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Resident Evil Damnation Review

So yesterday I watched Resident Evil: Damnation, the second CG-I Resident Evil movie since Degeneration. As someone who's never played the games and isn't 100% familiar with the characters, I have to say I enjoyed it regardless.

The movie is a definite improvement over Degeneration in several areas. I don't think Degeneration was bad, but it was made during a time where I don't think the people behind it were entirely familiar with the technology they were using. The story was also kind of nonsensical at points, Leon Kennedy didn't look or act the way he did in the games (while I haven't played the games, I have seen a noticeable difference watching play-throughs), and the one-shot movie characters weren't very likeable or interesting. Curtis and Angela in personal opinion were both idiots. Angela was pretty slow during most of the action and her character was pretty undeveloped and boring. Her brother Curtis was particularly detestable considering his backstory and the fact he was ruining innocent lives by turning more people into zombies for a cause that made zero sense. The fact he willingly becomes the final boss basically by the end of the film in front of his own sister didn't help.

Damnation improves all of these familiar aspects. The animation is much smoother with nifty camera shots, the voice acting is good, Leon doesn't act like he has a rod up his ass the whole film (and he isn't modeled after Gackt, *vomiting noises*), and the one-shot movie characters (specifically J.D. and Buddy, aka Sasha) are actually developed, likeable and sympathetic. It helps that one of them actually contributes in helping Leon fight later in the film and doesn't just stand there slack-jawed the whole time like Angela did. Buddy in particular is probably one of the most contributing one-shot characters I've ever seen. He's fucking awesome. The plot setting reminded me a bit of Metal Gear Solid 4, but with zombie-ish monsters instead of GECKOs and P.M.C.s. The climax is particularly good, and there was a legitimate time where I wasn't sure if Leon was going to survive or not. If a movie can make me question my belief in whether the protagonist is going to survive, it gets extra points in my book. Leon is pretty badass in this film and I liked him a lot.

There's also a lot more action in Damnation and the pacing is pretty good. The villain of Damnation is also pretty bad-ass and it makes me happy to see that Resident Evil has been doing a good job with its female characters. Speaking of which, Ada Wong is in the film too. There's a good variety of monsters from the games here such as the Lickers and people controlled by the Plaga parasites. I'm happy there was some variety in the designs of the Plaga hosts and that they weren't all wearing drab clothing or all looked the same (here's looking at you, FFVII: Advent Children). The music's pretty good too, from the sad melodies to the action riffs.

If you're a fan of Resident Evil I'd say give this a watch. It's well worth it. While it's lacking some desired horror elements it's a good enough action film with neat characters, a pretty decent story and very well utilized CG-I. Unlike the shitty live action Resident Evil films starring a Mary Sue character (who's actress happens to be the wife of the director no less), these CG-I films are actually improving with further productions.