Resident Evil: Vendetta Delivers for Fans
If you’ve seen the last few Resident Evil movies (the CGI ones, not the Mila Jovovich ones) you can guess what fans were expecting from this movie; basically what amounts to all the cut-scenes from a RE game smashed together without the hassle of playing the actual game. Its effective and enjoyable, but it does leave a bit to be desired at times.
Vendetta has the same basic feel, like some long lost RE game that never found its way to the shelves played in movie form, but at some point it becomes so much more.
What to expect:
The first scene has the feel of the first game, with Chris Redfield taking on the undead in a decrepit mansion, searching for a lab creating a virus to infect humans. After that, the story takes you on a journey full of old reunions, scientific discovery, the occasional punch to the feels, and lots of gory zombie killing. The fight scenes are the highlight of the movie, combining hand to hand with gunfighting in a way that is both eye-catching and exciting.
The villain is both intelligent and twisted, a common archetype for RE villains, but his reasoning is much more human than those of past adventures. He creates a conflict which is both engaging and worrying for the viewer, for multiple reasons. There are even moments where he seems to have the upperhand on the heroes.
Leon S. Kennedy returns in the form of a reluctant hero (which makes sense after Resident Evil 6, since he kind of shoots the president he failed to protect) and has to be dragged into the fray. Once he’s in, though, he doesn’t disappoint. He and Chris exhibit extreme and creative fighting techniques, taking down zombies by the dozen with a heaping helping of gun-fu/gun kata, hand to hand, and the occasional wrestling move (because who doesn’t want to see a zombie get suplexed?).
Fans will be pleased to see Rebecca Chambers returning for this film, as she has been sorely missed by many. She proves herself again in this movie by heading the research for a vaccine for the virus plaguing the nation. Rebecca originally entered the series as support to Chris and has become a massively successful researcher by the time she enters the franchise once again for this movie, providing the “brains to Chris’s brawn”.
Of course the movie isn’t perfect. As smooth as most of the animation is, there is something odd and stiff about Rebecca’s lips when she talks, and there are minor hiccups here and there (like a guy with oven mitt hands), but the rest is kinda nitpicky. Complaints about changes to Chris Redfield’s face have been circulating since the initial trailer release, and some hardcore fans are upset, but his expressions are believable and he still looks enough like his old self to keep from being overly distracting (to most people). Leon spends most of the movie with a scowl on his face, which is a change from the snarky but optimistic man he was before he killed his boss and president of his country (along with other plot points that you’ll learn when you watch), but that’s less a complaint and more an observation. There were also some missed opportunities to pray proper homage to events from the preceding games, something that is likely to upset die-hard fans.
Overall the movie was successful and very entertaining, something for Resident Evil fans something to sit back and enjoy after the stress-fest that was Resident Evil 7. It can be a little tropey at times but overall it’s enjoyable and worth the watch. The single night of theater showings is over but the full movie can be purchased June 20th on i-tunes. It will be released on DVD/blu-ray and 4k Ultra HD next month, with plenty of bonus content.