RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA review

Yes! Get the fuck on your knees, Paul W.S. Anderson, and bless your mouth by sucking this dick!

Okay, that’s a little harsh and mean-spirited, but by God, Resident Evil fans deserve this! Don’t get me wrong, the live-action Resident Evil movies were something of a staple in my adolescent years. A buddy of mine made a fair point to always see these movies together and we had a blast watching them. But even the most die-hard of fans had to admit that they weren’t good movies. They were just entertaining as shit.

But it would seem despite each movie grossing a lot of money to warrant sequels for the last fifteen years, video game developer Capcom of the video game franchise the movies were based on, couldn’t sit by and let fans not get a proper Resident Evil movie. Cue RESIDENT EVIL: DEGENERATION (2008), a direct sequel to the hit video games and I believe a prequel to the smash hit video game RESIDENT EVIL 4 (2005). It brought back characters directly from the video games, specifically RESIDENT EVIL 2 (1998) survivors and fan-favorites Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, AND their voice actors Paul Mercier from RE 4 and DARKSIDE CHRONICLES (2009) and long-time Claire voice actor Alyson Court respectively. DEGENERATION was awesome. You looked at this movie and there was no doubt that it was a Resident Evil story. It didn’t have the best facial animation for Claire, sadly, and may have called back to the live-action movies a little too much toward the end, but you can argue that this movie still did that shit better and had heart. Again, it was awesome.

After its popularity, a sequel was inevitable. A prequel to the… not so popular video game RESIDENT EVIL 6 (2012), was soon released called RESIDENT EVIL: DAMNATION (2012). They brought in voice actor Matthew Mercer from RE 6 and RESIDENT EVIL: REVELATIONS 2 (2015) and once again, delivered an awesome Resident Evil movie. Laid it on a little heavy with the Lickers, but an all-out battle between an army of Lickers and Nemesis-type monsters was beyond intense and satisfying. And that final shot of the film… dude, you can’t beat imagery like that.

It’s been five years and it seems Resident Evil has shifted on all accounts. The live-action films have officially ended, thank God, and it seems the franchise is getting rebooted soon. Here’s hoping it’s going to be more faithful to the video games. And what with the release of video game RESIDENT EVIL VII: BIOHAZARD (2017) being both a departure from the core franchise and gaining serious popularity for its return to tried and true horror, I guess it only makes sense to release a possible prequel to said video game and now we have RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA, possibly set to explain what happened to Chris Redfield and Leon after the events of RE 6.

The story this time around, it seems like it takes place in New York City, and some merchant of death unleashes a virus on the city. It creates zombies and B.O.Ws of course, but apparently, these monsters know the difference between ally and enemy. Chris is a muscular beast, Leon is John Wick, and we have long-absent Resident Evil survivor Rebecca Chambers as the dame in distress in a wedding outfit… yeah, so that may be the lame element in the movie, but it still looks damn awesome.

Let’s take a look at some of the voice talent. We have Kevin Dorman (video games THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 [2014] and RESIDENT EVIL: THE UMBRELLA CHRONICLES [2007]), Leon veteran Matthew Mercer, Erin Cahill (TV shows: 1 episode of CASTLE, 1 episode of BONES, and POWER RANGERS: TIME FORCE), and John DeMita (TV show DRAGON BALL SUPER, and video games FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME [2017] and FINAL FANTASY X [2001]).

Overall, super excited to see a legit Resident Evil title on the big screen. Cheers, y’all!

This is my honest opinion of: RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA

(SUMMARY)

Famed BSAA (Bioterrorism-Security Assessment Alliance) agent Chris Redfield (voiced by Kevin Dorman) was on the hunt of a crazed scientist and engineer of the new A-virus that creates new bio-organic weapons, named Glenn Arias (voiced by John Demita). After failing to save a hostage and Arias escapes, Chris enlists the help of former ally, now professor and engineer of a vaccine against the A-virus, Rebecca Chambers (voiced by Erin Cahill) and Special Agent Leon S. Kennedy (voiced by Matthew Mercer) to bring in Arias and stop his attacks in New York City.

(REVIEW)

… … … There are no words. There isn’t a word or phrase in English, Japanese, Egyptian, or Sumerian that properly describe this movie. Oh, let me be absolutely crystal clear here, it’s not good- er… okay, it’s still better than anything Paul W.S. Anderson’s dished out, but there has not been a movie this bat-shit insanely horribly written, yet impossibly gargantuously entertaining all year, and likely will be in such a league of it’s own, that it won’t be topped by anything for a few years.

The movie starts off… rather confusingly. You have an obvious veteran Chris who is armed to the teeth with a squad of special ops soldiers with him. Ha! Better than starting off as a lone fighter armed with nothing but a pistol and a single magazine of ammo. In any case, tell me if this sounds familiar. Their mission takes this team… deep into a forest… into a mansion… completely deserted outside of a few zombies… and is a hub for biological research. GEE, I WOULDN’T POSSIBLY KNOW HOW THAT SOUNDS FAMILIAR!!! To make matters even more bizarre, the inside of the mansion, if I’m not mistaken, is a carbon copy of the same mansion from the first Resident Evil game. Yeah, a single wide staircase going up, branching off left and right, and a bridge/balcony on the second floor the overlooks the first floor. And there is zero reaction from Chris in all this. He doesn’t make a note of the coincidence at all. Of course, these seemingly-highly trained soldiers do jackshit and get axed off pretty easily and Chris is left as the lone survivor. But even he almost gets unlucky when he gets his ass kicked by Arias, or as many will rightfully call him not-Wesker, who infects the woman Chris is supposed to save but is saved at the last minute. But get this, he holds the woman’s corpse in his arms and screams to the heavens as a slow-mo explosion happens behind him. Aside from how confusing the explosion makes it – is this a bad-ass epic moment, or a heartbreaking tragedy – but… why does her death warrant such a dramatic response? My first thought was that this woman and the zombie kid earlier were actually his wife and kid, but this is never truly elaborated on. I’m just left with… overly dramatic moment for the sake of having an overly dramatic moment.

After that, the imagery gets… unintentionally hilarious. Already, the editing is for crap because the movie starts with Leon in a morgue shooting down undead in body bags with a pointless narration from him. The weird editing continues after the dramatic scene with Chris as we see Arias at a wedding with a woman that eerily looks like Rebecca – yes, this goes exactly where you think it’s going to go – and then a drone drops off a bomb, presumably killing everyone. Arias crawls out of the rubble… and then we see that he’s holding the severed arm of his wife, to which he screams bloody murder to the heavens, refusing to let go of the hand. Uh huh… this movie seemed to have a few fetishes in the beginning. Severed arms and dramatic heavens-screaming.

And then we’re introduced to long-absent fan-favorite, Professor Rebecca Chambers. Why did I italicize that? Because the damn script probably did that a couple times because each time this young scientist dude addresses Rebecca, he always puts emphasis on the “professor.” It’s… kind of annoying. And once her research facility is attacked by one of Arias’ hench-ladies, whom is a reject from The Matrix, and then a big red flag of how Rebecca will be portrayed in this movie starts rearing its ugly mug. Despite the fact that she was once a member of S.TA.R.S., that training must have gone down the shitter because she’s nearly incompetent. She doesn’t punch a dude, and has to beat a zombie’s head in with a fire extinguisher and rolls and crawls around on the ground half the time. Hell, half the movie, she’s in a wedding dress when she gets kidnapped by Arias. Despite that he’s trying to relive his wedding day with her – which I’ll have a tremendous amount to talk about on this scene – I was left wondering if she was intending to marry him, or the God damned floor. She lays on the floor through most of the film, but barely ever touches Arias, if she ever did at all.

Now, I won’t give away the entire movie, but this scene that I’m going to talk about is a fountain of conversational topics and arguably the strangest scene in the film. So Rebecca wakes up tied to a chair in a holographic room akin to X-Men’s Danger Room or Star Trek’s Holodeck. It’s designed to look like a wedding ceremony, but there’s no people in the room. Well… sort of. There’s a few caskets in some of the chairs with some unseen undead folk. Enter Arias. He mentions the bodies are the reanimated corpses of those who died at his wedding and he intends to relive it with Rebecca as his wife Sarah. After some convoluted dialog about how his A-virus works and how Rebecca knows how to make the vaccine, he walks over to a smaller box, a cryogenic box, and pulls out the severed arm of his wife, wedding band still on the finger, and says to Rebecca, “Miss Chambers, meet  Sarah. We’re going to be so happy together.” I forget the particulars, but something happens where she probably smacks Arias in the face, she goes on the floor again, and then he says, “On second thought, I’ll cut off your arm, and replace it with Sarah’s. Maybe that will change how you feel about me.”

Let all of that sink in. This is really a scene that happens in the movie. Oh, and later on when Chris says that he belongs in a loony bin, Arias has the temerity to say in the most nonchalant tone, “Unfortunately for you, I’m not crazy.” Not… crazy? Not… crazy. You know what, homie, you’re right. You’re not crazy. Crazy is… hearing voices in your head. Crazy is putting on a cape and cowl to fight crime. Crazy is putting broccoli on a pizza. Crazy is setting up the toilet paper to face the wrong direction. So you are absolutely right, sir. You’re not crazy. There is no psychological explanation, no medical jargon to properly quantify or define the brand spanking new league of insanity that you have slathered your existence in. No, you’re not crazy. You are light-years past crazy. You’re so beyond insane that you’d need a straight jacket that locks you and your legs up so you look like a mummy, locked in a padded cell with the key melted into muzzle to keep your mouth shut, in a special huge asylum that would buried in its’s own gigantic hole and completely submerged in rubble and all records of it erased from history. That’s how beyond crazy you are!

Believe me, that may arguably be the strangest scene in the movie, but this movie never lets up on its over the top and insane action, which is all awesome by the way. The action really is fast-paced and highly entertaining. Not all of it makes sense and seriously give the middle finger to physics. I’m looking at you, Leon. You know how Legolas from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films gets increasingly more ridiculous in his action scenes? Taking down giant elephants all by himself and flawlessly hopping on falling debris like a video game character? Leon in this movie cranks that shit up to a million. It’s a wonder why the guy bothers getting depressive considering how seemingly invulnerable he is.

Guys, I couldn’t recommend this movie more. It’s pure, concentrated stupidity, but in all the right ways that makes for highly entertaining stuff to watch.  Now bear in mind, I saw this in theaters because it was a Fathom Events thing at my local AMC theater, so I doubt it’s screening anywhere anymore. But it’s out on Blu-Ray now and I highly recommend you guys buy it. It’s incredible.

My honest rating for RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA: 5/5 – for pure entertainment value.

residentevilvendettaposter

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One thought on “RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA review

  1. This movie is just as good as a video game. It is not trying to look any better or any different than anything made to this day. Sure, the characters are maybe not so multi faceted but you do not need them to be. When you have played more recent RE titles you know that they are highly focused on animations and cut scenes. The gameplay itself is not as thrilling as it used to be. And this is this. Resident Evil Vendetta is a joyride. You are tagging along for the ride. And if you loved Chris, Leon and Rebecca (not so much, mind you) then you will find yourself right at home.

    Like

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