Tuesday, June 27, 2017

'Resident Evil: Vendetta' Relies on Exciting Action to Save an Otherwise Cliched Zombie Plot

The Resident Evil live-action movies range from passable to terrible (though I admit that I was entertained by the first four movies when I first watched them).  The direct-to-video animated movies, on the other hand, are sensibly enjoyable for what they are.  It’s probably because, unlike the Milla Jovovich movies, they are set within the games’ universe.

Now, I’m not really a big fan of the franchise, and I only played some of the earlier games a few times.  But I’ve gotten familiar and somewhat fond of its most popular characters – namely Leon S. Kennedy, Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield, and Ada Wong (seeing them interact with Alice is one of the few things I liked about the live-action movies) – because, though I don’t play modern video game consoles, I do watch plenty of video game cutscene compilations and gameplays in Youtube.  Hence, because they feature the games’ characters and the narrative is tied up with the games’ continuity, I appreciate the animated movies more.

The third and latest one, which is released this year, could be my favorite of the three so far.
Resident Evil: Vendetta, as it is titled, is set between Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.  It involves Chris Redfield pursuing a mad arms dealer named Glenn Arias, who has figured out a way to weaponize zombies and who intends to spread his modified A-virus to the populace.  Chris then recruits Rebecca Chambers and Leon S. Kennedy to help him stop Arias.

Actually, it isn’t an excellent movie.  The pacing is wearisome at times, the voice acting wavers occasionally, the characterizations don’t have much depth, and the plot isn’t novel.  But the action?  The action is awesome!  Especially because there’s some serious amount of jawdropping gun fu involved in it.  There’s a sequence where Chris and Leon go John Preston (from Equilibrium) and John Wick on the zombies.  And the duels between Chris and Glenn Arias are excitingly kickass.
To be honest, I had lot of problems with this movie during the first two acts.  But its action-packed third act was apparently enough for me to melt them all away.

Resident Evil: Vendetta isn’t perfect.  It can even be argued that it isn’t a good movie – that it’s mostly empty, boring, and clichéd.  But I think, as a direct-to-video film, its great action is sufficient to make it worth watching.  If nothing else, it’s much more fun than Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (which has some of the worst action sequences I’ve ever seen).

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