven’t hated the game and I’m pleased that Capcom have pushed it this far – the co-op is amazing, particularly in four player. But piloting a jet against an aircraft carrier is long way from the Resi I knew and loved. It’s not bad, it’s just different.

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  • Farting With Pride 2012 said

    They’ve got a long way to go to make me forgive them for Resident Evil 6 – biggest disappointment of the year.

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  • Marc-James Dean said

    In fairness you do have a valid argument. I just find it so annoying that many other sites are only publicising on the negatives which i find very unfair.

    I agree that Leon’s which is also my favourite looked promising, I just hope that Capcom take into consideration the criticisms for future games, as i do feel overall this was rushed in terms of development which is a shame as the game had a lot of potential.

    But noway is the game terrible.

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  • RT said

    The blogger wrote this in july 2012, RE6 didn’t come out until october and he’s calling the game the downfall of the franchise? dude knew nothing about the game back then and he was probably one of the first in line to get it and is now going back on all the bad talking he did.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      He wrote it in October. Brits put the month and day the opposite way round to Americans. The date is also written in text in the side bar.

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  • gd smith said

    Never been into Res, but I think the franchise is way to big to collapse. It’s fan driven and like a lot of big games works on the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it principle. I expect it will run for years, yet

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  • J.D.W. said

    It looks “so so” but I definitely agree that it needs to have… I believe you said “some serious pruning if it’s going to survive much longer”.

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  • Leon Kennedy said

    I honestly agree with almost everything you said. Resident Evil Degeneration may be boring to some, but it has a professional feel. Leon knows what he’s doing; he shoots zombies in the head and doesn’t bring too many soldiers in infected areas. However I do dislike his overly serious attitude.

    In Damnation he’s back to his laid back personality, but that’s one of the few bright spots of the movie. Damantion feels too much like a bad horror movie: The plot is very weak and feels stitched together, and it lacks horror that made the series famous.

    I also noticed that the movie tries too hard to be action oriented (just like Call of Duty). Leon is supposed to favor handguns and magnums (precision over automatic), but in here he’s just like a typical COD character with his AK-47.

    It would have been so cool to see Leon wield either the Broken Butterfly (from RE4) or the Desert Eagle 10-Inch Barrel (from RE2) as his main weapon, killing lickers with 1-2 shots.

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  • John said

    They need to do a complete reboot of the Resident Evil franchise. It needs to get the batman treatment. There is tons of potential but its getting old.

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